After a fabulous, relaxing spring break, we’re back to complete the grueling and arduous spring semester. Between massive amounts of homework and difficult exams, there sometimes aren’t enough hours in the day to make time for things other than schoolwork. However, I find that taking time away from that ten-page essay, or that never-ending chapter in “Beowulf,” or even those terrible physics problems can help create a healthier you. Of course, a healthier you involves time spent on things you love and goals that you’re working towards. Surprisingly, this time has been proven to be better spent when fitness and exercise is incorporated into a college student’s daily routine.
Lets take running, for example. It improves cardiovascular fitness, promotes healthier blood and strong bones, and even increases life expectancy. Obviously, college students aren’t necessarily worried about the quality of their blood and how long they are going to live, but research has shown running improves mental fitness and promotes better sleep. It also relieves stress by providing you with an escape from day-to-day pressures and a physical release from any stress you may be experiencing. Second, it improves your mood by releasing endorphins – hormones that promote happiness.
Every morning at 5:30, I am up and running – literally. Sometimes it is difficult; however, I have a great roommate who is more than willing to do it with me. We run about seven to eight miles every day. The benefits are incredible, and it is a great way to start the day. Of course, waking up at 5:30 a.m. is not easy for a college student, nor is starting and sticking to a daily exercise routine. Here are some tips to help you start and stay focused:
1. Commit to consistency.
2. Take baby steps! You won’t be able to run a marathon overnight.
3. Pick an exercise that is fun. It doesn’t have to be running as long as you are getting that heart rate up.
4. Get some nice workout clothes and have an excuse to wear them. I know when I buy a new pair of Nikes, I cannot wait to go running in them.
5. In my opinion this is the most important: reward yourself. For example, after I do my ten-mile run on Sundays, I make sure to hang out and catch up with my girl friends. On the eve of those terrible Monday mornings, I’m always holding a jar of organic peanut butter in my left hand and a spoon in my right hand.
Sports & Recreation Center Operation Hours:
7 a.m.-8 p.m.
11 a.m.-6 p.m.