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The Antelope

Exercise tips for college students to improve well-being


Antelope Staff

As a junior in college, one of the biggest challenges that wasn’t talked about enough was the transition from being a high school student to a college student. I struggled with trying to figure out who I was as a person and what I wanted in life while also focusing on academics.

Because of this, I think the transition has exposed other students and me to many challenges with our mental and physical health. This negatively affects our engagement in college life.

Throughout my freshman year, I found it hard to juggle school, work, classes, find time to exercise and maintain a social life. According to Pyramid Healthcare, “An overwhelming workload, unfamiliar environment, and other stressors can lead to a mental health crisis.” I struggled to find the motivation to attend class and do my homework. I began to feel symptoms of depression and anxiety because I didn’t know how to juggle it all. 

However, by the time I was a sophomore, I vowed to make my physical health a priority. I wish I knew earlier how big of an impact taking care of my body would have on me mentally. 

Throughout my time in college, I have learned that exercise can truly heal the mind, body and soul if students allow it to. Exercise doesn’t just mean going to the gym  and lifting weights. I have found five ways to incorporate exercise into my busy school days and I would love to share them. 

Tip #1: Walk to class and don’t dawdle, put some pep in your step. Ten minutes of speed walking is enough to get the blood pumping before that 50 minute class. 

Tip #2: Take the stairs. I know the elevators are tempting but climb the stairs instead. Even though it may add a couple extra minutes, sometimes taking the stairs is faster than the elevator. Either way, it will increase your heart rate and burn more calories than you would taking the elevator. 

Tip #3: Purchase or rent a bike. There are so many cheap bikes available on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. There are also bikes available for rent right here at the university. 

Tip #4: Join or start an intramural team. You don’t have to be a D1 athlete to participate. They have a multitude of different athletic activities to try. Everyone is always welcome, and it is so much fun.

Tip #5: If you are thinking about working out at the health and wellness center… do it. It is honestly one of my favorite places on campus. There is absolutely no judgment there and it is fun. The wellness center fee already included in students’ tuition, so do it. Take advantage of this while it is still available to you because when you graduate, you’ll be paying about $40 per month just to use a treadmill. 

Since I have incorporated these tips into my daily life, my mental and physical health has improved. Staying active has reduced my stress levels and lifted my mood overall. It has possible benefits for your brain such as boosting concentration, improving memory and raising engagement in the classroom. 

Even just a little walk around campus will release what they call “happy hormones,” chemicals in the brain like serotonin and dopamine, which have the effect of giving your brain and body an energy boost.

So, if you’re ever feeling stressed or down…do something about it. It is clear that exercise isn’t only beneficial for the body, but for the mind too. Becoming active provides an abundance of benefits for people of all ages, but especially for college students. 

Overall, your mental and physical health could be improve from just a little bit of exercise each day. 

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JADA HIGH, Reporter
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