As a college student, you will discover that many activities place demands on your schedule. Exercise may not seem very important when compared to classes, homework and social activities, but it can help you stay healthy and alleviate stress. It also helps you to stay focused so that you can perform better in class. A study published in 2010 revealed that students who engaged in regular physical activity outperformed less active students by 0.4 on a 4.0 grade point scale.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people set aside 30 minutes five times a week for moderate to vigorous exercise. Time constraints can make it difficult to establish a consistent routine. Instead of trying to find 30 minutes each day, you can exercise in ten-minute increments throughout the week. Making a few simple lifestyle changes will enable you to incorporate the physical activities that you need to stay healthy while in school.
If you live near campus, consider walking or riding a bicycle. Commuters can park further away or take an earlier stop on the route. You can take the stairs instead of the elevator to reach various levels inside classroom buildings and the library. When you have time between your classes, stop by the campus physical fitness center. These gymnasiums have modern exercise equipment and experienced fitness professionals who can customize your fitness plan. Most schools do not charge an additional fee for these facilities because it is normally included in the tuition or student fees.
Instead of reading at a desk or in the library, use your mobile device to access the Internet or review notes while using exercise equipment. You can also listen to recordings of your class lectures as you walk or jog in the park. Another option is to join your friends in a pickup game of basketball, flag football, volleyball or another sport instead playing video games. Socializing also reduces the stress of a competitive academic environment.
Some students take water polo, snowboarding, scuba, fencing and other physical education courses to ensure that exercise is an official part of their schedules. These classes can make your fitness routine interesting and challenging. Most schools provide a pass or fail grade for these activities.
If you cannot take a class or use the campus gym, schedule time to exercise at home. You can perform calisthenics, kickboxing or stair stepping with the assistance of a video. Many college and public libraries have DVD exercise programs that you can follow. To ensure that you exercise on a consistent basis, schedule this workout time just as if it were a formal exercise class.
Exercise is one of the best ways for students to improve their academic performance and overall health. Regular physical activity increases your mental endurance and energy levels, which make it easier to handle long hours. It also reduces your risk for developing stress, depression, anxiety and several chronic diseases.