Fitting In Fitness

Written by ROSE NGUYEN

Life can be hectic. Two lab reports due, mountains of reading, problem sets, code to write, textiles to design, presentations of create – and let’s not forget studying for the classes that all of this work comes from. Responsibilities from extracurricular activities and your friends and family also add onto the demands of a college student’s life. And on top of this, you have to prioritize taking care of yourself with your diet and exercise.

And then, this thought pops up, “Ugh, I really want to, but I am so tired and busy.”
I have been there and done that, until one of my professors inspired me (shout out to Dr. Brent Iverson!). Some students have and stick to a regular exercise routine while others struggle with the desire to start but don’t know if it is possible to find the time to do this. Alarmingly, there are many students who do not think about exercise as an important component of life.
Fitness is personal. But the benefits of working out are innumerable and universal, from preventative measures against cancer, cardiovascular problems, and diabetes to increasing cognitive function, improving sleep quality, and increasing energy1. For females in particular, exercise is important for the prevention of osteoporosis1. These are just the nitty-gritty health details (are there are many more benefits that were not listed), but let’s not forget feeling great about yourself for taking care of your body.
Let’s get serious though – it is not easy to add an activity if you are not used to it, and even those who are used to it sometimes have trouble keeping up. But did you know that it is in the Centers for Disease Control physical health guidelines for adults (aged 18-60) to get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and at least 2 strength-training sessions that work all the major muscle groups?3 There are other variations of this regimen, but they all state minimum requirements for a healthy body. How do people, scratch that, how do college studentsaccomplish this?
I’m here to find that answer for you. My next few installments in The Catalyst will include people from the College of Natural Sciences community and how they incorporate their activity (from yoga to cycling) into their daily lives. Until then, stay healthy, stay strong, and good luck!
For more details, these sources are full of great information:
For inspiration, check these links out:
This is an opinion with cited sources about exercise and college students. This is not a substitute for medical advice from your doctor.

Steps to Research

Summers in the National Laboratory