Exercise is one of the most important indicators of a healthy lifestyle. Currently over one third of adult Americans are obese (Weinberg, R.S., & Gould, D. 2007); there needs to be a way to reach out to the population who do not exercise. Many people are scared and intimidated by the gym or other activities that may highlight their ineptitudes. However, exercise does not always have to mean being confined within the walls of a gym, or participating in recreational sports. Exercise is everywhere, and it is important to recognize these opportunities in our daily lives that can raise heart rate and eventually lead to a healthier life.
Exercising is Easy!
Walking the dog
Playing catch with a friend
Taking the stairs
Parking further away to walk across the parking lot
Walking the kids to school
Stretching in front of the TV
Jumping for joy as your favorite team scores
Swimming on a hot day
Basic Physical Activities
Exercise can take place in the simplest ways. Training for a marathon or reaching five percent body fat is out of the question and incredibly challenging. The goal is not the ideal body image, but achieving the recommended 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity (National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), CDC/NCHS 2000). This 150 minutes can be achieved by exercising only a few minutes at a time. Get creative!
For college students, stress is a regular and consistent part of life. Sometimes that feeling of stress or anxiety about the future, the semester, or even an upcoming exam can be detrimental to grades and daily life. While it may be difficult to hit the gym five times a week, doing simple things to increase heart rate can actually improve mental state. Regular exercise is associated with reductions in anxiety and depression (Weinburg R.S., & Gould, D. 2007). Exercise also decreases physical and psychological stress. Exercise is an important method to improve the mental health needed for a successful college career.
Some Important Benefits of Exercise
(Evans, M., Dr. 2011, December 2).
Helps handle stress
Reduces anxiety and depression
Improves health and quality of life
Decreases the risk of many diseases
Decreases risk of injury
Improves body composition and self esteem