Though some students are tired, stressed out and more likely to give up on exercise because of the colder weather, many say it is exactly what they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Several studies show that exercising regularly helps improve physical health, mental health and helps enhance cognitive function of the brain over time, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
For some students, exercise has become a way to help reduce stress levels. Many students see exercise as an outlet to relax after their top priorities such as school, work, honor societies or Greek life.
Jessica Wireman, a junior geology major and softball player, said with it being past the point of midterm exams, she uses her extra time away from school to participate in physical activity.
“With all the assignments and exams that my professors have given me, I see working out as good way for me to manage my stress,” she said.
There are many places where students can participate in physical activity on campus, whether it is through intramurals, being a collegiate athlete or working out in the Student Recreation Center.
Andrea Roberts, a kinesiology and sports studies major, said she definitely notices that when she has not been able to work out for long periods of time, she gets more stressed out.
“I can’t fall asleep as quickly or sleep as well, and this usually makes me anxious because I know that I need sleep to be productive each day,” Roberts said.
According to the ADAA, exercise produces endorphins, or chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and also improves the ability to sleep.
Martee Grainger, a sophomore swimmer, said she uses the sport as a way to cope with the stress that school can bring.
According to the Center for Advancing Health, not only does exercise help people cope with stress, it gives them the opportunity to build up their self-esteem and create relationships with others who participate on a team together in the same activity.
“Being a part of a team and working with them every day has given our team the opportunity to motivate each other to work towards a common goal,” Grainger said. “Building these relationships with each other has allowed us to push each other harder in each workout.”
Maria DeVito can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]