In the Loop: Finding time to exercise as a student enhances one’s overall well-being

Many students find little time for recreation in the midst of fall term. Students who have fallen behind with schoolwork struggle with not only assignments, but a long list of catch-up reading. Faced with such a burden, students understandably sacrifice time set aside for leisure activities and devote it to academics. This editorial board encourages students to consciously set aside time for at least one hour of physical activity each week. Numerous studies have shown that engaging in regular exercise is critical for maintaining one’s overall health. Exercise plays a crucial role in preventing serious diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, certain types of cancer and arthritis, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Many college students struggle with fatigue due to hectic schedules and a lack of sleep. Rather than relying on sources of caffeine to make it through the day, engaging in regular exercise can naturally increase one’s energy, according to the Mayo Clinic. People who engaged in both moderate and rigorous exercise saw a 20 percent increase in energy levels, according to a study from the University of Georgia in 2008.

Exercise not only helps cultivate a healthier and stronger body, but it also sharpens the mind and improves students’ ability to learn. College students who were asked to perform memory exercises after vigorous exercise performed significantly better than the students who remained inactive, according to a study by the Department of Physiology at the University of Dublin in 2011.

Carving out adequate time for physical activity and sleep also helps improve one’s mental health. Those who exercise regularly experience fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression, according to the American Psychological Association. Treating these mental conditions can help students to better focus on their studies.

While it may be difficult to find the time to exercise in the midst of our other obligations as students, establishing a sense of balance in life is critical. Finding an enjoy- able form of exercise can help make it easier to designate enough time. Balancing a commitment to one’s health with other obligations is an important step toward maintaining and enhancing one’s overall well-being.

Editorials in the “In the Loop” section reflect the majority opinion of the Editorial Board, comprised of five editors.