When you start college classes, it may seem like you need to put all of your energy into your studies. While your academics are certainly important, they shouldn’t be your sole focus. However, even though most college students know they should make time for fitness, they often let it fall by the wayside to dedicate more time to studying or their social lives.
By not focusing on fitness, you may miss out on all of the benefits exercise can provide while you are in school. To help you understand why being physically fit is so important during this time in your life, consider the following points.
Fight Off Weight Gain
Every college student has heard of the “freshman 15,” the term used to describe the traditional weight gain experienced during one’s freshman year in school. While the causes of the freshman 15 can vary, one key to keeping the extra pounds at bay is to exercise.
For many college students, the most physical part of their day involves hauling their books from class to class. But this standard effort isn’t enough to compensate for the change in eating habits that often occurs when one is one their own for the first time. Exercising gives you the ability to burn more calories, helping to compensate for the shift in daily consumption.
Stress is part of the college experience. Most college students are busier than the ever have been before, and they are experiencing other new pressures of being mostly on their own. Luckily, exercise is a great stress reliever. It helps increase the production of endorphins, a feel-good neurotransmitter, and can help you forget about the irritations of the day.
Side effects of a regular exercise program include improved mood, elevated self-confidence, less depression, lowered anxiety, and more.
Since many college students find themselves with fewer opportunities for quality sleep, it is important to make every moment of shuteye count. Exercise can help you sleep better while allowing you to feel more alert during the day. That means you can make your days and nights count for more by making fitness a priority during your time in school.
How to Get Started
The best way to start your college exercise program depends on what you were doing previously, and how long it has been since you have exercise regularly. If you just started in college and had a fitness routine before, then you can likely keep doing what you were doing before. Just be sure to pay attention to any differences in your new local area that may have an impact. For example, if your college is in a different temperature zone than your previous home, then you may need to adjust the intensity of your workouts initially or make different plans for maintaining proper hydration.
If you haven’t been a regular exerciser for a while (or ever) then you want to start small. Begin with brisk walks to get your body used to cardio and use lighter weights when lifting. Focus on your form over your speed, as that will help lower your risk of injury. Using compression wear may reduce swelling and fatigue, and might help your muscles recover more quickly while maintaining better form during your workout. You can check out Prime Compression for guidance on finding the right compression gear for you.