It’s 11 p.m. on a Thursday night. You’re re-reading one paragraph for the third time, and at this point, let’s be honest: coffee can only do so much. All college students know this scenario far too well and have probably lived it more than once or twice. In this moment, there is more you can do to help yourself than you’d probably think. Getting up for five minutes longer than it takes to throw away your coffee cup could have many more benefits. Between homework, chapel, classes, group studying and finding time to pop some food in your mouth, it can be hard to find time to exercise. Maybe when you learn the effects that it will have on your studying habits, you’ll be more inclined to carve out a routine chunk of time to get moving.
While each person has their own reasons for exercising, some common benefits include heightened focus and increased energy, which we could all use. Exercise also releases endorphins in the brain, which can start to stimulate anti-anxiety effects. Because anxiety is a common concern for so many college students, exercise is a good way to combat stress. For students struggling with retaining information during tests, exercise may also be the start to a permanent solution. Because exercise increases the flow of oxygen to the brain, it actually helps to sharpen your memory.
Many people think that exercising means intense cardio or weight lifting every single day, but there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to taking care of our bodies. While that may work for some people, others may decide that a walk down 8th Street is enough to get them ready for the day. Often college students are so stressed about other things that they forget to take care of themselves, but it does not have to be as hard or time consuming as you think. Alternative forms of exercise include stretching, yoga, intentional walking, running, skateboarding and dancing. All of these require little to no equipment and can be done whenever you have time, so they don’t have to interfere with your 6 p.m. meeting or 8 a.m. coffee date.
For students who enjoy exercising in a gym, the Dow Center is open from 6:30 a.m. to midnight from Monday to Thursday, 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday. Along with that, there are now group fitness classes that take place on campus which include pilates, flexibility and balance, yoga, water aerobics and line dancing. If you want to get in on that fun, spring registration for these classes opens on Dec. 1. Finally, if you want to get off campus and have a night of fun with friends, a personal favorite is Scrapyard Climbing Collective on River Ave. Get sweaty, climb up some walls, and you will undoubtedly sleep better that night and maybe even score higher on your test the next day!