Staying fit in college

There is more to physical health than just eating right. Exercise is also a vital component of any healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, for many college students, it’s hard to fit in time to exercise with so much schoolwork and so many social distractions. Many students live a sedentary lifestyle, only venturing out of their dorm rooms to go to class. This is particularly true for female students, whom statistics show to be much less physically active than their male counterparts.

The Benefits of Working Out

Even setting aside as little as 15 minutes or half an hour every day for physical activity can help you fend off the freshman 15 and also help in many other areas of your life. In fact, the benefits of exercise go far beyond weight maintenance and strength. They include:

  • Higher self-esteem
  • A sharper mind
  • More energy
  • A better mood
  • Less anxiety
  • Better sleep patterns
  • Decreased risk of illness
  • Increased sexual desire (not always a good thing)
  • Improved sexual performance (always a good thing)

As you can see, exercise isn’t just for bodybuilders and people who are out of shape. Everyone has something to gain from increasing their physical activity. When you begin a well-rounded exercise program, you begin to reap the rewards listed above almost immediately.

How Much is Too Much?

Exercise is great for your body, but it’s possible to overdo it. Too much exercise can put a strain on your joints and damage your muscles. Exercising can become addictive in some cases, much the same way as drugs or alcohol. Excessive exercise is also a part of some eating disorders.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions, you may have a problem with exercising too much and should seek help from a healthcare professional:

  • Do you choose working out over friends, family or other social activities?
  • Is working out negatively affecting your performance in school?
  • Do you feel guilty when you don’t work out?
  • Do you find that after eating, you immediately think about going to the gym to work off the calories?
  • Have you ever taken steroids or abused other supplements in an effort to increase your muscle mass?
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