The Importance of Exercise
We’ve all been there – you wake up to start your day and immediately start thinking of how you can’t wait to get home to go back to bed later. You feel run down and yawn throughout your classes. Your head feels foggy and you have trouble concentrating. All of these signs point to a lack of energy and balance, which can be easily rectified by exercising regularly.
Maybe you have a full schedule of classes, you work a part-time job and still need time to study on top of that. Don’t worry – you can fit in exercise each day in simple ways! Try walking to and from school each day, if possible. Speed up your normal walking pace slightly to get your heart pumping. You can also jog/run home from school each day to increase the cardiovascular benefits.
If you have a little more time on your hands, even on weekends, try going to a community centre in your area. Community centres often have exercise equipment you can use for a much lower fee than a regular gym would. Treadmills and elliptical machines are great ways to get in a cardio workout without having to worry about poor weather.
Many of us feel uncomfortable working out in front of others, so you can even do exercises at home while watching TV or a movie. Try some simple yoga moves, sit-ups or even jumping jacks. There are many great (and free!) websites that offer tips on different at-home workouts you can do that do not require any equipment. You may also want to purchase a workout DVD that combines your interests with exercise. For example, there are DVD’s that involve dance, ballet and even Bollywood moves.
Another easy option is to play Wii or X-Box Kinect. Many of us own these systems already, so playing a game that involves movement instead of sitting will add up. Many Wii systems come with sports games inside the box, so there is no extra expense incurred. These games will even track your progress and tell you your “exercise age”, which are great motivators.
Exercising regularly will ensure that you have energy when you need it most. Exercise has also been proven to lower stress and help with anxiety and depression. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins which essentially help you to feel better and calmer. You should aim to exercise for 30 consecutive minutes each day for the maximum benefits. It is also important to not exercise just before you go to bed, as the increased endorphins can prevent you from falling asleep right away. However, exercising regularly does help you to get a deeper sleep more often.
So make time for yourself each day and get in some exercise. Motivating yourself can be difficult sometimes, so be sure to tell a friend or family member about your goals and they can help to get you moving. Remember – short term pain, long term gain!