How to stay active while earning a degree

The University of Dayton RecPlex is one resource for students to stay active on campus. Photo courtesy of Flyer News.

Kennedy Torggler | Contributing Writer

It’s getting colder outside and students struggle daily with finding time to work out or getting the adequate amount of exercise. Knowing how to balance exercise with schoolwork and extra curriculars is key to living a healthy, active lifestyle while being a student. Improving health overall will set students up for success in every aspect of their lives and put them on the right track.

Exercise is easy to fit into a schedule for someone who prioritizes it, according to Recplex staff, health experts, UD students, and research. 

Often, students use the excuse of not having enough time, needing more sleep or not wanting to go to the overcrowded gym on campus as reasons why they don’t have enough time for exercise. While all of these factors have and will come up for college students, it still comes down to the fact that people are going to make time for activities they want to do. People will prioritize what is important to them and being active is important to keep students’ bodies and minds  functioning at their peak. As a bonus, taking an active break between studying and homework also is good for the mind and can make students even more productive when returning to work.

“I try to work out once a day, especially on the days that I am stressed out,” UD student Cece Carl said. “It helps me focus and feel mentally ready for schoolwork.” 

Many people spoke about staying active while in college and had a lot of feedback to offer to help students struggling with prioritizing exercise three to five times a week. 

Jen Brandt, who is the assistant fitness director at the University of Dayton Recplex, confirmed most research and previous assumptions made about students in college, but also added in her own thoughts.

“I have found the people that claim they don’t have enough time for exercise in the day, are actually the ones who do have the time,” Brandt said. “Students want to do ‘all of the things’ including sleeping in, binge watching Netflix, going out with friends, etc. They don’t take enough time for themselves and their health.”

Brandt suggested prioritizing first and cleaning off your plate. 

“Do the thing you don’t want to do the most first,” she added.

When students don’t see it as a requirement or something they must do for the day, they automatically put physical exercise and health to the bottom of their list, according to Brandt.

In an article published by Children’s Minnesota in 2021, it discusses A few suggestions on what the body needs, how to get moving and everyday ways to get active for college students were given by Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota:  : 

  1. Bike or walk to class, the library or store. 
  2. Park farther away than you normally would and walk.
  3. Choose the dining hall on the far side of campus.
  4.  Try stretching, marching in place or walking around during study breaks.
  5.  Take the stairs.

Brandt also suggested the “10-minutes-at-a-time rule” for those who struggle with time management. This could be going up and down the stairs 10 times, doing the dishes for 10 minutes or walking around the house, dorm or apartment for 10 minutes.

There are many ways for students to be more active while juggling “all of the things.” Going to the gym every day is by no means the only form of exercise that exists. Get moving UD! 

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