The importance of staying fit on campus

THE AQUINAS PHOTOS / ALEX HABER STUDENTS workout at the fitness center Tueday. The gym offers a great wa for students to stay fit on campus.

THE AQUINAS PHOTOS / ALEX HABER STUDENTS workout at the fitness center Tuesday. The gym offers a great way for students to stay fit on campus.

Published: September 11, 2015


The University was recently ranked 44th on the Active Times List of Fittest Colleges. This a great achievement, considering that there are over 2,000 four year colleges in the country. There are many reasons why it is important for us to stay fit.

There are obvious physical benefits to exercise. Heart disease is responsible for the most deaths in our country, and regular exercise can help to prevent it. Regular exercise can also reduce the risk for high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, depression, arthritis, strokes and obesity.

What is less known is that exercise is good for the brain. Neurotrophins take part in neuron development and help nourish neurons during adulthood. They help neurons recover from problems due to injury and aging. Physical activity is shown to increase the levels of certain neurotrophins in rats. There have also been studies suggesting that exercise increases cognitive function, especially in young adults. Exercising can help your memory and learning skills, and thus improve your performance in school, as noted in a review article by Michelle Ploughman, discussing a number of recent neurological studies.

Exercise can also improve your mood. It has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, and increase self-esteem. Also, when a people exercise, their brains release endorphins. Endorphins reduce pain, and can leave people feeling happy. Exercise also boosts energy, and helps people sleep better.

When asked what they do to stay active on campus, students responded in a number of different ways. Mike Twardy, a sophomore BCMB major and member of the Wellness Living Learning Community, says that in addition to being on the swim team, he goes to the gym three times a week and chooses to walk up the stairs instead of taking elevators.

Kateri Sternberg, a junior math major, says she and her friends work out together, using Zumba videos on Youtube.

Sophomores Caitlin Peason, a business administration and marketing major, Caitlin Nicosia, primary education major, and Ariana Berardi, a marketing major, gave a number of responses, including participating in dance classes in the Byron Recreational Complex, swimming, going to the gym and playing on the ultimate Frisbee team. They take advantage of many of the services and facilities The University provides. Perhaps one of the reasons our students are so active is that they have so many varied opportunities to exercise here. Junior Computer Science major Matthew Owens had another theory. “Hills,” he said jokingly, when asked how he stays fit on campus.

No matter what it is you are doing to stay fit here at The University, keep at it, because you are not only keeping your body healthy, you are also helping your brain stay healthy, and improving your mood, too.