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Social Sci LibreTexts

10.2: Activity and Exercise

  • Page ID
    14457
  • Learning Objectives

    1. List the physical and mental health benefits of regular exercise.
    2. Plan a program of regular exercise that you enjoy and can maintain.

    Does Exercise Really Matter?

    Exercise is good for both body and mind. Indeed, physical activity is almost essential for good health and student success. The physical benefits of regular exercise include the following:

    • Improved fitness for the whole body, not just the muscles
    • Greater cardiovascular fitness and reduced disease risk
    • Increased physical endurance
    • Stronger immune system, providing more resistance to disease
    • Lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risks of cardiovascular disease
    • Lowered risk of developing diabetes
    • Weight maintenance or loss

    Perhaps more important to students are the mental and psychological benefits:

    • Stress reduction
    • Improved mood, with less anxiety and depression
    • Improved ability to focus mentally
    • Better sleep
    • Feeling better about oneself

    For all of these reasons, it’s important for college students to regularly exercise or engage in physical activity. Like good nutrition and getting enough sleep, exercise is a key habit that contributes to overall wellness that promotes college success. First, use the Exercise and Activity Self-Assessment to consider your current habits and attitudes.

    Exercise and Activity Self-Assessment

    Check the appropriate boxes.

    Usually Sometimes Seldom
    1. I enjoy physical activity.
    2. Exercise is a regular part of my life.
    3. I get my heart rate up for twenty to thirty minutes several times a week.
    4. I enjoy exercising or engaging in physical activities or sports with others.

    Write your answers.

    1. What physical activities do you enjoy?

      __________________________________________________________________

      __________________________________________________________________

    2. How often each week do you engage in a physical activity?

      __________________________________________________________________

      __________________________________________________________________

    3. If you feel you’re not getting much exercise, what stands in your way?

      __________________________________________________________________

      __________________________________________________________________

    4. Overall, do you think you get enough exercise to be healthy?

      __________________________________________________________________

      __________________________________________________________________

    5. Do you feel a lot of stress in your life?

      __________________________________________________________________

      __________________________________________________________________

    6. Do you frequently have trouble getting to sleep?

      __________________________________________________________________

      __________________________________________________________________