How much exercise do college students really need?
Does the “freshman 15” sound familiar? Any student living at college can relate to one another on the topic of their daily routine; going to bed late, fast-food at midnight, and all those unhealthy, cheap snacks that a broke college student lives off of.
Students across the country aren’t getting enough exercise in college due to their busy schedules. What most students don’t know is how little of exercise they actually need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Jason Talanian, a University of Guelph graduate, stated that “to improve one’s fitness, a minimum of only 150 minutes of moderate to high intensity exercise is necessary a week.”
Talanian studied exercise physiology at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada where he learned the benefits of exercise and how it applies to the general public. Talanian has now applied his degree towards a career and teaches Health and Fitness at Fitchburg State University. “To maintain a healthy lifestyle, 30 minutes a day of any physical activity does the trick,” Talanian said. “Take walking for example. A 30 minute walk around a park or through a neighborhood 5-7 times per week is proven to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.”
Talanian stated that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. “You don’t need to go out and run for 45 minutes on a treadmill,” Talanian stated. “That can be a drag for some people. Get out on a nice day and take a walk through your neighborhood. The benefits will be highly beneficial,” he continued.
Getting involved on campus is also a great way to stay fit. Many different intramurals are offered at the Rec Center on campus.
“Intramurals are great because you’re getting in a high intensity work out, but having fun at the same time,” said Talanian. “It keeps your mind off of the workout because you’re involved in a game; it focuses more on the team aspect.”
What most people, mainly students, don’t know is how short, high intensity workouts have the same benefits as a prolonged moderate workout. “Just give yourself 20-30 minutes, 3-4 times a week,” stated Talanian. “That’s all you need, and you’ll see the same benefits.”
Not only will a small change in an exercise pattern be beneficial for a student to stay fit, but this also is beneficial on a mental level.
Talanian stated that “it is proven that exercise a few times a week can lower stress and anxiety.”
Students will benefit from a physical and mental standpoint, by improving these habits.