Everyone knows it’s important to work out, but how many people do? 50 percent? 40 percent? No, it’s much lower at 22.9 percent. This comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who found in their study from 2010 to 2015 that most adult Americans don’t get enough exercise per week. The Department of Health and Human Services sets the weekly bench mark at 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of high intensity activity, in addition to muscle-strengthening activities, two or more days a week. By doing that, you receive benefits like controlling your weight and reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and certain cancers. There are other benefits which include improving mental health and mood. These benefits additionally increase the more you exercise, especially when your ramp up your minutes to 300 a week.
Now, how can you achieve that? Well there are two main types of exercise: aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic exercise benefits cardiovascular health and involves/improves oxygen consumption by the body. Some examples are running, swimming, hiking, dancing, cardio machines and even walking. Now, anaerobic exercise enhances power and builds muscle mass with shorter bursts of higher intensity. This includes sprinting, interval training and lifting heavier weights. Remember though, it’s important to have a good mixture of aerobic and anaerobic activities so you can keep your body balanced.
There are 29 club sports, several intramural sports and many fitness programs with group fitness, small group training, outdoor adventures and a lifestyle nutrition club.
Another important aspect to keep track of when exercising is your nutrition, which is a big issue for college students as 59 percent may suffer from malnutrition. A great resource to keep track of your nourishment is the USDA’s Myplate plan, which shows you what and how much you should eat based off your age, sex, height, weight and physical activity level. And for those who are not able to consistently gain access to nutritional and beneficial food for whatever reason, you can use the WCU Resource Pantry on campus.
There are many avenues that can help you stay active as well, including: walking or riding your bike to work if its close by, cleaning around the house, gardening, mowing the lawn and even just using the stairs instead of the elevator can add a tiny bit more. Another aspect that can be helpful is to add a social element like having a workout partner or joining a class or club (many of which are offered on campus) that can help motivate you to work out.
The good news is that on West Chester’s campus there are several opportunities to be active! There are 29 club sports, several intramural sports and many fitness programs with group fitness, small group training, outdoor adventures and a lifestyle nutrition club. All of these clubs and programs present great opportunities for building a healthy lifestyle along with your friends and fellow students here at West Chester.
On Campus Resources:
Campus Recreation: https://www.wcupa.edu/_services/CampusRec/default.aspx
Sean Laughlin is a third-year student majoring in communication studies. SL918690@wcupa.edu