Staying active, working out benefits student’s mental health

Working out frequently helps reduce stress and helps with your mental health. Students enjoy working out and playing sports with friends and peers as a social pastime. Miki Akiyama | Sun News Daily

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Stress management and working out often fit together as one, especially with college students.

Stress and anxiety management is a big thing that affects students. About 42% of college students seek counseling for management in the area of stress, anxiety, depression and more.

For many people, being able to focus on one thing every day for a few hours can help relieve stress. The focus and concentration that occurs in your body while working out can distract your brain, therefore allowing your body to relax for a time. 

Evan Ray, a junior radiography major from Washington, said: “Whenever I’m anxious, I like to go to the gym. It gives me an outlet to physically be moving and to not think really. I can just listen to music or zone out, just put all those emotions I’m feeling into the weight I’m moving and feel good afterward.”

The mental change of staying fit and being active can cause problems. Many eating disorders or mental changes like body dysmorphia can develop. Therefore, it is important to ease into the health changes slowly and steadily. Finding the right resources and getting the correct guidance makes a big difference.

Staying on the right path while exploring a healthy lifestyle is a challenge. Finding time to prioritize, what’s important to you like working, doing homework, exercising and spending time doing something for yourself can be very overwhelming.

Coming up with a daily routine is a problem solver for some people. Having set times as well as a routine that is consistent every day allows the mind as well as the body time to prepare for what’s to come next. 

Myles Beatty, a sophomore management major from Ogden, said, “It makes me schedule when I need to workout versus when I need to do homework, so I will set a time for when I need to go to the gym, so then I have time to do all my academic work.”

Working out has many benefits that are not only physical. Some of these benefits include:

• Relieving stress

•Boosted memory

• Boosted concentration

• Overall mood may lighten

• More sociable

Scientifically, certain “feel-good” endorphins called endogenous cannabinoids are released into the body making you feel good after your workout, therefore making you want to have that feeling again and again.

Beatty said, “Being active helps my mental health because it gives me a chance to go to the gym and be able to listen to my own music and push myself to my own limits, so I’m just able to do it, and then I feel really good afterward.”