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Health

Physical Health is Still Important Even in College

This past week, I visited some family friends for the weekend. During that time, their 11-year-old daughter had a basketball tournament that lasted for most of the day. Both her family and I went to support and cheer her during the game, which to my surprise was a real eye-opener. 

Immediately when I walked through the door, there were a lot of kids ages 7-16 running up and down each and every court racing against the clock to try and score a basket for their team. When I sat down at the first game, I was intrigued by how much stamina and energy these kids have to not only be running back and forth for a whole 30 minutes but barely even getting a minute break during halftime. These kids were determined, eager, and willing to try their best just for the sweet sensation of victory. 

For a while, I talked with her father about all the things she keeps busy with during the week. Surprisingly, most of that consisted of basketball practices, games, or even more tournaments. I could not believe how much time and dedication this girl put towards basketball, and it reminded me of my days as an athlete both in tennis and basketball. 

I recalled the times where I was at my prime in health like the young athletes I saw on the courts. However, I realized I could still be like that. After all, I’m still young and in college! Contradicting myself, I thought, “I don’t have time! I have to study for my classes, keep up with homework, and I even have a job!” Just for reference, though, I do go to the gym at least five times a week for about an hour. Still, I felt like that wasn’t enough and I feel as if I’m not moving or using my body to its full potential. I can’t even recall the last time I played in a basketball game or a tennis match ( I had participated in both teams at my high school). To be honest with you, sometimes I even skip the gym and end up not being as active some days. That is completely okay, though, because I’m allowed to take breaks but also try and stick to a routine the best I can.

Realizing this, I came to the conclusion that college students just like me do NOT have an excuse to not stay active or even move their bodies in some type of way. Yes, we can get caught up in college life, friends, assignments, tests, and even parties but staying healthy should still be a priority. The freshman 15 is something students worry about when gaining those 15 pounds is something that they do not want to happen. But spoiler alert, sometimes it can be their own fault gaining those extra pounds. This accounts for a bad diet, not getting much movement, and being lazy. We all have those times where we’re having a rough day, a cheat day, or even a busy day. But, there is somehow always time to get your body moving. College students need to understand that if you don’t start or stay active now, you’re not going to be in the future, which can affect your health drastically. 

These effects are avoidable by going for a short walk or jog, playing a game of basketball or volleyball with friends, joining an intramural or league sport at your school, and allowing yourself to not always be idle or stationary at your desk doing homework. I’m guilty of this sometimes too, but once I get moving it improves my overall mental health, brightens my day, and makes my body feel good! Being active or working out may sound intimidating, but trust me once you take that small step, it will pay off in the long run. 

Keeping our bodies healthy and active puts us less at risk for certain health problems that come later in our lives. This habit and adrenaline that is received also keeps us in a good routine and allows us to make better choices for ourselves. These actions also set examples for others around us and for future generations to come. 

So, as you can see, keeping your body moving and active in college is KEY. It’s also important to take rest days for yourself and allow time for your body to heal. You don’t have to be moving all the time every day, but you should at least do about 30 minutes to an hour of exercise or activity every day. Remember, you are not defined by your body type, weight, or the image you see in the mirror. You are beautiful just the way you are and don’t need to change. However, it doesn’t hurt to incorporate movement into your daily college routine.

Olivia Madera

Cal Lutheran '25

Hi, my name is Olivia Madera and I'm a writer/editor for Her Campus Cal Lutheran! I'm majoring in communications (with an emphasis in journalism) and minoring in film/tv. I love to read, write, bake, and travel (especially to the beach)!
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