Thirty Minutes a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Exercise, to some capacity, has always been a part of my life in one way or another. When I was younger, I participated in swim team, basketball, and softball. In high school, I was a member of the varsity tennis and track teams. I enjoyed competing and feeling like I was part of a family unit. All of us had to work together in order to achieve our intended outcome. Winning sets or scoring points was extremely exciting because I knew I was contributing to team victory. Playing in my last match and throwing in my last meet was bittersweet during my senior year because I knew I would miss everything about being a high school athlete, even if I had to endure long tiring practices. Every. Single. Day. Transitioning from a high school athlete to a non-athletic regular person (NARP) was tough because I felt like a part of me was missing.

During my freshman year at La Salle, I would attend every Zumba class offered through La Salle Recreation. Zumba and the countless walks from St. Neumann Hall on South campus were how I stayed active.

During the first semester this year, I figured that I would pick up where I left off with Zumba and go to every class like I had the year before. This was not the case. I came to terms with the fact that Zumba just did not fit into my schedule anymore. I was not as involved in campus activities Freshman year as I am now so I had a lot more freedom in my schedule to do things like Zumba twice a week. I felt myself quickly becoming out-of-shape and would lose my breath much more easily than I had before.

Along with my physical health, my mental health was also compromised. Returning for my second semester, I knew that something needed to change. I decided that I needed to make it a point to include exercise in my weekly routine. Liz and Beth, my ‘go-to girls’, also wanted to exercise more regularly, so we all started going to the gym on a regular basis. I have always felt more motivated and inclined to work harder when I am exercising with at least one other person, so I was super pumped when I gained two gym buddies to hold me accountable.

Sure, we have had our days when we were all too tired, or our schedules just would not allow us to go to the gym, but for the most part, we have kept the promise to ourselves and to each other. We all agree that we feel much better after a hard workout, even if it is just for thirty minutes. My motto is, ‘it’s better than nothing’. I have felt and seen positive differences in both, my physical and mental wellbeing since we made it a goal of ours at the beginning of January to work out at least a few times a week. Exercise is super important, and I know that in order to maintain a happy and balanced lifestyle I need to make time for it in order to keep up with my physical and mental health.