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The Importance of Exercise in College

The Importance of Exercise in College

In a recent TED Talk by Wendy Suzuki, a Professor of Neural Science and Psychology at the New York University, she explains her discoveries and personal experiences with the many positive effects of exercise.  As a college student, it is extremely hard to find a healthy routine that incorporates daily exercise.  Although you may think it’s a bad idea to go to the gym while you have two essays, a presentation, and an exam coming up, these three benefits may give you a different perspective. 

 

 

  1. Exercise has immediate effects on your brain

After your workout, neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and adrenaline increase significantly.  Dopamine is a hormone associated with happiness and serotonin regulates our mood, which is the reason many of us feel so good after exercising.  Additionally, a single workout can improve your ability to focus for longer periods of time, making it so much easier to do hardcore studying or get assignments done more efficiently.

  1. Exercise improves your memory

Exercise changes the brain’s anatomy, physiology, and function.  It produces new brain cells in the hippocampus that increase the volume as well as improve your long-term memory.  The Temporal lobe, which contains the hippocampus, has the ability to form and retain new, long-lasting memories for facts and events. 

 

  1. Exercise protects your brain

The more you exercise, the bigger and stronger your hippocampus and prefrontal cortex becomes.  The prefrontal cortex is responsible for decision-making, focus, attention, and your personality.  Exercise is extremely beneficial to the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex because these areas are most susceptible to neurodegenerative diseases.  With regular exercise, it takes longer for these diseases to have an effect. 

 

In conclusion, exercise is the best way to improve your mood, increase focus, and ensure proper neurological health.

Leah Nevins

Quinnipiac '22

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