Featured Image: Students gather in the Aerobics and Dance Studio to practice martial arts. Matthew Taylor | Courtesy
Exercising in college can be quite difficult for students. Having to balance classes, hours of homework and a job while trying to mix in some exercise can cause a lot of stress. VWU students share the different forms of exercise that they make time for.
The general exercise recommendation for teenagers and young adults is around 150 minutes per week, assuming that it is at a moderate intensity. 64.3% of college students meet that recommended amount of exercise, according to a study in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health.
As former president and active member of the Martial Arts Club, senior Matthew Taylor gave insight on balancing school with staying active. “Every Sunday we meet in the dance studio and have informal training sessions along with other sessions throughout the week,” Taylor said.
Time management is something a lot of college students struggle with, and lack of exercise becomes a direct result of it.
“Planning is really important, so I make a major point of looking ahead as to what times are available, along with where the space will be available,” Taylor said.
When asked about the stereotype of college students not exercising, Taylor said, “I think it’s a true stereotype for a good amount of students. I try to stay active, but I can definitely see how neglecting exercise can be easy.”
First-year Josh Ryan does goblet squats in the Batten Student Fitness Center. Josh Ryan | Courtesy
One solution is to make exercise more fun, therefore increasing the likelihood of sticking to it, is to find a person or a group of people to train with.
“Martial arts is definitely one of those things where training in a group makes it more fun,” Taylor said.
A study from the Society of Behavioral Medicine concluded that working out with a partner improves performance and increases the time spent working out.
However, exercise does not have to be with others. Some people prefer to exercise alone to clear their minds and be in full control of their workout.
First-year Josh Ryan explained why he prefers to work out alone. “You can really focus on yourself more and accomplish your own personal goals. Being able to have time to yourself to improve and decompress is important,” Ryan said.
First-year Milo Schuehle rollerblades through V4 to relax and exercise. McKenna Howenstine | Marlin Chronicle
Ryan is an active weightlifter and focuses on bodybuilding now more than ever. “I started weightlifting when I was 14 years old because I wanted to get better at baseball,” Ryan said.
Now, weightlifting has become a constant in Ryan’s life. “Ever since, I have become addicted to bettering myself and seeing the progress that comes from working out,” Ryan said.
External motives are often a major factor in working out, and in Ryan’s case, baseball was that factor. Eventually, working out in the gym became an enjoyable hobby for him, as is the case for many others.
First-year Milo Schuehle talked about how his preferred form of exercise developed into a beloved hobby.
“I like to rollerblade a lot. I used to do it for exercise and to learn tricks, but now it is a hobby of mine to get from place to place,” Schuehle said.
Roller skating is not an easy activity, and it can be tough to start at first. “Each skate weighs about five pounds, so it is a great calf workout,” Schuehle said.
As for how Schuehle got into rollerblading, he said, “It started over quarantine when I was not able to go out much and I would roller skate for about seven hours a day.”
Soon, roller skating became easier for Schuehle. “I was so bored and tired of being inside and I eventually learned how to do tricks,” Schuehle said.
Most student exercise levels were negatively affected during the COVID-19 Pandemic, but Schuehle saw the period of time as a chance to enjoy the time by himself and become a better skater.
“I like to skate alone because I can put my headphones in and really focus, as opposed to skating with friends and falling more frequently,” Schuehle said.
Exercising can be done in many different forms. It all depends on finding the best personal fit, whether that is playing a sport with a group of people or going for a run alone.
According to the National Institutes of Health, physical activity levels decrease when students make the jump from high school to college.
To mitigate that, students should find activities they enjoy and make time for them, especially since exercising is beneficial to physical and mental health.
By Coy Camiscioli