Physical exercise is not as boring and tiresome as most people perceive it. It can actually be fun; all one needs to do is to understand its importance. There is a wide range of physical activities so why running? It’s free! Who wouldn’t like saving some dollars and still achieve the same results as one who has paid for a gym? You also enjoy the liberty to run as long as you wish, unlike the treadmill which has a limited time. One more thing, you do not need to be a professional to enjoy it. Every person should incorporate running into their schedule since the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
So how will running help a college student?
- Improves Memory Retention and Brain Development
Memory retention is very important to students since they constantly need to remember all content learned. Stress reduces the brain’s ability to process and retain information. According to a 2010 research done by Cambridge neuroscientists on the physical activity of mice, running helps in the growth of brain cells associated with memory retention. Therefore, students who run for at least 30 minutes daily remember almost twice as much since the body releases dopamine and norepinephrine which increases attention and retention while learning. The implication – students who are physically active perform better than those who don’t.
- Gives You a Chance to Enjoy Time Alone
Lecture halls and college hostels are mostly noisy and crowded. Running gives you time away from all the hustle and an opportunity to meditate. Meditation is known to completely free our minds from all the happenings around us and focus on only one thing. This will relieve you of stress and depression. Research has found that running helps in the production of hormones that help to lift one’s mood, leaving you with a balanced mindset. You also get the chance to enjoy the fresh air and the outdoor breeze. Additionally, you get a better view of your surrounding while running – this mostly helps the students who are new in the area.
- Helps in Socializing
Once you’ve made running part of your daily schedule, you are bound to make some new friends along the way. These friends act as running mates and offer encouragement to keep going even when it seems tough. You may also be seen as an inspiration by people who have often been interested in taking a morning run but are often put off by weather conditions or laziness. Such people will likely join the person who has the same goals as them. There is also a possibility of growth where some people start by running for fun and end up forming a club where you meet like-minded people.
- It Keeps You Healthy and Boosts Confidence
Exercising regularly, as opposed to browsing site after site all day, acts as an energy boost since most college students often feel tired and sluggish. It also helps to strengthen bones and build lean muscles and reduces the chances of getting heart diseases since it aids in regulating the blood flow. Additionally, it regulates cholesterol levels which are the major cause of heart problems. Running also boosts metabolism leading to weight loss and builds muscles. According to David Felson, a researcher from Boston University, running improves knee health. Surprising huh? For those that have a problem with their bowel movements, running helps by contracting the intestinal muscles.
90% of the people who run listen to music while at it. Music takes away all the worries leaving one feeling strong and confident. Since running helps in building lean muscles and a well-toned body, you will comfortably fit into that body-hugging dress that you like. Who wouldn’t want that? That goes a long way in boosting your confidence.
- Keeps You Alert
Adding a running routine to your schedule keeps you on your toes since there is a specific time to run and duration. This helps you arrange your activities well to accommodate classes, leisure and running, and leaves no chance for postponing things. Learning how to follow a tight schedule gives the student a sense of discipline. Running also keeps the mind alert. Hence, you’re more attentive.
30% of American adults experience insomnia – this is according to ‘sleep’ medicine. A study carried out on a group of old people also showed that those who worked out even a little took less time to fall asleep as compared to those who did nothing. Having in mind that good sleep is essential to having a productive day, why not just have a run?
Running, like any other physical activity, is not easy especially at the beginning. However, from the immense benefits that come from running for even a few minutes, it’s worth the hustle. College students should really consider including a thirty minute run into their daily routine.
Considering the many advantages of running, are you willing to try taking a 30-minute run? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section.
Guest author’s Bio: Charles is a career mentor, motivational speaker & human resources consultant with over 10 years of experience in HR sector. Apart from career mentoring, he loves photography and football. Find him on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook & Google+.