In high school, I played volleyball in the fall and ran track in the spring, meaning that for the most part, I was pretty active and worked out almost every day. However, ever since I graduated and came to college, I've been slacking on staying active. Throughout my whole freshman year of college, I told myself every day that I would start going to the gym again. Surprise — that never happened. This became a habit for the rest of my freshman year and into the summer. Although it was something I thought about doing a lot, I always made excuses that would prohibit me from going to work out. Whether I had work, an exam the next day, or would rather hangout with my friends, there was always a reason as to why I didn't have time to go to the gym. In the back of my mind, I know it was just me being lazy, which I recognize is an issue that many college students have.
This year, as a sophomore who has settled into a routine and become more comfortable with the lifestyle of college, I have found that in reality, I do have time to go to the gym at least a couple times a week. Just recently, I've gotten into the routine of working out three times per week, and I've noticed a huge difference not just physically, but mentally as well. I'm not someone who focuses on losing weight but on building muscle and simply having a healthy body and mind in general.
After getting back into working out, I feel stronger and observe that I have more endurance — even if I'm performing a simple activity like walking up three flights of stairs for class. I've noticed that my muscles already look more toned as well. Other than the obvious physical differences in my body, there have been a lot of positive effects on my mental being too. I've noticed that I get to bed at a more reasonable time and get better sleep after working out during the day. I'm also much more productive during the day when it comes to finishing homework and maintaining a set schedule. These are all things that have been proven to happen when you exercise.
According to Heathline, exercising even just for small amounts of time during the week is proven to make you feel happier, improve your mood, help with getting a good night's sleep, benefit your muscles and bones, increase energy levels and productivity, help your brain health and cognitive functions, and reduce the risk of illness and disease. These are just some of the proven benefits of maintaining an exercise routine, and I've definitely noticed a lot of them in my own life. The best part about it is that you can do whatever sort of exercise you're comfortable with. Whether it's going on a run outside, lifting weights at the gym or doing less intense exercises in your room, all physical activity will have a positive effect on your body and mind as a whole.
Even though it can be a little intimidating walking into a gym filled with muscle-y guys and experienced fitness people, working out can help to boost your confidence in so many different ways. After being so active during high school, it's something that I have come to enjoy very much and almost crave on the days I don't go to the gym. I've found that it's a very important part of striving to be the healthiest, best version of myself in college. Getting into the routine of going to the gym can take some work, but I hope this can motivate those of you who have the thought in their head. You can do it!