Regular exercise for students in the community colleges

Published: 2019-08-28 07:30:00
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All young adults have the goal of living a healthier and productive life. A well-lived life requires the adoption and maintenance of healthy behaviors. It can be attained by engaging in regular exercises, maintaining proper nutritional habits and striking a balance between social, mental, emotional and the physical well-being of an individual. Maintaining a culture of daily exercise is particularly important for the community college students because even though it has some barriers, it has more benefits in preventing a wide array of conditions and diseases that affects a persons mental, emotional, physical and social welfare.

Inactivity can cause problems for many community college students. Inactivity has been reported to be prevalent among young adults despite the apparent long-term psychological and physiological effects associated with physical exercises among them chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Inactivity among them is highly contributed by high reliance on cars rather than walking or bicycling especially women, The American College of Health Association (2006) give statistics on the prevalence of obesity among the young and old adults as having risen from 13.4% to 34.3% from 1980 to 2008. According to data presented by the center for disease control about 35% of college students are either overweight or obese. Their decline in activity has risen to an all higher level estimated to be at 36%.

Maintaining a balance of proper physical activity can only be achieved by having a definite plan on when to exercise. It is evident that students in college spend most of their time in computer desks, lecture halls, libraries, and cafeterias. Though the hours devoted to learning burn mental energy, it is imperative to note that both the mind and body need physical exercises to attain a level of optimum functioning. Parents, on the other hand, put more pressure on their children to perform ignoring the fact that their children need to stay fit. When an individual spends more on books alone, he or she may develop a tendency of jumping into cars instead of taking walks. Some of the choices that the young adults can make include the incorporation of regular activities in their schedule. Lack of regular physical exercises may result in lifetime conditions and diseases that could have otherwise been avoided by incorporating exercise programs in an individuals schedule.

Physical Activity and Obesity

It is no secret that America faces the possibility of a decrease in life expectancy, a scenario projected by the ever increasing levels of obesity. The rate of obesity has notably doubled among the population of students who choose to study at community colleges. An estimated 18.1 million students worked their way into colleges and universities in 2009. Statistics have also shown that over a third of the said population attend college. Obesity decreases life expectancy in that most adolescents adjust into behaviors and attitudes during their transition stages and in these makes they not put so much interest in their health. The results from a national survey undertaken by the American College Heath Association in 2008 showed that a third of the students in colleges were reported to have an excessive weight or were obese.

The call by the Government on Colleges to partner with them and community agencies to curb the extent and impacts of the ever-growing epidemic of obesity is on the rise. Exercising should be in the curriculum and be observed like any other learning unit to ensure fitness amongst college students. The national leaders are also advocating for robust policy proposals in an effort aimed at promoting healthy eating and increased exercising. The non-governmental entities have also provided funds for in-depth research and measures for prevention.

Physical and Psychological and impacts of obesity

Obesity has been termed as the second cause of premature death after tobacco with an estimated three hundred and twenty-five thousand resulting cases of early death. According to Desai et al. (2008), individuals who are overweight have a significantly reduced health-related quality of life. Their social functioning is affected due to stigma resulting from the increased body sizes hence this reduces their life span and discomfort resulting to stress.

Incidences of obesity are likely to lead to an increased risk of mental illnesses such as anxiety disorders and depression. There is usually some form of bias directed towards individuals who are obese. They are often subjected to discrimination when it comes to performing tasks and simple exercises in school with other people labeling them as lazy.

Physical exercises have time and again been prescribed as a treatment for emotional disorders. Recreational and activity therapies have with time been part of treatment for inpatients with psychiatric for some years now. A deeper understanding of how human beings can cope with behavior is essential in the development of both the preventive and therapeutic interventions. Studies conducted by some physicians and sports medicine journal noted that about 85% of the physicians who were surveyed offered exercise as a prescription for the treatment of depression. The efficacy of vigorous exercises in the management of depression and anxiety, however, is still based on circumstantial evidence.

Regular exercises are also necessary for the improvement of memory retention (Biddle, Fox & Boutcher, 2003). They also act as a brain booster fine-tuning the memory and the ability to learn new things. Physical exercises enable an individual to attain fitness that is mainly considered a self-esteem booster that projects a positive image. It helps to elevate a persons self-worth and also improves their confidence. Whenever students are approaching the exam periods, physical exercises are crucial since they alleviate or relieve anxiety and boost their concentration levels.

Despite the psychological and physical benefits linked to exercises, certain risks such as injuries are unavoidable. Adverse effects of exercises include sprains, fractures, dislocations and torn muscles. Moffett (2015) argues that too much exercise can lead to dehydration and exhaustion and in severe cases arthritis, osteoporosis and loss of menstrual cycle in women. This means that much of the time will be spent in therapy and seeking for medication, and this affects the academic dimension of college students

There is also some consistency in a bad performance of the overweight and obese students in colleges.

Obesity also impacts heavily on the image and self-esteem of a student. The constant teasing and bullying by fellow students affects them psychologically and may even lead to cases of depression and cases of suicide. The problem of low self-esteem trickles down to performance at school. Persons suffering from obesity tend to be socially disconnected and do not interact much with other people. Given the unexplainable high rate of obesity cases in college students, the faculty and staff need to address the issue with urgency (Pargman, 1969).

The ecological niche in which the individuals occupy should be addressed. The economic realities faced by students and the barriers that prevent them from accessing proper food and regular exercises is also a matter of grave concern. Their targets into meeting their personal needs makes them ignore the expense of using money for exercise and proper foods. Since community colleges are centers training physical therapists and other professionals, they have a vital role to play in strengthening the curriculum to create awareness on the importance of undertaking physical exercises and proper nutrition as a measure to reduce the cases of obesity.

Heart diseases being not common among college students still poses some considerable risk in some young adults. At this age, there is usually a substantial build-up of plaques in the arteries. Those individuals with a family history are at a greater risk at a tender age. Unhealthy eating habits especially intake of foods with high fat content increase the risk even further. It is important that the young adults in colleges exercise as a measure to prevent heart diseases.

The healthcare professionals recommend exercises of up to three to five times a week. The tasks should be as simple as taking a long, brisk walk after classes a few times a week. Creating an exercise program is also a useful measure to reassess goals and to keep the motivation levels higher.

Physical activities and mental health

In their studies, Sarros and Densten (1989) asked students to rate the effectiveness of different ways of managing stress that is related to college stay. Some proposed exercises and physical exertion, socializing and support from peers and staff. Exercise, in particular, has been listed as a means of reducing stress. Sources of stress that affect college students are varied and also differ within individuals over time. They may result from the limited ability to manage the different sources of stress emanating from multiple sources. For instance, a person who devotes most of his efforts in managing work related to academics or other work responsibilities spends less time managing other things such as finances and interpersonal relationships. When time comes for such a person to attend to either personal or financial issues, they may experience a significant drop in their academic responsibilities or performance. Most students usually complain about the lack of enough time to manage all of their responsibilities.

As stated in the present, most female students were less likely to engage in vigorous exercise. In many communities female gender faces a lot of social pressure linked to physical strength and the sense that athletics belongs to their counterparts and that feminists is not consistent with more of activity and sports, this however kills the spirit in women towards exercising. This restricts males to physical activities and the females in the domestic domain lessening their exposure to exercising.

Time management is key among students. College students are more often than not subjected to the strenuous curriculum while at school. There is always a need for them to maintain a balance between their academic and personal lives. Since they do not have a prior exposure or training on how to plan their work and manage their time effectively, they often find themselves in situations where they develop phobias and anxiety during the examination period. Physical exercises play a significant role in managerial approach that embodies the ability to develop some sense of self-mastery in the development of internal strategies aimed at regulating the different dimensions of symptoms in reaction to the situations that may be stressful in life. They also exert certain beneficial effects on symptoms related to anxiety.

Research by the University of Wisconsin showed that activities such as aerobics when performed for a period not less than twelve weeks was useful in the reduction of the levels of depression. It is also the most potent psychotherapeutic tool, and its action could only be equated to that of anti-depressants (Morgan & Goldston, 1987). The value of physical activity cannot be understated when compared to treatment using drugs. Treating the effects of drugs is much cumbersome than engaging in exercise. Although several advance has been made regarding psychopharmacology and its role in the treatment of mental disorders, many people do not the full benefits because of the side-effects associated with psychopharmacologic agents. There has been an emergence of a research base recently; that allows for the experimentation with exercise-based intervention.

Collective exercises are mandatory for an increase in interaction opportunities. Regular activitie...

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