No more excuses

BVH students should make exercise a priority


Laurinne Eugenio

BVH students should make it a priority to exercise and maintain a healthy lifestyle especially during quarantine.

Accompanied by obstacles of distance learning, many students have put working out and maintaining physical fitness at the end of their to-do lists—some students do not even include physical fitness at all. However, BVH students should make it a priority to stay active and exercise during quarantine. 

Working and studying from home resulted in the confinement of students to their desks for extended periods of time—staring at their computer or laptop screen filled with mostly blank spaces and students’ initials, listening to the “talking head” or their teachers’ lectures and completing online, word-processed assignments. In exchange, students’ mental and physical health face the brunt of online learning. 

The University of California Berkeley Center for Studies in Higher Education concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic led to “looming negative impacts” on the mental well-being of university students. Their survey found that “35% of undergraduates and 32% of graduate and professional students screened positive for major depressive disorder.” Likewise, BVH’s very own students described suffering the toll that remote learning has on their mental health. 

Too often, many consider one’s mental and physical health as mutually exclusive, meaning that the two are independent of one another and cannot coexist simultaneously. However, as the Mental Health Foundation explains, “Poor physical health can lead to an increased risk of developing mental health problems. Similarly, poor mental health can negatively impact [one’s] physical health, leading to an increased risk of some conditions.” Fortunately, working out and staying active can help combat both mental and physical health risks.

Other than venturing outdoors and investing time in walking, BVH students should try out a new exercise program from home. Students can follow along with exercise videos posted on online video-sharing platforms such as YouTube. Online home workouts can range from yoga, cardio, pilates, dance and other types of workouts. 

Exercising is essential as it offers various benefits to students’ overall welfare, such as enhancing the immune system. Studies have shown that regular, daily exercise results in immune-boosting benefits that may help people’s bodies fight off infections, including COVID-19. Exercise may also prevent weight gain by helping people burn extra calories due to dietary changes. Exercise has the ability to offset the impacts of sedentary activities such as obesity, heart diseases, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and many more, which may apply to many students because of quarantine. 

Most importantly, exercise reduces stress and anxiety. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (AADA) “[Exercise] is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration and at enhancing overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate.” AADA further concludes that participation in regular exercises leads to  “decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem.” 

In spite of the proven benefits of exercising, studies show that “less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day,”— this is equivalent to about two-thirds of Americans who do not meet the standard exercise guidelines each week. A common excuse for not exercising has been— I’m too busy, I don’t have time, I get bored easily, I’m too overweight, It just doesn’t work for me… the list is neverending. Students may say they do not have time to exercise, but most BVH students spend countless hours each day viewing screens and navigating through various social media platforms.

To what extent do you agree with this statement: I do not have time to exercise.

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Ultimately, COVID-19 should not be an excuse to disregard exercising, but instead, serve as a motivation to commit to a healthier lifestyle. BVH students should implement exercising into their daily to-do lists as it is associated with a plethora of benefits in regards to one’s health. Now, more than ever, exercising and maintaining healthy well-being is crucial.