Staying active on a regular basis can present unique challenges for busy college students. When faced with a hectic schedule, students may overlook or forgo exercise, even though it is a crucial component to optimal wellness. Did you know that attention span and productivity have been shown to improve with just ten minutes of physical activity? Exercise doesn’t have to mean running ten miles on a treadmill; rather, it’s about finding activities you enjoy and making them a regular part of your lifestyle.
Some exercises strengthen your muscles (e.g., weight lifting, horseback riding) while others improve your flexibility (e.g., yoga). "Aerobic" exercise improves your body's endurance by helping your heart, blood vessels and lungs work more effectively. Exercises that are aerobic are those in which your muscles use oxygen to function - these exercises are also the ones that make you breathe faster, sweat, and feel your heart pound. knowing what you want out of exercise may get you motivated to begin.
Weight control without dieting
Control over appetite
Higher endurance or stamina - not being winded easily
Better conditioned heart and lungs
Greater management of stress
Better ability to fall asleep and stay asleep
Less chance of injury
Healthier cholesterol level
Many people who go off to college quickly find that they can become overwhelmed by all that they have to do. Attending classes, studying, preparing for exams and that’s not even considering things like work or a social life. It can be difficult to find an effective balance in your life that will allow you to be successful at all you do. More and more students are learning of the many benefits of taking some time for meditation while in college.
The following are just a few of the most significant benefits many people enjoy:
Improved Concentration – Meditation helps clear your mind of distractions and this can transition into your other daily activities. Spending some time in meditation in the morning can help you stay on task throughout the day. You’ll love being able to focus on the task at hand until it is completed as this will often save you a lot of time and energy compared with unfocused efforts.
Better Grades – Many people have found that their grades improve when they begin daily meditation. The overall improvements to one’s life that meditation can bring often translates into better grades.
Reduced Stress & Anxiety – One of the most significant benefits of daily meditation is the reduction of stress and anxiety in all areas of life. Practicing meditation can not only help calm you during meditation but also help you learn to deal with difficult situations throughout your day. This is important for all students, especially during those difficult times where you have exams coming up or other major projects coming due.
Better Sleep – Whether you’re in college or not, meditation can help you get more relaxing sleep. More fulfilling sleep is essential for success in school so this is a big benefit for many people. Having a more effective sleep cycle will also allow you to have more energy for the hours where you are awake. This can help with those early morning classes or a late night party you want to attend.
Sharper Brain – Meditation has been shown to help people have a sharper mind in a wide range of different areas. This means you’ll be able to absorb information more quickly, come up with the answers to questions faster and a number of other benefits as well. It is clear that this is a very important benefit to college students who are constantly loading their brain with new information.
As you can see, there are many significant benefits to meditation for college students. Most students who meditate were hesitant at first because they thought it was just another activity which they had to spend time on, but the fact is it can actually help them spend their time more efficiently. Meditation is not a difficult process and once you learn some of the important tips and tricks you’ll be able to quickly get into a meditative state and realize all the great benefits of this mind exercise.
Australian National University - Nice Progressive Muscle Relaxation exercise
Colby College - See relaxation by Patti Newmen (MP3)
College of the Holy Cross - breathing exercise and progressive muscle relaxation
MIT - community wellness downloads - a variety of exercises