Hit the books and the gym

September is here, the weather is getting colder, leaves are changing colour and students are headed back to school.

September is here, the weather is getting colder, leaves are changing colour and students are headed back to school.

For those students beginning classes at postsecondary institutions this week, such as the CUC students who began classes yesterday, it might be the first time going to school and living away from home.

As new students being “on your own,” you have probably already heard all kinds of advice about moving out and going to school from just about everyone who knows you.

That’s not to say it isn’t helpful. There are a lot of things to remember and even more to learn when you begin your post-secondary education and begin living on your own.

Some of them are easy to think about. Like how important it is to study hard and get good grades.

Others are less obvious, but no less important.

Like how to clean your dorm room and keep it clean or how important it is to work out and keep fit while going to school.

Physical activity is something that is easy to accomplish throughout grade school. There are whole classes dedicated to it.

After high school, unless you are enrolled in a program like kinesiology where such physical education classes are required, it is likely that your education will contain a lot less physical activity.

But physical fitness is still just as important, if not more, in post-secondary as it was in grade school.

We have all heard of the freshman 15, the 15 lbs. that post-secondary students gain in their first year of studies. It’s a common occurrence, caused by young people not used to cooking for themselves, relying too much on convenience food, fast food and lacking physical activity.

But lack of physical fitness can cause more problems for new students than just unwanted weight gain.

In fact, working out regularly can prevent a number of problems that can keep students out of a dangerous downward spiral, especially if they are first-year students.

There is no question that school is stressful.

Studying for exams, handing in assignments on time to avoid late marks and completing dreaded group assignments is enough to strain anyone’s nerves, not to mention someone who is doing it for the first time.

Physical activity is believed to reduce stress and it has the added benefit of keeping you in shape. Keeping stress at bay can also help avoid feeling homesick and depressed.

Depression is a global concern that is very prevalent on post-secondary campuses. It can lead to all kinds of mental health related problems that can give students way more to worry about than just bad grades.

So, students, when you are hitting the books this school year, be sure to hit the gym to and keep both your body and mind sharp.99