A healthy person between the ages of 18-65 should be getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, five days a week. Between studying, cramming for mid-terms, and other extra-curricular activities, it is a challenge for some university students to find ways to exercise throughout their hectic day. However, UTM has a solution to get you moving even if your schedule seems impossible to work around.
The RAWC offers free drop-in classes for all UTM students that need a quick workout between classes. They offer a variety of group fitness classes to choose from. If you enjoy team sports—the gym always has intramural games, like soccer or basketball. For drop-in fitness classes, they have yoga, pilates, boot camp, and more.
Group fitness is great for motivating one another to achieve our exercise goals. I recently went to an indoor cycling class in the fitness studio. I severely underestimated biking and thought it would be a relaxing and slow class. The instructor would time the workout according to the intervals of different exercises. The first ten minutes of biking started off slow. We had to maintain a steady speed and then increase the tension as we continued. Then it became increasingly more difficult. For some sets, we had to increase pedalling speed. I could feel my calves burning, but the instructor encouraged us to continue, despite how badly we all wanted to stop. If you stop, then it causes you to lose momentum and therefore, it becomes much harder to start up again. For other intervals, we would stand while pedalling for ten seconds at a time. By the time we cooled down, and did our final stretches, my entire body ached, and I could hear my heart beating out of my chest. But I felt accomplished that I met my daily exercise quota, while learning to perform better at a form of exercise.
Indoor cycling is a great form of aerobic exercise that keeps your heart rate up for 40 to 60 minutes. Continuous cardiovascular exercise over time can help reduce your blood pressure and your overall resting heart rate, and reduces the risk for diseases such as coronary heart disease.
All forms of exercise have lasting benefits for the body which can help you perform better at school. Exercising can help people de-stress because of the release of endorphins to the brain when you work out. It also helps to sharpen judgement skills and reduce the risk for depression.
It can be difficult to get back into a daily regimen of exercising after a long summer break, but don’t worry, you don’t have to go full force right away. It is best to ease your way into it to eliminate your chances of “burning out,” which will cause you to become too tired to exercise. Start off slowly at 30 minutes a day doing a mix of aerobic and anaerobic exercises and build from there. Create goals for yourself each week and don’t be afraid to try new forms of exercise, especially around campus where there are many resources and instructors at the RAWC to help you with your exercising endeavours. So whether you’re a seasoned athlete or giving a go at the gym for the first time, starting to exercise is the first step to living a healthy life and improving your personal well-being.