Academic Benefits of Working Out

Garrett Webber, Reporter

Life as a college student is an exciting time in a person’s life. Freedom from parents, meeting new friends, and the opportunity for new experiences are all chances in these years, however, these thrilling times are accompanied by challenges. Time management, difficult classroom concepts, homesickness, and many other hindrances in the life of a college student can creep up. Combating these challenges is key to a successful and beneficial college experience. There are many ways to do this, but one specific method is exercise. 

There are benefits that working out can provide for you, but there are also harms which working out can help prevent. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) states that regular physical activity reduces the risk of many diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cancer, along with anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression are giant hurdles to deal with for any person, and especially college students. Balancing classes, work, and a social life can be extremely difficult without any psychological obstacles. Working out can prevent or alleviate many of these obstacles, making your experience as a student more enjoyable. Additionally, working out helps prevent sickness in our bodies. Sickness causes us to be absent from class, along with decreased energy levels. As they say in sports, sometimes the best offense is a good defense. This saying holds true when talking about the human body, as well.  

Working out increases our ability to focus. This is extremely beneficial for students whether for studying or attending lectures. Working out also improves the quality of our sleep, along with increasing our energy levels while we are awake. This can come extremely handy around midterms or finals when sleep comes at a premium. Taking time to exercise may seem like it takes time away from your productivity as a student, but it is quite opposite. Just an hour of exercise can provide students with a way to clear their mind of what is on their plate and decompress. The CDC explains that students who work out tend to “have better grades, school attendance, cognitive performance, and classroom behaviors.” Not only does working out prevent things that hamper our educational experience, but it provides certain benefits as well. 

Lastly, working out improves our social abilities as well. College is not only a place to develop valuable skills to guide us in our careers, but it is also a place to meet new friends. Exercise releases endorphins, which make people happier. Being in a good mood makes other people want to be around us more. Also, working out makes us feel more confident about ourselves. Boosted confidence is a good thing to have in any walk of life, especially as a student when networking and stepping out of our comfort zone. The gym is also a wonderful place to meet new people. I met a few of my closest friends while playing pickup basketball in the afternoons at the Wellness Center. 

Exercise does not have to happen every day, especially for college students. Classwork, studying, and jobs are higher on the totem pole than working out for students. As explained, though, exercise can alleviate stress and improve our ability to perform the more important things in our lives. Exercising for just a couple of days a week can substantially improve our lives as college students. 


Garrett Webber is a Dakota Student General Reporter. He can be reached at [email protected]