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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

The wonders of working out

Published: October 7, 2011
Section: Opinions

After a long day of boring lectures and pages upon pages of notes (or doodles), working out has to be at the bottom of your priority list. Wouldn’t you rather just fall into your soft, cozy bed and bury yourself in pillows and blankets to forget about all your assignments and papers? Why, after an exhausting day, should you torture your weak, sleep-deprived body by dragging your feet to the gym?

Believe it or not, pulling yourself out of bed to exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Unfortunately, the hardest part is actually getting there. We all tell ourselves we’ll go to the gym more often but we never actually follow through on that promise. Something always gets in the way and we put it off. And then one day we finally force ourselves to go to the gym and we have a productive work-out and tell ourselves we’ll get into some sort of routine. Until we forget.

I believe that as college students, we need to make exercising a higher priority in our lives. No, we shouldn’t put it above classes or activities, but we should try to get in some exercise every day. I’m not suggesting you head over to the gym right now, stack 200 pound weights on each side of the bench press and lift until your arms turn to Jello. There are plenty of other ways to work out. Whether it be going on a 20-minute jog down South Street, playing tennis with a friend or doing sit-ups in the weight room, it is all tremendous for our health and general well-being.

Now I know what you must be thinking. “Who in the world has time to exercise? I’m in college—my time is extremely valuable. I shouldn’t waste time every day working out.”

On the contrary, exercising is anything but a waste of time. Here are a few reasons you should take time out of your day to work out:

You will look and feel great if you exercise. Throughout the course of a day we consume lots of calories and, if we want to burn off those calories, it would be wise to exercise. And if you want to stay in shape, it also probably isn’t a good idea to lock yourself in your room playing “Call of Duty” and eating kettle corn every night. Also, exercise makes you feel good. That’s because when you exercise, your body produces endorphins, chemicals that induce happiness and calmness. So if you’re down in the dumps, put away the Ben and Jerry’s and head to the gym!

Exercising is good for your health. Exercising lowers your risk of a plethora of viruses and diseases. Pretty much any illness you look up on lists “exercise” as one of the ways to prevent such illness. And when you’re on a college campus where colds and flus spread like wildfire, you really should be taking any means possible to prevent getting sick.

Exercising is a nice way to de-stress. One of the reasons I love to exercise is that I have a ridiculous amount of stress in my life and I need an outlet to rid myself of that stress. You walk into the gym feeling tense and overwhelmed and you leave feeling light and refreshed (and most of the time, exhausted). And, if you’re ever angry, exercising is the best way to work off the rage in a constructive manner.

You can exercise with your friends. Although it can be fun to go to the gym every day by yourself, it’s even better if you get into a work-out routine with a group of your friends. Oftentimes, you tell yourself you’ll go to the gym, but you end up not going because you feel unmotivated. But when you’re going to the gym habitually with three of your friends, you have a reason to go. After all, you can say no to yourself, but can you say no to three of your friends?

It’s an excuse to get out of your dorm room. People at Brandeis always complain “nobody ever leaves their dorm rooms!” And from what I’ve seen, that’s pretty accurate. I know people who wake up, eat all their meals in their room, do their homework in their room and only leave their room for classes or to go to the mail room. That’s partially because we’re extremely lazy but it’s also because many people don’t know what to do or where to go. Well, going to the gym is a great excuse for you to get out of your room to see the sunshine once in a while.

Lastly, it’s just a productive way to spend your time.

There are tons of ways to work out—you don’t have to lift heavy weights until your veins pop out; you