Bye bye, freshman 15

Photograph by Daderot at Wikimedia

Photograph courtesy of Daderot at Wikimedia

Drexel University offers its students a vast array of resources that can be used to help with both academic and nonacademic needs.

Upon arriving at Drexel, one of my biggest concerns was that I would become a victim of the infamous “Freshman 15.” I was never the kind of person that would workout regularly because physical exercise did not always agree with me.

However, my brother who is currently in his junior year at Drexel invited me to come to the gym with him in the mornings and I agreed, not realizing what I was getting myself into.

Saying that the first week was brutal would be an understatement. Having to get up at 6 a.m. every weekday was something for which I was horribly unprepared. After the first week I was ready to call it quits.

But strangely enough, I stuck with the early mornings because I knew that I would never be able to convince myself to go the gym in the evening after my classes were finished.

It wasn’t until several weeks later when I started to see and feel the results of going to the Recreation Center and working out each morning.

The healthiness that I felt was not strictly physical. I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back on it now, much of my healthy mental state was a direct result of working out.

An article on HelpGuide.org talks about how exercising can help with things like depression, anxiety, stress, ADHD and PTSD.

Out of those mental ailments, stress is the one that I remember feeling during the week of midterms. I was never stressed out to the point where I felt sick, but all the work that I had to do started to drain me mentally.

Working out made dealing with the pressure of exams easier for me because seeing myself progress each week at the Rec Center made me very optimistic about everything, and working out in the morning also put me in a good mood for the rest of the day, which also made my class experiences more enjoyable.

An article on the Huffington Post also talks about how working out can reduce stress, improve self-confidence, boost brainpower and even sharpen memory among other things.

There have also been studies done which indicate that college students who workout at their campus gym were more likely to get a higher-grade point average than students who don’t work out.

One study that illustrates this is an article on Purdue.edu that discusses how working out can in some cases improve academic performance.

Recently, working out has definitely had an impact on my academic performance. Now, I only workout on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and I’ve come to notice that I am more active on these days and I tend to get more homework done.

Working out has also helped me become more consistent when it comes to getting things done. Learning to dedicate a few hours each morning to my physical health made it easier for me to dedicate a few hours every evening to studying.

I can say with great confidence that I have become a more diligent and hardworking person as a result of working out, and being physically healthy is a nice bonus.