How Exercise Affects The Brain and Body.
Why Exercise Is Important To College Students-
The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. And the benefits of exercise are yours for the taking, regardless of your age, sex or physical ability.
Although hours of studying burn mental energy, both your body and mind need physical exercise to function at their peak. But with high school gym class a thing of the past and no parents around to remind you to get moving, how do you stay fit in college?
College students, especially online college students, have packed schedules. Classes, employment, and family or social obligations quickly fill up your calendar. It seems cruel to add another obligation to the list, but here’s one to consider: exercise. Scientific evidence is piling up that shows regular exercise provides important cognitive benefits that could make your scholarly efforts a little less taxing.
How Are Colleges Trying To Promote Activity?
Students can use the MyPlate information to help create a healthy choices for now and in the future. Colleges (not all) offer free classes of multiple activities that you could do. Yoga, self-defense, weight-training, and jogging class are a few that can easily boost the body and the mind. Colleges also have Intramural activities that helps gets students involved in some kind of sport/activity.
Colleges like NYU create special events, challenges, and competitions for students to get them engaged in physical activities as well as in social-intertactive groups. NYU also encourages self-transportation, like walking and biking, in order for individuals to meet daily exercise standards.
(Link provided at the bottom of the page)
The Brain and Helping You Learn
As people get older, it is natural for some regions of the brain to begin to shrink. For instance, studies show the hippocampus shrinks one to two percent annually in people without dementia — a loss that is associated with an increased risk for developing cognitive difficulties.
The hippocampus is a structure in the brain that controls the formation, retention, and recall of memories. In most adults, the hippocampus starts to shrink slightly starting in the late 20s, leading to memory loss over time. For college students, the implication is clear: regular exercise could benefit the parts of your brain that help you recall information
Recent human and animal studies show that regular aerobic exercise has profound effects on the brain. A recent New York Times article, “How Exercise Could Lead To A Better Brain” , describes experiments performed on mice at the University of Illinois. Mice who ran regularly on a wheel had more neurons—brain cells—than those who did not.
(Article is available at the bottom of the page)
Also, mice who ran regularly had more complex connections between neurons, meaning they were able to access their brain cells more flexibly. Finally, the mice who ran regularly did better on cognitive tests, such as completing a maze. There's evidence that this direct relationship also exists in humans.
In an exercise study in Canada, teachers had students exercise on a treadmill 20 minutes before going into class and the teachers noted an improvement in the students ability to concentrate, participate, and retain information during the class after they had exercised. Inappropriate behavior also improved in the group that exercised.
(Link of Canadian Experiment at the bottom of the page)
Exercise, Stress, and the Brain

Controlling Your Weight
Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. The engaged you are and the more intense the activity, the more calories you will burn. You don't need to set aside large chunks of time for exercise to reap weight-loss benefits. If you can't do an actual workout, get more active throughout the day in simple ways — by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or revving up your household chores.
Controlling your weight can put some slight stress on the body, but the process gives a positive feedback emotionally making you feel confident and better about you and your body.
The MyPlate On Campus is a section of the MyPlate program to promote health and wellness to everyone and a specific section is dedicated to college oriented students that may need help maintaining healthy choices.
Health Conditions and Diseases
Regular physical activity can help you prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, and certain types of cancer, arthritis and falls. No matter what your current weight, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good," cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Improving Your Mood
Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.
How Exercise Effects the Brain

Boosting Your Energy
Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliver oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores.
Get Better Sleep
Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster and deepen your sleep. Just don't exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to fall asleep. Improved sleep can lead to better moods and less stress during the day. Having a good nights sleep can also help improve how you perform academically which is why it is always a good idea to go to bed a decent time before big tests or exams.

Getting Frisky
Regular physical activity can leave you feeling energized and looking better, which may
have a positive effect on your sex life. But there's more to it than that. Regular physical activity can lead to enhanced arousal for women. And men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don't exercise.
Have Fun
Exercise and physical activity can be a fun way to spend some time. It gives you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy.Sports-for-Fun-And-Workout.jpg Physical activity can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting. So, take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a soccer team. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it. If you get bored, try something new.

See For Yourself-Multimedia
New York Times Article
MyPlate On Campus

Canadian Experiment

Today Show


MyPlate On Campus

Mayo Clinic

New York Times Article



Frontiers in Psychology


College Picture

Sleep Picture