Monday, November 8, 2010

How to Get and Stay in Physical Shape

By Evan Troxel (Associate Editor of Sports Content)
With all the pressures of college—studying, getting enough sleep, doing your own cooking and laundry—there’s very few things harder than trying to keep oneself in good physical condition.  All college students want to do is to enjoy themselves and have a little fun. Staying in physical shape is not easy and it requires a person’s constant attention.  For some people it’s fun and for others it’s quite boring. 
Let’s ask and answer the question: Why do people need to be in physical shape?  A really good reason is that for college students to run to class when they sleep in too long (especially during finals week).
I talked with three people and asked them questions about staying in shape, their eating habits, their motivation for being physically sound, and any advice they would give to college students to stay in shape.  Here are their responses.
First, I interviewed Vaughn Meachem.  He is playing basketball for the college and is from Washington, DC.  Vaughn told me that running, calisthenics, push-ups, and sit-ups are good exercises and that daily exercise is vital to staying in shape.  I would also throw in jumping jacks to get your heart rate up.  He also explained that a person can be in good physical shape by not eating fried foods and fast food and no late night eating.  He also emphasized that a person shouldn’t intake a lot of sugars and dairy products.  I think basically just get your dairy each day and you should be okay.  Milk is important for strong bones.  Finally, Vaughn emphasized that drinking water is extremely important (duh!) and that physical fitness is not a big deal but it is.  Every person has to be disciplined not to eat too much and to exercise at least a minimum of 30 minutes daily.
Next, I spoke with another basketball player from Lincoln, Nebraska.  His name is Darian Davis.  I asked him what physical activities he likes to do to help him to stay in shape.  He responded by saying, “I like to lift, run, and play sports.”  He likes to eat oranges as a healthy food and his favorite sport to compete in is basketball.  Then, I asked him, “What motivates you to keep yourself physically sound?”  He responded by saying something like, “Playing basketball is paying for school.”  I wonder what else keeps him motivated.  Finally, I asked him, “Is there any advice you would like to give to college students to keep themselves in shape?”  He said something like, “Play intramurals and get your friends together” (to play a game or sport).
Finally, I spoke with Ryan Jenson from Dalton, Nebraska.  I asked him the same questions I asked Darian and he responded by saying, “I like to lift free weights and use the stationary bike for cardio.”  He told me the healthy foods he likes to eat are grapes, pasta, and probably the least healthy—protein shakes.  He then said something like, “I like to compete in football and wrestling.”  He also told me that he wants to keep himself (the same) physically in shape as when he was in high school.  Finally, the advice he’s giving is, “Take time out of your day to do that (exercise).  Health is really important.”
Here are some more tips I am suggesting for college students to be more physically conditioned overall.
Well, it’s a good idea to exercise an absolute minimum of 4 times per week.  This is effective if a person exercises four days in a row around the same time each day.  I personally would exercise 5-6 times in a given week (unless it’s really tough finals week).  I like to run and some days running helps to get rid of headaches by getting the blood flowing.  If you like to run fast, weightlifting will slow you down.  If a person weightlifts and runs on the same day then both will work effectively.  But you have to do them both.
It’s also very important to stretch (to prevent and avoid injury), warm-up, do your exercise, cool-down, and stretch again to conclude your exercising.  Setting goals for doing 10 push-ups for example, will help get a person started on exercising.  The buddy system helps everyone achieve their goals sooner.  So, it’s good idea to exercise with a friend.
I think it’s important that people eat fruits and vegetables daily.  Don’t forget about the dairy products, meats, and grains.  College students I think should get as much sleep as they can during the school week.
Getting plenty of sleep, doing your best in your studies, being prepared for exams, taking time out for fun, exercising, and eating healthy foods should result in a positive school year as long as a person puts the effort into it.

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