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Brittany Anderson

UWRT 1103
Ms. Caruso
4 April 2016
Exercise Matters

42% of college students claim that they exercise very little or not at all (Kilpatrick 87).
This statistic raises a huge problem in the lives of young people. Exercise is essential to
improving our memory, sleep, and energy level. So why do so many students not exercise? In the
research that I did for my synthesis paper I came to the conclusion that this is because many just
dont care enough to. We should care though; this is our health and ultimately our futures that
hang in the balance.
College students can easily be mistaken by thinking that they walk to and from class
enough to not gain the freshman 15. They also have a common belief that in order to exercise
you have to workout for hours a day. From the research I did in my synthesis paper I found that
this way of thinking is simply not true. Although walking to class is not enough an individual
doesnt have to block out hours a week to exercise. The suggested amount is 120 minutes of
moderate exercise a week (Godman). I believe the main question should not be about the benefits
of exercise on a college student. We all know that there are many benefits, but yet the question
should ask, How do we get the students involved in exercise since it is clear that this can benefit
them in multiple ways. According to research done by Kilpatrick, Herbert, and Bartholomew
you can expect more students to get involved in exercise if a sport or competitive activity is
involved (Kilpatrik 88). They believe that if college students had sports made more readily

available to them than exercising would not be as big of an issue within this demographic
(Kilpatrick 88).
When I first came across this argument I strongly disagreed. I though that schools already
had many programs available to students. As I did more looking into it I realized that, yes
students have the opportunity to get involved in a lot of exercise related programs, but the
problem is that they dont know how to. This article led me to realize that one of the problems is
a lack of the school supporting exercise and a healthy lifestyle. If colleges made it evident that
they want students to be involved in some sort of exercise than I know that more students would
jump on the bandwagon. As part of that mindset I wanted to create a pamphlet that could be
passed out at the student union or in different common areas around campus. This pamphlet
would explain different programs that the school offered in order to become more active. The
ultimate goal though is that the pamphlet would only be part of a bigger plan to implement a
healthier life style on campus.
Ideally I would want people to be more involved simply because the school is supporting
exercise and getting the word out, although I realize that probably would not be the case for
everyone. Because of this, I think part of the plan should involve making exercise more fun.
According to a study done by the University of Birmingham there is a significant increase in
peoples enjoyment with exercise if there is some sort of imagery involved (Stanely 1). For
example, many companies are now coming out with cardio machines that have some sort of
screen to watch while youre exercising. You can now make it seem as if youre running in a
forest, the heart of New York City, or anything in between. Imagine how much more enjoyable it
is to climb 70 floors to the top of a statue than just to climb the same number of floors on a stair

stepper at the gym staring at the wall. It makes sense right? People want to always be
entertained. Even while theyre exercising.
In order to implement this idea I think schools need to invest in more interesting
equipment. At UNC Charlotte the machines do not have any screens or settings to make your
time more enjoyable. Sure they have the TV screens in front of you, but that is never very
interesting especially since you cant hear them. Along with changing up the equipment schools
should also add more interesting classes or ways to exercise that hold peoples attentions.
Examples such as Zumba and kick-boxing classes are very similar to what I think every school
should try to base their exercise programs around. Sadly though, many colleges dont offer very
interesting classes past these two examples. Thats why I want to form a better work out plan for
the school that makes classes and the whole workout environment more enjoyable. In accordance
with getting the word out about a healthy lifestyle on campus I would have some classes taught
outside. What a wonderful combination of exercise and the great outdoors. This way the classes
arent tucked away in the gym where people have to go seek out the classes. Now the exercise
comes to you as youre walking around campus.
College is all about educating yourself in order to become a well rounded citizen.
Although we often think of our education as being strictly limited to things we learn in the
classroom, why cant we include learning about things outside of getting a degree? People
shouldnt feel like they cant go to the gym or swim laps in the pool simply because they cant do
everything perfectly. We often have this idea that since we dont measure up to the others that
already know how to do something that means that we should just avoid that activity all together.

There needs to be a designated time where students can go in and learn together how to use the
machines and equipment in the weight rooms. I say together because no one likes to be the one
who is being taught how to do something while everyone else is around. If we have time set
aside where people can go and learn with other individuals that are wanting to know how to use
these machines than they wont feel as intimidated.
A study by Social Indicators Research was done in order to test the relationship between
exercise and life satisfaction. They were not surprised to find out that there is a definite
positive relationship between working out and living a fulfilling life (Dolan 1). I think most of us
did not need a study to tell us this, but there it is. Colleges need to focus not just on the success
rates of their students academic achievements but also of their health achievements. So often we
see schools campaigning for people to go to the basketball and football games, but we never get
a text reminding us that we should take advantage of our free gym memberships. Why would a
school encourage people to go watch other people be active, but not encourage them to pursue
exercise on their own. This is an attitude that needs to change. Schools need to take
responsibility in getting the word out to inspire college students to exercise.

Works Cited
Dolan, Paul, Georgios Kavetsos, and Ivo Vlaev. "The Happiness Workout." Social Indicators
Research : an International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement.
119.3 (2014): 1363-1377. Print.
Godman, Heidi. Regular Exercise Changes the Brain to Improve Memory, Thinking SkillsHarvard Health Blog. Harvard Health Blog RSS. 2014. Web. 29 Feb. 2016.
Kilpatrick, M, E Hebert, and J Bartholomew. "College Students' Motivation for Physical
Activity: Differentiating Men's and Women's Motives for Sport Participation and Exercise."
Journal of American College Health : J of Ach. 54.2 (2005). Print.
Stanley, Damian M, and Jennifer Cumming. "Are We Having Fun Yet? Testing the Effects of
Imagery Use on the Affective and Enjoyment Responses to Acute Moderate Exercise."
Psychology of Sport & Exercise. 11.6 (2010): 582-590. Print.