Exercise And Undergraduate Students' Health and Well-being

Health is a universal trait; the World Health Organization defines health as a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease. Health contributes to general well-being and overall lifestyle. The increasing prevalence of obesity among young people is combined with a concomitant low rate of physical activity, with nearly 43% of college undergraduates reporting that they do not participate in either moderate or vigorous physical activity. Doing exercises can eliminate anxiety, tension, and stress under pressure conditions. The use of habitual exercise as a stress management technique has the benefits of mood enhancement, increased self-esteem, and reduced psychological and physical stress reactions. Physical activities such as basketball, tennis, racquetball, weight-lifting, self-defense, and swimming help students to improve and maintain physical, mental health, and the quality of lives.

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Many of the undergraduate students are placing their health at risk through lifestyle choices that include insufficient physical activity and unhealthy food choices. There is a high percentage of the students do not exercise frequently and suffer from increased body weight. College students can ensure both physical and mental health by focusing on consuming a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and getting adequate amount of sleep together with exercise and a healthy lifestyle.


Any physical activity could be considered exercise, but when talk about doing exercise, it usually mean activities that do purposely for fitness or training, rather than something that's part of our daily routine. In other words, exercise is a subset of physical activity i.e. planned, structured, and repetitive. Exercise is often related with maintenance or improvement of physical fitness.

Physical activity can be considered as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that require energy expenditure. Some of the physical activity can have a number of diverse physical outcomes. For instances, running and cycling increase aerobic fitness or stamina; weight training or using resistance bands increase muscle strength; yoga and stretching exercises increase flexibility and balance.

Physical activity categorized into two terms i.e. aerobic activities and non-aerobic activities. Aerobic-activities mean light to vigorous intensity physical activity that requires more oxygen than inactive behavior and thus promotes cardiovascular fitness and other health benefits like jumping rope, biking, swimming, running; playing soccer, basketball, or volleyball. Anaerobic activities mean intense physical activity that is short in duration and requires a breakdown of energy sources in the absence of sufficient oxygen. Energy sources are refilled as an individual recovers from the activity. Anaerobic activity includes sprinting during running, swimming, or biking need maximal performance during the concise period.


Exercise and physical activity fall into four basic categories— endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Most people have a habit of to focus on one activity or type of exercise and think they're doing enough for their health. Each type of exercise is different, however, doing them all will give you extra benefits. Mixing it up also helps to reduce boredom and stop the possibility of injury.


Endurance, or aerobic, activities increase your breathing and heart rate. They keep your heart, lungs, and circulatory system healthy and improve your overall fitness. Building your endurance makes it easier to carry out many of your everyday activities. Walking or jogging, mowing, raking, digging and Dancing are kinds of this type.


Strength exercises make your muscles stronger. Even small increases in strength can make a big difference in your ability. We can find this type of exercise in Lifting weights, using a resistance band with your own body weight.


Balance exercises help prevent falls, a public problem in older adults. Many lower-body strength exercises also will improve your balance. This type can be noticeable in Standing on one foot, Heel-to-toe walk and Tai Chi.


Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles and can help your body stay limber. Being flexible gives you more freedom of movement for other exercises as well as for your everyday activities. Some examples are Shoulder and upper arm stretch, Calf stretch and Yoga.

Depending on the overall effect on the human body Physical exercises can be generally grouped into two types:

Aerobic exercise: is any physical activity that uses large muscle groups and causes the body to use more oxygen than it would while resting. The goal of aerobic exercise is to increase cardiovascular endurance  Examples of aerobic exercise include cycling, swimming, brisk walking, skipping rope, rowing, hiking, playing tennis, continuous training, and long slow distance training.  

Anaerobic exercise: which includes strength and resistance training, can firm, strengthen, and tone muscles, as well as improve bone strength, balance, and coordination. Examples of strength moves are push-ups, lunges, and bicep curls using dumbbells. Anaerobic exercise also include weight training, functional training, eccentric training, Interval training, sprinting, and highintensity interval training increase short-term muscle strength.


Each one of us has a physical body made of muscles, blood, bones and various other living tissue. However, when any of these is injured or not working properly then we get ill. Nobody likes to be ill. So, it is important that we keep our body healthy and fit. Exercising the body is one way of keeping it healthy. If we do not exercise then our muscles become weaker and we are less able to do things properly. Also the bones can become weaker and thus break easily. It is performed for various reasons, including increasing growth and development, preventing aging, strengthening muscles and the cardiovascular system, honing athletic skills, weight loss or maintenance, and merely enjoyment. Frequent and regular physical exercise boosts the immune system and helps prevent "diseases of affluence" such as cardiovascular, type 2diabetes, and obesity. It may also help prevent stress and depression, increase quality of sleep and act as a non-pharmaceutical sleep aid to treat diseases such as insomnia, help promote or maintain positive self-esteem, improve mental health, maintain steady digestion and treat constipation and gas, regulate fertility health, and augment an individual's sex appeal or body image, which has been found to be linked with higher levels of self-esteem. Childhood obesity is a growing global concern, and physical exercise may help decrease some of the effects of childhood and adult obesity. Some care providers call exercise the "miracle" or "wonder" drug—alluding to the wide variety of benefits that it can provide for many individuals.

  1. i. Regular exercise makes the heart stronger and the lungs fitter, enabling the cardiovascular system to deliver more oxygen to the body with every heartbeat and the pulmonary system to increase the maximum amount of oxygen that the lungs can take in. Exercise lowers blood pressure, slightly decreases the levels of total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the bad cholesterol), and increases the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the good cholesterol). These helpful effects decrease the risk of heart attack, stroke, and coronary artery disease. In addition, colon cancer and some forms of diabetes are less likely to occur in people who exercise regularly. Exercise makes muscles stronger, allowing people to do tasks that they otherwise might not be able to do or to do them more easily.
  2. Reduce stress and anxiety: Stress relief is one of the most common mental benefits of exercise. Regular Exercise can help to manage physical and mental stress. Exercise also increases concentrations of norepinephrine, a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress. Being active greatly causes a reduction in tress levels. Aerobic and anaerobic physical training is helpful for overall health. When you do a 30 Minutes Exercise for 5 or more days in a week, it helps in lowering the desperation and mental stress. On the other hand Physical activity makes you more tired so you’re more ready to sleep. Good quality sleep helps improve overall wellness and can reduce stress. Regarding anxiety, the warm and chemicals that are released during and after any physical exercise can help people with anxiety disorders calm down. Jumping on the track or treadmill for some moderate-to-high intensity aerobic exercise can reduce anxiety sensitivity.

iii. Improves muscles and bones strength: Exercise involves a series of sustained muscle contractions, of either long or short duration, depending on the nature of the physical activity. Muscle-strengthening activities can help you increase or maintain your muscle mass and strength. Strong muscles and ligaments reduce your risk of joint and lower back pain by keeping joints in proper alignment. Additionally, with exercise improvements to the circulatory and respiratory systems can facilitate better delivery of oxygen and glucose to the muscle. Doing aerobics bone strengthening physical activity of at least a moderately-intense level can slow the loss of bone density that comes with age, along with that hip fracture is a serious health condition that can have life-changing negative effects, especially if you're an older adult..

  1. Reduce the Risk of Heart Diseases: The heart is a muscle and needs exercise to stay in shape. When it's exercised, the heart can pump more blood through the body and continue working at optimal efficiency with little strain. This will likely help it to stay healthy longer. Regular exercise also helps to keep arteries and other blood vessels flexible, ensuring good blood flow and normal blood pressure. Daily exercise helps in strengthening of heart muscles. It helps maintain desired cholesterol levels. Daily physical activity reduces one’s chances of stroke and the risk of heart disease.
  2. Preventing Obesity: Obesity and overweight are associated with increased risk for hypertension, osteoarthritis, abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, respiratory problems and some cancers. Obesity is a significant health problem all over the world for all ages. Genetics can play a role in the possibility that a person will become obese, the condition occurs when the amount of calories consumed exceeds the amount of calories expended over a long period of time. The more you exercise, the easier it is to keep your weight under control. Excess calories are stored as fat in the body, and with long-term caloric excess, an individual eventually becomes obese. Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn. Regular exercise (and proper nutrition) can help reduce body fat. Weight loss will achieve most effectively when we follow a cardiovascular exercise of moderate intensity activity accumulated over 5-7 days per week. Eating a healthy diet are ways in which to combat obesity.
  3. Sharpen memory: Regular physical activity increases memory and ability to learn new things. Getting sweaty increases production of cells in hippocampus responsible for memory and learninga. For this reason, research has linked children’s brain development with level of physical fitness, but exercise-based brainpower isn’t just for kids, regular exercise can boost memory among adults, too.

vii. Improves muscles and bones strength: Exercise involves a series of sustained muscle contractions, of either long or short duration, depending on the nature of the physical activity. Muscle-strengthening activities can help you increase or maintain your muscle mass and strength. Strong muscles and ligaments reduce your risk of joint and lower back pain by keeping joints in proper alignment. Additionally, with exercise improvements to the circulatory and respiratory systems can facilitate better delivery of oxygen and glucose to the muscle.


Physical activity and exercise as a vehicle for improving health Participation of Physical activity and exercise increases cardiovascular performance and respiratory fitness improves muscular strength, bone health and reduces hip and spinal cord factures, colon and other cancers it also improves health by reducing Type II diabetes  and also enhance psychological well-being by reducing depression.

Exercise not only makes you physically fitter but it also improves your all body health and general sense of well-being. Physical activity or exercise can reduce the risk of developing several diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Daily exercise can reduce stress and anxiety, boost happy chemicals, improve self-confidence, increase the brain power, sharpen the memory and increase our muscles and bones strength. Physical activity and exercise can have immediate and long-term health benefits. Most importantly, regular activity can improve your quality of life. A minimum of 30 minutes a day can allow you to enjoy these benefits.


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