Editorial Notebook

The benefits of exercise

Like any other RPI student, I have a lot on my plate on a day to day basis. I’ve got The Poly every Tuesday and Sunday, and fraternity business scattered throughout the week, in addition to a voluminous amount of class work. Don’t get me wrong; I love what I do, but I feel like I never have time for exercise. And I believe that exercise is an integral part of a healthy and well rounded life.

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 6 pm, I have karate class. However, due to Poly closing, I’m too fatigued to make the Wednesday practice. As a result, I feel bad, not only for missing class, but also for doing a disservice to my body by not giving it the exercise it deserves. I mentally and physically don’t feel the same if I don’t work my heart enough. Therefore, I’ve picked up running whenever I have an hour to spare here or there to pick up the slack.

Exercise, especially running, will clear the mind. It forces you to devote all your energies to the task at hand, training yourself to focus on a single thing. As a result, when studying or focusing on a single project later, concentrating becomes easier. Distractions are less apparent.

In addition to increasing mental strength, exercise has other benefits. In persisting with your routine workout, you’ll find yourself standing taller and more confident on a day to day basis. As a natural introvert, exercising helps me open up and make it easier for me to make conversation. Also, exercise trains you to be proactive; instead of being lazy, I’ve been achieving what I should do, along with accomplishing what I need to do. Get your heart racing ahead and the rest of your self will want to catch up with it.

It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do—running, lifting weights, or playing sports—as long as you get your heart pumping and perform your best, you’re doing your body justice. We, as humans, have naturally evolved to handle extraordinary amounts of bodily stress. After all, we were at one point persistence hunters, running after our prey over 22 miles for more than three hours until our targets collapsed from exhaustion. I’m not saying that we have to be able to run marathons, but it sets an example of what you or me are capable of.

A sound mind needs a sound body. Think about it; if you train your body to move regularly, like clockwork, your mind will only follow.