Staying fit while under pressure

by Juliette Torres

Most students are very busy keeping up with their social lives while also studying. However, what most students tend to forget is to take care of themselves. Healthy lifestyles are necessary in order for students to be able to keep up; both mentally and physically. The introduction of the sedentary lifestyle of the average college student should be taken into account and there’s always room for avoiding that dreaded “freshman 15” or just to stay fit.

As a kinesiology professor and athletics coach, Toby Schwarz knows what is needed to help students stay in shape. For those who are already active, they don’t need to fit in too much of an active workout schedule.

“For those who are usually stuck behind a computer desk, they generally need more exercise than others,” Schwarz said. “The minimum is three times a week for 20-30 minutes of cardiovascular workouts to be effective. This could be anything from playing intramural sports to going to the gym. The goal is to get sweaty.”

With Schwarz’s advice, students should be able to maintain their normal weight and body size as they continue with their studies. However, if students want to lose weight or even build muscle and tone themselves, they’ll have to put in a lot more time and effort into the gym and activity in general. And if working out is an option for the average student, then a few things should be kept in mind.

Taylor Johnson, junior psychology and nursing major, advised students to control their weight.

“If you’re trying to burn fat, focus more on running,” Johnson said. ”Mainly because you’re increasing how much fat you want to lose as opposed to building up your muscle with exercises like si

t-ups. However, don’t try to deprive yourself when it comes to your nutrition as well. It’s something I’ve personally been struggling with but have been able to set realistic goals for myself and I advise others to do the same.”

Schwarz advised students to drink water before and during the workout since your body will be releasing sweat and may become dehydrated. Gatorade is used more often for replenishing electrolytes lost during a workout. If a student wants to set a 10 pound weight loss goal for themselves, they should have a balanced diet and exercise and are recommended to cut their calorie intake by 400 to 600 calories a day.

Both Schwarz and Johnson said they believe diet and weight loss is about portion control and not depriving yourself of nutrients. It’s not about not eating, it’s about not over-eating.

The advice being given to students sounds easier said than done, so here’s what an average Whitworth student has to say about her experiences with health and fitness thus far in the school year. Eduarda Coelho, junior and graphic design major, said her goal is to stay healthy while attending school.

“I have been more healthy here than I was at home where I was really busy,” she said. “I see people who complain about studying and working. People work maybe 9 hours a week, yet I’ve had friends at other universities who work maybe 4 to 6 hours a day and still find time to work out. The workload is lower here so people don’t really have a reason to not work out in my opinion”

Though Coelho said not all of the food choices at Whitworth are extremely healthy, she is still able to decide for herself whether or not she will stay true to her goals. She said that she struggles mainly with the sweets that Saga has to offer, but chooses to have salads and get the protein she needs from other foods as well.

Some words to live by for students on their journeys to healthy lifestyles are: Get sweaty, don’t deprive yourself of food, and consider the options when choosing what style of exercise you wish to pursue.

Contact Juliette Torress at

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