Let’s work it out: Exercise builds mental, physical health

Rebecca J. Taggart, News Editor

Maintaining health involves eating well, sleeping the right amount and exercising. Exercising may be considered a staple in a daily or weekly routine.
Sophomore Kimberly Geer works out on her own and does her own research to stay healthy.
“Exercise is an important aspect in improving and maintaining our mental and physical health,” Geer said.
Athletic trainer Paige Hughes said everybody should be working out, but those workouts shouldn’t be limited.
“Being physically active can be way more than going to the gym or the track,” she said. “You could work out at home, at your work place or desk. You don’t need to go to a gym and get a membership to be healthy.”
One form of exercise is cardio ­­— activity that increases the heart rate over a prolonged amount of time. This could be running or HIIT, high-intensity interval training workout.
“Cardio focuses on improving circulation of oxygen throughout the different systems in the body, making it easier on the heart,” Geer said. “I enjoy running. It is a healthy distraction from whatever is on my mind; it’s like an escape.”
Another form of working out is strength training. This is where you use weights to build up muscle. Weight-lifting is junior Zayne Foster’s preferred exercise.
“It relieves stress and makes your body feel better,” Foster said. “Squats, bench press and rows are three of the best exercises that help you all around.”
More forms of exercise are aerobics that focuses on strengthening the lungs. This could be yoga and pilates.
“These workouts that focus on breathing really help improve mood and mental health,” Junior Kaydyn Ritchie said.
Concerning mental health, exercise can be used as a form of therapy to relieve stress. Exercise releases endorphins, a chemical signal in the brain that increases a feeling of well-being.
“If I’m mad, I run, if I’m sad, I run, if I’m just bored, I run. I set goals for myself and I always push myself to reach them,” Geer said.