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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Health means lifelong commitment, speaker says

By Devin Simkins/reporter

Collegian file photo  Students play a game of volleyball on SE Campus. SE physical education instructor Traci Stonum spoke with students April 21 about the need for exercise and healthy diets.
Collegian file photo Students play a game of volleyball on SE Campus. SE physical education instructor Traci Stonum spoke with students April 21 about the need for exercise and healthy diets.

Students need to start taking care of their health now so they can live long lives, a speaker told SE students April 21.

Traci Stonum, SE physical education instructor, had students out of their seats doing stretches before even speaking on her topic.

Exercise and dieting are important, Stonum said. Exercise and the right food can make an impact on college students, so it is important to start now.

“Everyone needs exercise,” she said. “It’s important for college students so that we stick with it to live a long life.”

Stonum used pictures and videos to show why students should exercise. Many students feel the same — there are other things they would rather be doing than getting out there and exercising. People can relate to one of these excuses: no time, no energy and no motivation.

“Find that someone or something that will motivate you,” she said. “Find a buddy!”

Students find it easier to work out when they know someone will hold them accountable, Stonum said. Having someone waiting at the gym or even having someone or something in mind while exercising alone can boost a student’s motivation, whether it’s a personal goal weight or wanting a healthier life when older.

“People that work out more do better in the classroom,” she said.

Stonum said the more physically healthy students are, the more alert they are in class. Exercising regularly will help improve brain function, which will help improve one’s GPA. Students often feel like their days drag by and can feel tiring, but exercising helps boost energy levels to stop those feelings. Exercising can even help the students who have trouble sleeping have a better night’s sleep.

“If you have 10 free minutes in a day, then you have time,” she said.

Students can change many things in everyday life to give them a little exercise, Stonum said. They can park in the back of the parking lot and enjoy a walk instead of waiting that extra five minutes for a front spot. They can take the stairs versus the escalator on their shopping days at the mall.

“The ACSM [American College of Sports Medicine] and AHA [American Heart Association] recommend that ages 18-64 have two hours and 30 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity,” she said.

Two or more days should be focused on muscle strengthening that involves major muscle groups, Stonum said. Flexibility is another important area, so people should always stretch before and after so that muscles are not torn.

“Diet is important for college students,” she said. “What you do now will affect you as you get older.”

Dieting will also boost energy levels. Students can often find it hard to eat healthy, but if money is budgeted correctly, it can be done, Stonum said. Bringing a tasty snack to school like fruit or a granola bar can help make the vending machine less tempting.

Students should spread out the time they go to lunch with their friends. It does not have to be a social necessity every day, Stonum said. When students do go out with friends, they should be sure to stay balanced when ordering and cover the food groups. It doesn’t mean dessert can never be eaten. It is allowed. Moderation is key.

“Water can be your best friend,” she said.

Sometimes students think they are hungry, but really they just need to drink water, Stonum said. Drinking enough water throughout the day is very important for anyone but especially for those exercising regularly. Water is also an important part of dieting too.

Stonum said students have many opportunities to get involved for their health. TCC offers many classes. Plus, students can join the Fitness and Health Club or the Volleyball Club. Participating in intramural events is a fun way to meet new people and exercise, she said. Stonum encourages students to take advantage of the workout facilities TCC offers because it is included in tuition.

“I just really want students to know the time is now and to not wait till they are older to take care of their health,” she said.

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