Your body thrives on physical activity. The more you use your body, the stronger and healthier you become. Often the college years represent a turning point in physical fitness. Students are busy with classes and homework and often devote less time to physical activity. The rewards that you get from exercise are immediate. It boots energy, improves mood, relieves stress, improves sleep, and makes you look and feel great! Long term benefits of exercise include slower bone density loss, lower risk for many chronic diseases, and extended lifespan. (Hales, 2006).
The Ideal Exercise Program
There are five key components to a health-related fitness program. These components include cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body composition (CSEP, 2004). The ideal exercise program will improve all five of these components of fitness. Cardiorespiratory endurance can be improved with activities such as fast walking, jogging, bicycling, and swimming. Muscular strength and endurance can be improved with weight lifting in a fitness centre or in a group exercise class. Flexibility can be improved with a regular stretching routine or by joining a Yoga class. Body composition will be improved when all the other components of fitness are improved upon as well as when a healthy diet is followed. The best thing to do is to find an activity that you enjoy, find a friend to do it with, and have fun!
Nutritional habits are often established in early adulthood, during the college years. These habits are very important because they are likely to continue throughout the adult years, either positively or negatively affecting health (Greenberg et al, 2004). The easiest way to eat a healthy and balanced diet is to follow the Canada Food Guide, available at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/index-eng.php.
The Physical Education Building at Lethbridge College offers members a wide variety of fitness options. The Lethbridge College Fitness Centre is a comprehensive training facility which includes strength training machines and free weights, portable equipment, and several different types of cardiovascular machines. Personal Trainers are available for fitness testing, creating training programs, answering questions, as well as personal training individuals or groups of two to six people. The Val Matteotii Gymnasium includes three full-size courts which are often open for drop-in basketball, badminton, running, and other fitness activities. There are four international squash and racquetball courts and a very popular squash league runs throughout the academic year. There are also outdoor tennis courts open to anyone all year round. Both the men’s and women’s change rooms have newly renovated steam rooms as well as lockers for rent. In addition to these facilities, Lethbridge College is adjacent to the river valley which contains hundreds of kilometers of running trails and a newly established mountain bike course.
Greenberg, J.S., Dintiman, G.B., Oakes, B.M., Irwin, J.D., Morrow, D. (2004). Physical Fitness & Wellness: Second Canadian Edition. Toronto: Pearson Benjamin Cummings.
Hales, D. (2006). An Invitation to Health: Brief Fourth Edition. Belmont, CA: Thomson Higher Education.
Health Canada (2004). The Canadian Physical Activity, Fitness & Lifestyle Approach: CSEP – Health & Fitness Program’s Health-Related Appraisal & Counselling Strategy, Third Edition. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology.