Article: Working Out is an Addiction

Read this article that I wrote for the Post Bulletin about how exercising relaxes me! I believe that everyone should exercise for at least 30 minutes daily to de-stress. Check it out below!

As I stepped onto the gym floor after a strenuous study session, I never imagined how relaxed and energized exercise would make me feel. As I did my squats and lat pull-downs, I felt a new sense of motivation and life that gave me an appreciation for all the hours my older brother spent in the gym. I realized that working out is a much more stimulating and productive break from studying than watching a TV show or being on a screen. From that day, I guess you could say I’ve been addicted to working out.

During the school year, it’s nearly impossible to find time for anything in one’s schedule, especially making a one to two hour block to go to a fitness club. For me, I always used tennis as an excuse to say that I was extremely active, but the reality was that I only played tennis twice a week for two hours each. Since middle school health class, teachers have been telling us that people should be active for at least 60 minutes a day in order to maintain health, whether that’s walking, playing a sport, or working out at a gym. However, since I started high school, I’ve found it challenging to find 60 minutes in my packed schedule. During breaks from my studies, I watched TV and further strained my eyes on a screen instead of disconnecting and maintaining my health. 

Exercise is not only good for physical health but also mental health and wellness. People who work out experience more relaxation and energy in their daily lives due to receiving better sleep. As shown in a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, running for fifteen minutes or walking for an hour a day can reduce the risk of depression by 26%. Additionally, exercise can treat mild depression, as the brain releases endorphins (feel-good and energizing chemicals bc). Medical professionals often recommend daily exercise as an alternative treatment for common mental illnesses and learning disabilities such as anxiety and ADHD before trying medication that has side effects. Exercise is also known to benefit mild PTSD, as it serves as a distraction and allows people to focus and hone in on the physical activity that’s being performed instead of lingering on a traumatic incident. For me, exercise definitely helped with eradicating stress which is common to every teenage student.

Ever since my brother took me to the gym one day to give me a break from school and screens, I haven’t stopped the habit. I was inspired by him and continue to exercise every day, whether that’s by playing tennis or going to the gym. Although the physical effects are great, the mental effects are extremely underrated. I have experienced improved sleep, minimal stress, and more energy since I started the healthy routine. I also spend less time on screens during this one to two hours, which can be beneficial for eyesight and sleep patterns, as schoolwork and other activities are mainly on screens. Although you will wake up with sore muscles the first few visits, I strongly recommend that everyone takes at least forty-five minutes of their time to be active daily.

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