Exercise, the Unspoken Word

exerciseExercise, the Unspoken word
By Sidra Abbas

“It’s hard finding time to exercise”, is a common statement among post secondary students. Is time really the only excuse?

Despite being stumped with piles of assignment, tests and after volunteering for many clubs and teams Yousef Raza still manages to devote some of his time to exercise. “I try my best to head to the gym at least 3 times a week,” says Raza, a third-year student currently studying at York University. “It’s all about time management, dedication, motivation and creating realistic goals,” he says.

After asking a handful of postsecondary students, it was found that to some extent, they all care about their health. Students can often find themselves resisting the daily hamburger or a canned soda but what about going for a jog? When asked how many students engage in physical activities, a very low percentage replied more than once a week. But why neglect exercise when it is in fact been reported to reduce stress which is something a most postsecondary student endure throughout their years of studying?

Not only does exercise reduce stress level and improve physical health, but studies indicate that it also increases brain activity. So when exams are around, start working out more! Research conducted by Arthur Kramer, professor of Neuroscience and Psychology, suggests that physical activity has a significant impact on cognitive functions. Kramer shows a particular professional interest in cognitive neuroscience and his research is supported by numerous organizations such as the National Institute of Health. However this does not mean you will become a more intelligent person, but rather your level of attentiveness and thinking will improve.

When we exercise, our heart rate goes up and more oxygen travels to our brain. The more preferential method of exercise for students should be aerobic exercises because it is proven through research, by Kramer that aerobic exercises result in more helpful brain activity than strength or weight training. Kramer Even still, it is important to make sure that a healthy balance occurs between cardio and weight training as they are both important to your body in their own respective ways.

Now, it’s time to use the resources available at your doorstep!

Thankfully, university and colleges actually care about the fitness of their students. There are gyms located in every university and college, which are being funded by your tuition money. Programs such as aerobics, pilates and yoga are also widely available. And for the ladies, snoop around a little bit and you will discover that your very own institution provides segregated fitness programs. The hijab excuse is way outdated.

Try it out! Explore what facilities your post-secondary institutions have to provide! Dedicate half an hour after school or in between class towards your fitness! Salaat is also just another way to exercise the body and not just the soul.


Josefowicz, C. “Sweating makes you smart: exercise doesn’t just make you look and feel better–it also keep your brain youn and strong..” Psychology Today 37.3 (2004): 56-58. SPORTDiscus with Full Text. EBSCO. Web. 15 Nov. 2009.

Kramer, AF, S Hahn, and E McAuley “Influence of aerobic fitness on the neurocognitive function of older adults.” Journal of Aging & Physical Activity 8.4 (2000): 379-385. CINAHL. EBSCO. Web. 15 Nov. 2009.


  1. Great article miss.abbas. 🙂 and can i just say….if u dont have time to go to a gym….you can always do excersices such as areobics and pilates or yoga at home.

  2. Physical activity doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym or joining a exercise program. It can range from just stopping at an earlier bus stop and walking home from there or walking up the stairs instead of taking the elevator.
    Be creative and try to incorporate these little things and they’ll surely add up to 30 minutes! Avoid thinking that you can only “properly” exercise if you go to the gym etc. And start small. If 30 minutes seems too overwhelming then begin with 10 minutes!

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