Get up and get active

Physical activity proven to combat mental health issues

The past two years have proved to be very trying times for people around the world and their mental health. While the battle against mental health is not a new one for some college students, COVID-19 really exacerbated the number of people who were experiencing a decline in their mental wellbeing. 

Being stuck inside for hours at a time everyday , left with nothing but thoughts running through your mind can be extremely tough. People do many things to help with their peace of mind such as therapy, reading, cooking, and exercise. 

However studies show that exercise is the best way to release endorphins in the body. 

Physical activity is a great way to release stress in the body and in the mind. It can reduce the amount of depression, anxiety, and even improve side effects of those with Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). 

Physical exercise can improve mild to moderate mental disorders. What many people do not realize is that the human body naturally stores stress, depression, and anxiety in its muscles and tendons. Therefore, exercising can help stretch out your body and release the tension. 

As someone whose mental health was affected by COVID-19, online classes, and days spent in quarantine, I can honestly say even just going out for a walk made a drastic difference in how I felt. 

Going to college can be hard and most college students will experience a mental health crisis during their time in school. A study conducted by The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds stated that, “73% of students will experience some form of a mental health crisis during college.” 

This supports the idea  that there is a mental health epidemic in college students regarding the challenges they face.  College is hard enough when one has to move away from home. Then when students actually get to school, they have to make new friends, go to class and do their work, all of this falls on top of essentially creating a new life for themselves. 

This can be an extremely stressful situation for young adults, and often leads to anxiety and depression. The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds also stated that, “College directors of counseling services are telling us that there has been a steady increase in the number of students with severe psychological problems and that the demand for counseling services has grown at least 5 times faster than average student enrollment.”

 This limits the amount of counseling appointments available to students due to the influx in those with psychological disorders. 

College can at times feel hopeless. However, getting out for a walk, going for a run, and even going to the recreation center on campus can alleviate a lot of the stress. The campus rec at Tarleton State University has a weekly schedule of classes they host for various different workouts. Anyone can go and get in a workout led by an employee of the rec center. During which attendees will be surrounded by other students who they may even find friends in. Workout classes are a great way to have a good time and break a sweat, all while being able to step away from everything else going on in life, even if it is just for an hour. 

For more information on mental health in college students, you can visit