Editorial: Get up and move


The past year, Americans watched COVID-19 cases increase. Over half of Americans said their weight also went up this year.

Editorial Board

Getting up and moving is beneficial mentally and physically, especially in the midst of stressful days.

We are actively staying away from the term “exercise” because any movement, not just any fast-paced run and intense ab workout, is good for you. Our days are centered around sitting. We sit at desks, on the couch, in the bed. And we rarely have time for regular activities requiring movement.

There are ways to be active, though, even in our remain-sitting-at-all-times world, especially if it’s for less than half an hour. If you can maneuver your desk to stand while typing, try that. Take a walk when on phone calls. Do jumping jacks in your room before a lunch break.

If you’re looking for a workout you can do from home and not alone, Iowa State’s Recreation Services has live online classes such as yoga and barre. This is a great incentive to get moving and have fun while doing so.

Any activity can be fun with a friend as well, so send a friend a text and ask if they’d like to join you on a hike or at the gym. If you’re having fun while moving, it’ll make it even better and easier to participate in.

Movement could already be a part of your life. Skateboarding or longboarding to class or with friends for leisure is moving. Riding a bike somewhere instead of driving is moving. Taking the stairs over the elevator is moving. It all counts. 

While movement can happen inside an apartment, dorm room, gym or house, being outdoors is so therapeutic. Physical activity and mental health impact each other constantly.

Being surrounded by greenery and animals has positive effects on improving mood, reducing feelings of anger, helping to make new connections and more. A little sunshine and grass can go a long way.

There are a lot of things that fall into the “I should do that, I’ll get to it eventually” category. Participating in some sort of regular movement is in that category. But it is so important, so it’s so worth it to rip off the bandage and force it into your schedule. At some point, it’ll be just a usual part of the day.

Students are more isolated than ever. Finding ways to stay active — no matter how small — keeps you healthy and improves your mood. 

Find a way to be active today and everyday. Encourage those around you to get moving too. Be active together or alone. It will add value to your life and become an interesting journey to see what positives come your way once you have regular movement in your day.