Your College Gym Membership May Be Essential
If you are headed off to college this fall, you might be shocked by some of the hidden costs of books, student activities fees, and such. You’re paying plenty and the idea of paying for gym time might not seem like a priority. But new information suggests that going to the gym regularly boosts students’ grades.
Paying for a college gym membership may be a great investment in your future.
At Michigan State University, researchers found that freshman and sophomore students who were members of campus fitness centers had higher grade point averages (GPAs) than students who weren’t members. They had earned more credits after four consecutive terms than non-member students. Freshman gym members were more likely to attain sophomore status (as determined by credits earned) than freshmen who were not gym members. Students with campus gym memberships also stayed in school longer and were less likely to quit college early.
The thinking of researchers is that being a member of the college fitness center helps teens feel more connected to the school and to their classmates. In addition to the familiar benefits of exercise, like increased oxygen to the brain and increased feelings of optimism, going to the gym may help students feel more at home at school and more committed to their education there. The link between gym membership and school success is stronger than just the link between physical exercise on one’s own or as part of a team sport.
The bottom line is that although paying for access to the campus fitness center may seem like an added expense and an unnecessary frill, it actually may make the difference between being successful at college and being less successful.
If you are headed off to college this fall, consider adding membership to the campus gym.
© 2014, Patricia Nan Anderson. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Ask for Dr. Anderson’s book, Parenting: A Field Guide, at your favorite bookstore.