The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

Physical fitness and wellness, the importance of exercise

Exercise is praised for physical fitness and recommended by medical professionals for its benefits on mental health and helping maintain a positive outlook on life.

The De Anza College Physical Education department supports students making time for fitness. Courses focus on aerobic conditioning of the cardiovascular system, toning muscles, increasing coordination and flexibility, developing sports skills and critical thinking.

These activities support total wellness and, according to De Anza P.E. department Instructor Farzaneh Ghiasvand, positively impact physical health throughout all ages of the
life span.

Ghiasvand, who has a doctorate in Exercise Science, said there are many years of proven research on the benefits of exercise to health: increased natural energy, maintaining a healthy body weight, aging healthfully and reduction of risk factors for many diseases through prevention are aspects of fitness Ghiasvand said she strongly believes in.

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To Ghiasvand, fitness is a total approach, and she recommends students take classes with the De Anza nutrition program to support their wellness goals.

“Consistency with exercise is important to seeing lasting effects,” Ghiasvand said.

In addition to P.E. classes, De Anza maintains a Lifetime Fitness & Wellness Center in PE610 that is available through P.E. classes and with paid memberships.

De Anza Fitness Center Certified Personal Trainer Jennifer Raether, who has a Bachelor degree in Biology said, “The benefits of exercise to student health [include] stress reduction, an increase in energy, taking a break from studying, and confidence building as the student reaches their fitness goals.”

Raether said people who work out tend to develop a better body image and a more positive outlook on life.

“Exercise benefits positive coping mechanisms (stress relievers), helps decrease anxiety and depression, manage anger and aggression and can be a good way to connect socially,” psychology professor Shannon Hassett said.

According to Hassett, documented research shows exercise benefits the brain directly by increasing production of serotonin, endorphins and dopamine, all of which combine and help with positive outlook to oneself.

Current student Cecilia Swarray, an English language major interested in studying Law, said that as she’s aged she notices positive health benefits from exercise.

Swarray, age 40, walks an hour or more on days she is taking the bus to appointments in town. Originally from Liberia, Swarray said she tries to keep a positive attitude, that laughter is good for your heart.

Swarray, who plans on taking a swim class at De Anza, said, “Exercise is a way to make time for yourself no matter how busy you are.”
Students should also consider exercise as a boost to their current study routine.

“Newer research on neuroplasticity indicates that aerobic exercise helps with forming new connections in the brain (learning) and helps generate new brain cells,” Hassett said.

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