Some students have an unhealthy obsession with working out


Cam Sevaaetasi, Opinion Writer for The State Hornet, stretches before a workout at the Well.

Cambrie Sevaaetasi

Hundreds of students on campus are in gym clothes, having just worked out or on their way to work out. Spandex plagues the seats of classrooms and herds of gym shoes squeak across the halls.

Today it seems just about everyone is in a fitness frenzy. The doors to Sacramento State’s fitness center, the WELL, are constantly in motion. Exercise is definitely beneficial for our health and because of this fitness craze there is a whole new population of people now experiencing the benefits of lower blood pressure, freedom from obesity, reversals of type II diabetes… the list goes on. The question is how much is too much exercise? When does the goal to be healthy become unhealthy? And what can we as students to about it?

If exercise reaches the unhealthy limit there are physical, mental and emotional side effects that may occur.

Physically, if you over exercise or improperly exercise, you can cause injury to yourself. The body needs time to recover from strenuous activity. When that time is not taken, muscles, ligaments, tissues and joints can take a great toll. Also, if you are not educated in how to maintain proper form when performing exercises or not educated as to what your level of skill is you can cause great injury to yourself.

There are personal trainers available at the WELL. Membership to The WELL is included in tuition and has some of the most up-to-date equipment available for your use. Though training fees are not included in tuition, there is always someone available to give you advice on how to workout in a healthy way.

A “gym rat” is a term for someone who practically lives in the gym. Some are still mentally in the gym even when physically away. The mental obsession with reaching a physical goal can interrupt everyday life. When a goal becomes an obsession, meaning the goal has strayed beyond bounds, it now reaches into other aspects of your life. For some students, this means cutting into study time.

Asia Venable is a senior at Sac State and works out off-campus. Venable stresses that workouts at times conflict with school. “I have to choose [between] a great workout or studying, or sleep,” said Venable. “I find that working out does put me in a better mind frame to learn material, but fitting it in with school and work can be tricky at times.”

The WELL’s location also makes it a good choice for exercise. It’s located on campus next to the football field. In between studying sessions, you can quickly access it. The option to get your work out in and seamlessly get back to studying is readily available., The National Association of Anorexia and Associated Disorders states, “For some people, exercise becomes an obsession, especially when combined with a distorted body image (Body Dysmorphic Disorder) or a fixation on a particular body part.”

This brings up the topic of unrealistic goals. People may become fixated on a body type that is not necessarily conducive to their genetic makeup, making it impossible. The disappointment of being unable to reach this impossible goal can lead to emotional distress.

Emotional stress can develop for multiple reasons. A way to combat or prevent emotional stress from developing is setting realistic goals and maintaining patience as you work towards them.

Feeling the need to be fit and healthy are great goals, but as depicted above, it is not always the easiest to accomplish. “It’s all about finding a good balance”, said Venable.

Working out is amazing for your body and it’s great to utilize our on-campus workout facility, but sometimes, it’s good to skip leg day.