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Why We Exercise

Author: Anssel S. Nugraha ('24)

Have you ever had a sudden urge to start working out and improve your physical health? The BAIS Times wanted to consult the student body regarding their exercise routine. By interviewing seven candidates to answer some questions regarding the pros and cons of exercise, it can help those considering implementing more activity into their daily routines.

Well, why do we exercise? Exercising is known for its various benefits, mentally and physically, decreasing levels of depression, anxiety, and insomnia. The BAIS community often exercises, with Seong Hwa Park ('23) “exercising daily, at least an hour a day, 3-4 sessions a week”. Establishing a consistent routine like Seong Hwa Park would significantly increase your chances of showing results quickly; training 1-2 times a week can build familiar habits. However, there are other things to consider when it comes to good health besides exercise. Kathleen Montenegro Vieira from 7th grade suggests drinking at least 2 liters of water daily to avoid dehydration. Dehydration can be a serious issue when exercising; when people exercise, water is key to staying hydrated and having enough energy to continue exercising. Regarding results, Reinner Lokanata suggests tracking your calories and monitoring your diet to maintain a balanced diet and a healthy exercise schedule.

Photo Courtesy of Anssel Nugraha

Exercise can be exhausting at times and strongly affects your mood. Most people, like Jace Squiers, find that exercise helps them sleep better and maintain a healthy appetite. Others, like Reinner Lokanata, view the gym “like my therapy: it relieves stress.” Many lack motivation when exercising; Emory Faulkner exercises alone but finds herself more motivated when with friends.

For others, exercise can be time-consuming; Gwyneth Lie dedicates time during and outside of school to exercise. During school, she has PE with her classmates, while after, she has basketball club.

So what benefits come with exercise other than better physical health? Lionel Putra Hirina said his endurance increased when he started working out. Reinner Lokanata experienced muscle growth since hitting the gym. Training your muscles can help increase strength and flexibility.

So why should you start exercising? Some people, like Lionel Putra Hirina and Jace Squiers, exercise for fun by playing basketball and soccer; eventually, those sports became their hobbies. Or maybe you want to stay and maintain your healthy lifestyle by exercising like Gwyneth Lie. Everyone has different reasons for starting, but exercising has consistently helped each improve their physical strength and build healthier lifestyles.

Photo Courtesy of Anssel Nugraha

Some forms of exercise require a facility or equipment, like soccer and basketball, which need a field or a ball, and the gym, which involves weight lifting equipment. The next question asked by the BAIS Times is, ‘Do you prefer exercising in a public space or in the comfort of your own home?’ Kathleen Montenegro Vierra prefers using a public space like the BAIS campus to play with her friends. Some prefer going to a public gym like Seong Hwa Park who regularly goes to Bumi Pancasona after school. Most of those interviewed by The BAIS Times prefer exercising outside the comfort of their home in public facilities since they don’t have the equipment/facility to exercise at home. Don’t let lack of equipment get in the way of exercising, though; there are various ways to exercise without equipment, like cross-country or calisthenics.

However, there are a few downsides to exercising that you might want to be aware of before you fully commit. While sports are a popular way to have fun while exercising, they can be very competitive and have the risk of injury. Reinner Lokanata, and also most professional athletes, believe this is the number one risk while playing sports. Another concern on exercising for Kathleen is feeling sore or over-exhaustion. Our muscle fibers are torn apart whenever we place pressure on our muscles, making us feel sore the next day. One way to help you recover your muscles after a long day of exercising is stretching, which is typical for sports during a cooldown session. Ice baths can also cool the strain on your muscles. Recovery is mainly impacted by our food, so eating enough protein daily to help our muscles recover can lessen soreness the day after.

So why do we exercise? Exercise is like a friend pushing you through your hardships and bringing out the best. Don’t treat it like a routine, but as a part of your life!

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