Fitness for Young Professionals

professional woman holding a mug

By: Amelia C. Brown, MS, SCAT, ATC
Athletic Trainer
MUSC Health Sports Medicine

More than ever before, young people in America are experiencing a "crunch for time." With this incessant grind, young adults may unknowingly put their mental and physical health on the back burner, predisposing themselves to a myriad of health issues. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, adults between the ages of 18-25 years old show the highest prevalence of major depressive episodes with possible cardiovascular and other physiological complications.

To achieve success in the 21st century and combat common health issues, young professionals must prioritize their health with simple yet effect fitness strategies. According to the American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine, only 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per week is necessary to reap benefits. Benefits include lower blood pressure, balanced blood sugar, lower body mass, and better sleep. Additionally, Harvard Medical School found regular exercise to induce “happy and feel-good hormones” that effectively treat depression.

As a young professional, I have been in the battle of balancing education and social life, and obtaining work experience, while trying to keep my health and fitness intact. The key is consistency, simplicity, and enjoyment. Consider exercising with a friend for accountability and companionship. In the case of an international pandemic, try using google hangouts or facetime to accomplish safe, real-time socializing. Enjoy a free trial offered by many gyms and fitness centers to find something you enjoy. Lastly, if you are not into fitness as a hobby, and truly want to keep it simple, remember that health does not require a fancy gym membership or hours of dedicated training. Instead, try committing 30 minutes per day, only 5 days per week, to improving yourself. This can be accomplished with a couch-to-5k jogging plan, with my personal favorite by Hal Higdon.