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Jesse Koester
November 11th, 2014
Tanya Zarlengo
Composition 2

Go Get Those Gains!!
There are thousands of stories of body transformations and lifestyle changes. People who
are active gym members were asked what keeps them going. There were many different reasons,
personal reasons, cliché reasons, and even stupid reasons. All of them had a reason though, and
all agreed going to the gym was good. Reddit user bviking said “I want to look good naked. I
like helping people move furniture or do[ing] general labor.” Another user named MrJetsondc
said “I’m 37. My dad died at 53. I don’t want to die at 53. I work out.” Whatever the reason they
know the benefits of working out, being active, and feeling alive. There are too many people that
don’t care: about their bodies, their lives, their children, but they should. To insure a healthy, fun
life, people should be fit.
One in three Americans are considered obese (CDC). Obesity is determined by a
Body Mass Index (BMI), which for most individuals it correlates with their amount of body fat.
In order to be defined as “obese” one has to have a BMI of 30 and above. People who are obese
are at a higher risk of weight related diseases. These diseases include: diabetes, high bloodpressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, even cancer. One in five deaths every year are linked to
obesity. (Laidman) The highest weight related death count has been attributed to heart disease, of

which 600,000 people die every year (CDC). Being overweight is a contributing factor to deaths
by heart disease and diabetes, it can have dire consequences.
In the survey mentioned earlier, Reddit user Sharebear_922 said “Self-confidence. And
as I get more into exercising, I'm realizing I love the feeling.” A huge benefit that not many
people take into account when exercising is the hormones that are released when you do. The
Endorphins that are released when you eat, are in pain, have sex, are also released when you
exercise. It causes a euphoric feeling, termed a “runner’s high.” (Scheve) Endorphins are
released when one switches from an aerobic state to an anaerobic state, basically the feeling
when you are running out of air but you can’t stop. The more you kill yourself during the
exercise, the happier you’ll be afterwards. It’s a good way to combat depression and relive stress.
As another user said “Seems to help with my depression and overall motivation in other aspects
of my life after I go to the gym. I look good, I feel good, it's a no-brainer in my situation.”
(Reddit-nickflip) Studies have shown that exercise has anti-depressive effects on people
(Martensin), and the more strenuous the exercise the happier people seemed to be. The problem
was starting for the depressed persons, when one is depressed, it’s hard to get out of bed, let
alone going to the gym.
Being attractive in today’s society is to be of value. Being of value tends to correlate with
rarity. In a society where one-third of the American population is overweight, being thin is rare,
thus valued. There was even a time when being overweight was considered attractive. In the
Renaissance a women was considered attractive when she was over weight (unfortunately 6pack-abs where still in for men). The reason for the allure was because if one was fat, then they
had enough access to food to become fat, thus rich. This is the reason why most of those master
paintings showed stocky and overweight people.

In a study by Devendra Singh, men were asked to rate the attractiveness of different
silhouettes. They consistently picked the fittest, healthiest individual, not too fat, and not too
thin. It’s science, even though it may be subconscious people pick partners based on their ability
to carry on your genes and ability to create perfect children. (Radford) Being strong and healthy
is a benefit in evolution. Thus being fit automatically makes people hotter. Despite what they
looked like before, people are more likely to attract positive attention when they are fit.
User Banhammer responding to the question stated above said he “started when my
girlfriend of three years cheated on me with my friend of five years. I basically started drinking
and going to bed by myself most nights near the end of the relationship. She went out and partied
a lot. . . After the relationship was over is when I realized how much of a slob I had become and
hated myself for what I had become. I put the bottle down and picked the weights up.” (RedditBanhammer) One of the main reasons obesity is rising is because the of the activity levels of
Americans throughout their life. If someone is active early in life, it is likely they will be active
later in life. If someone isn’t active early in life, they are more likely to become part of that third.
“As the origins of an active lifestyle begin in the early years of life, physical inactivity during
early childhood might have consequences for children’s current and future health, behavior,
social and emotional development, and cognitive function.” (Cliff 3) It’s easy to see that people
who have been going to the gym consistently find it easy to go, and people who have never set
foot in a gym, struggle to take the first step.

For University of South Florida
students, there are many options to take that
first step. When we took our tour of the
campus, we most likely saw the gym, and were
told about the hundreds of intramural sports
and classes. We know there are resources; it’s
getting motivated to make the change. This is where we form excuses as to why we can’t
workout. “I have so much school work,” “I volunteer,” “that place looks intimidating,” “I don’t
know how to lift,” “I don’t have anyone to go workout with,” are all common examples. These
are all excuses that mean nothing to the people who go to the gym every day.
There are 168 hours in a week, optimistically 60 of those hours are dedicated to school,
that leaves 108 hours to do whatever. If one were to work out 5 days a week for one hour that
leaves 103 hours. Compared to school, exercise doesn’t even put a dent in the time in a week.
This invalidates the “I’m too busy,” excuse.
There are two gyms open to students on campus. The main gym that is displayed during
tours and another on top of Fresh Foods Inc that is open from 6pm to 10pm. There are never
people in the other gym, at most 3-5 people. It has all the basics, treadmills, weights, ellipticals.
People just don’t know about it, it’s a good place to go if you are intimidated by the atmosphere
at the big gym.
There are many resources, videos, forums that people can look at to learn how to gym
like a gym-bro. is a good website where one can create a custom workout and
schedule. Even friends that workout are usually open to people who want to work out as well.

All students have an opportunity to do whatever they want in college, developing a gym
habit should be something everyone does. Whatever the reason, people should endeavor to
become the best possible version of their selves. Being fit insures your health, even your
children’s health if you think about it. College students are at their physical peak; they have
stopped growing, and are starting to decay into old people. Don’t you want to do something
before that decay starts?

Work Cited

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Adult Obesity Facts.” Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention. 9, sep. 2014. Web. 15, Nov. 2014.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Defining Overweiaght and Obesity.”
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 27, Apr. 2012. 15, Nov. 2014.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Heart Disease Facts.” Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention. 29, Oct. 2014. Web. 15, Nov. 2014.
Cliff, Dylan P. Janssen, Xanne. “Levels of Habitual Physical Activity in Early Childhood.”
Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development. Jan 2011. 1-6.
Encylopedia on Early Childhood Development. Web. 15 Nov. 2014.
Laidman, Jenni. “Obesity’s Toll: 1 in 5 Deaths Linked to Access Weight.”
WebMD LLC. 15 Aug. 2013. Web. 15, Nov. 2014.
Martinsen, Egil. Medhus, A. Sandvik, L. “Effects of Aerobic Exercise on Depression: a
Controlled Study.” British Medical Journel. Volume 291. 13, Jul. 2014. Ppg 109. US National
Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health. Web. 15, Nov. 2014.
Radford, Benjamin. “Why Thin Will Always be In.” Purch®. 11, Sep. 2008.
Web. 15, Nov. 2014.
Scheve Tom. Is There a Link Between Exercise and Happiness? InfoSpace
LLC. N.d. Web. 15, Nov. 2014.


Tcole6. “What is your Motivation?” Reddit. Reddit Inc. 11, Feb. 2014. Web Blog. 15, Nov.
a. bviking. Forum Comment. Reddit. Reddit Inc. 11, Feb. 2014. Web Blog. 15,
Nov. 2014.
b. MrJetsondc. Forum Comment. Reddit. Reddit Inc. 11, Feb. 2014. Web Blog.
15, Nov. 2014.
c. Sharebear_922. Forum Comment. Reddit. Reddit Inc. 11, Feb. 2014. Web
Blog. 15, Nov. 2014.
d. nickflip. Forum Comment. Reddit. Reddit Inc. 11, Feb. 2014. Web Blog. 15,
Nov. 2014.
e. Banhammer. Forum Comment. Reddit. Reddit Inc. 11, Feb. 2014. Web Blog.
15, Nov. 2014.