It’s no secret that sports are linked to a healthy lifestyle.

“By following a regular schedule of being physically active, individuals can benefit by improving their physical and emotional well-being,” said Cami Paulson, a Women’s fitness and wellness professor at St. Kate’s. Paulson is also the track and field coach.

A healthy lifestyle is not just having a physical well-being, it includes being emotional and mentally healthly as well. Joining team sports fulfills all of those.

“[College sports gives you the] benefit of having a built-in support system,” Paulson said.

“[Sports has helped me]embrace St. Kate’ and all the school has to offer,” said Olivia Damron, sonography ‘20. Damron runs cross country on the St. Kate’s team and has largely benefited from the sport.

Stress is a common feeling to college students, many who aren’t involved in sports claim they don’t have the time or are, in fact, too stressed to fit another commitment into their schedule. However, almost every athlete will make the opposing claim, including Damron.

“Running definitely helps relieve stress and clear my head of school work. It gives me a much-needed break in the day,” said Damron.

Ahna Neil, double major in biology and philosophy ’20 has nothing but adoration for her sport, cross country and track and field. Unlike Damron, Neil says participating in a sport does add a little bit of stress, but she quickly added that the coaches and staff excel at helping relieve stress with both school and running.

“I think that there are so many more benefits to playing a sport in college than the money. I feel that I have a small community that I would consider my family,” said Neil.

There has been a lot of talk about paying student athletes, although St. Kate’s athletes are not a part of this topic.

“If you love the sport enough, the money doesn’t matter,” said Neil.

Neil shows a passion for the sport as she continues to explain that being a part of the team has helped her become more disciplined and she believes it will help her in work ethic and attitude.

Molly Stewart, exercise science and nutrition ‘20, plays intramural badminton on a team with her roommate. She explains that being a part of intramural sports has helped her make more friends and create a stronger relationship with her roommate.

Badminton players Molly Stewart and Olivia Damron celebrate a successful game with a selfie.
Badminton players Molly Stewart and Olivia Damron celebrate a successful game with a selfie.

“[Badminton] has helped relieve stress because it was fun and I always had a good time!” said Stewart.

Stewart suggests that more people participate in the low-key fun atmosphere of Intramural sports.

Interested in how exercise can contribute to a few everyday health-related routines? Check out this chart comparing an athlete to a nonathlete’s sleep, coffee intake, and motivation!

Athlete Non-Athlete
Cups of coffee a day 1 4 or 5
Number of hours of sleep a night 6-8 hours 7 hours
Motivation to work out High Very Little

“Come to our home meet next year! Every athlete loves familiar faces at competitions,” said Neil.