Sample Five-Paragraph Essay

Bette Latta

Professor John Friedlander

English Composition I

18 December 2003

The Benefits of Regular Exercise

In recent years many people have become increasingly aware of the need for physical fitness. Almost everywhere people turn, whether it is to a newsstand, television or billboard, advice for guarding and improving health bombards them. Although much of this advice is commercially motivated by those eager to sell vitamins, natural foods and reducing gimmicks, some of it, especially that advocating a regular exercise program, merits serious attention. Such a program, if it consists of at least thirty minutes three times a week and if a person's physician approves it, provides numerous benefits. Regular exercise releases tension, improves appearance, and increases stamina.

The first of these benefits, the release of tension, is immediate. Tension builds in the body because of an overaccumulation of adrenaline produced by stress, anxiety, or fear. Doctors agree that performing calisthenics or participating in an active sport such as tennis or volleyball for thirty minutes releases tension. If a person swims, jogs or rides a bicycle for half that time, he or she should sleep better at night and have a better temperament the next day. In addition, after the release of tension, petty irritations and frustrations should be less troubling. For example, an employee upset by the day's work and by traffic congestion may rush home, argue with the family, and eat excessively. Taking about thirty minutes to release frustrations through physical exercise could help him or her to avoid this behavior. Planned physical exercise, therefore, can eliminate, or at least control, tension.

An improved appearance, which is a second benefit of regular exercise, is not as immediately apparent as a better disposition. Exercise takes perhaps a month or longer to show its results in a trimmer, firmer figure. Improvement, however, will come. A person who is ten pounds overweight, for instance, may be able during this time to burn away most excess fat and to tighten muscles, thereby reshaping the physique. Having improved muscle tone and even posture, he or she will wear clothes more attractively and comfortably. Combined with a sensible diet, an exercise program will also improve a person's skin tone. This improved appearance will provide confidence and favorably impress others.

In addition to the self-confidence engendered by an improved appearance, increased physical strength produces stamina. A stronger, healthier body is obviously more capable of working harder and, in fact, of withstanding normal fatigue then a tense, weak one. A worker who exercises should be able to complete a forty-hour week and still retain enough energy for mowing the grass, painting the garage, or cleaning windows. Similarly, the student who goes to school, keeps house and perhaps works part time should accomplish tasks efficiently. Equally important, this stamina helps to ward off illnesses such as colds and influenza. Altogether, improved endurance is one of the most important benefits of a regular exercise program.

Although easy solutions to the goals of losing weight and achieving an attractive, energetic body saturate the media, actually acquiring these benefits is not easy. The rewards, however, are fully worth the effort of an established exercise program that makes a person feel relaxed, look healthy, and have adequate strength for strenuous as well as routine activities.

This sample essay originally came from Southwest Tennessee Community College. After you have read the essay, you should go to this discussion of the individual parts of the essay. You should not think of the five-paragraph essay as the "best" kind of essay, but as a tool for developing your thinking skills.