If you’re amidst a stressful time, take it to the gym. The endorphins emitted during exercise give the body a natural and feel-good high, and have the ability to relieve stress. All forms of exercise can have this effect on the body whether it be yoga or cardio, because they line up the functions of the mind and body to work as one. Try these stress-reducing exercises to get the most out of your workout.
The deep breathing and meditation involved in yoga are major advantages that deem it as the most effective stress-relieving exercise. Chances are if you’re stressed, you’re also busy, and the beauty of yoga is that you can practice by yourself in the comfort of your dorm room, or even outdoors. If you have the time, there are plenty of classes available to take at the gym with instructors. Off campus, there are various yoga studios offering Bikram, Vinyasa and other types of yoga.
Ever heard of runner’s high? Before starting your homework after your afternoon classes, clear your mind by running. Whether it be on the treadmill or around campus, you’ll feel refreshed and focused when you sit down to work on your assignments.
If you don’t have much time to squeeze in a workout, this is what you’re looking for. Circuit training provides an intense workout in a short amount of time by switching between weights and cardio with short rests in between each. Doing reps of squats with weights in each hand and alternating to different sets of ab workouts would be an example of circuit training. This type of exercise is short and sweet and works as an instant mood-booster.
This is a low impact type of exercise that relieves both mental and physical stress. Swimming will keep you cool and comfortable, and will also help you to focus on your breathing. This will put your mind at ease.
This is a wide spectrum. You could be on the elliptical, treadmill, rowing machines – anything. These types of exercises have many mental and physical benefits because they require you to keep your mind active as you pay attention to your pace, speed, etc. Also, if you’re listening to music on your iPhone or iPod, you’re able to tune out, which also lowers stress.
In addition to exercise, to maintain a healthy body and attitude you must have a good diet. Foods that are high in sugar and caffeine will leave you feeling dreary and unenergized. Foods rich in protein, such as smoothies (available in many areas on campus), will keep you alert, which lets you get more done and lowers stress levels. Keeping a positive and stress-free mindset is a mixture of exercise and diet, and if you’re doing both the right way, you’re bound to manage your time better and work more effectively. Put yourself to work and pump out as many endorphins as possible.
By Zoe Malliaros