Reduce college stress with sweat

There’s no doubt that college puts strain on all students. Balancing homework, jobs and a social life stresses students to the point where they may break down altogether. Though making time for relaxation helps to ease college anxiety, there is still a way to do so.

Whether you prefer Cooper or Glimmerglass Fitness Center, there may be nothing that cures stress more than breaking a sweat. Not only does it help tone the body, a good sweat session releases endorphins. In other words, it makes us happy. I know, there may not be enough room on the busy schedule to walk over to one of the fitness centers, change into workout duds and exercise. Consider this: if someone has 20 minutes to watch TV and go on Facebook, shouldn’t he or she be able to make time for 20 minutes of exercise?

Another barrier may be the miniscule amount of sleep students have on a regular basis. After cramming for tests in the wee hours of the night, working out may not exactly be the first thing on someone’s mind. Though it may be hard to lace up the Nikes and hop on the treadmill, consistency will make it seem less daunting over time; the more we do it, the less tiresome it gets. Another positive side effect is that it may help us sleep more soundly, providing lasting energy for the busy day to come.

Although there are other ways to ease stress, like ranting to a friend, or a good cry, physical exercise has been known for its feel-good after effects: the sense of accomplishment, strength and health. I know I always feel better after finishing 20 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical (even if I smell like chicken soup afterward). Don’t think it needs to be an hour-long session of strength and cardio workouts for five days a week, either; I’ve often heard that breaking a sweat for 20 minutes three times a week is plenty. So next time there’s nothing to do and time to kill, head over to Cooper or Glimmerglass, turn on your iPod, and get physical.

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