Body Blog: Survive The Stress of College Life with Exercise
What a coincidence it is that April is both Stress Awareness Month and when we all take finals. Cruel trick, world. A cruel trick, indeed.
Instead of grabbing a cigarette or another cup of coffee, use exercise this year as a way to alleviate the overwhelming feelings that come with cramming a semester’s worth of information into a few study sessions.
Clinically proven, exercise naturally decreases the amount of stress hormones your body produces and counteracts your body’s normal stress response. By working out regularly, your body will better be able to handle finals week and allow you to get in the amount of studying you desperately need. It will allow the burden of 2 tests in one day seem much less daunting than it really is. It will make the inevitable ‘F’ seem like a very doable passing grade.
So just take a deep breath and put on those sneakers before you hit the books.
How else can exercise help?
-Well obviously you’ve all seen Legally Blonde, right? So then, you know, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t!” Having a little oomph in your step will make the time go by faster and reduce the miserables.
-Exercise also acts like a time-out period for meditation. It helps you forget about the events during the day while you focus on one task: getting through the workout. This will ultimately allow you to later focus all your attention on your studies instead of any other drama (roommate? BF?) you may be dealing with.
-Lastly, exercise also helps lower symptoms of mild depression and anxiety while raising your self esteem. If you are not depressed, you still can benefit from this trick because who doesn’t need a little confidence in themselves when it comes to finals week?
Now that you are aware of how to combat stress, college life should seem like a cake walk. Right? If you only had the time to get that workout in…
Well, lucky for you I’ve got the best and quickest workouts for reducing stress. From one move to just 4 minutes, you have no excuse to not exercise.
1. Here is a mood boosting exercise you can do anywhere before you hit the books! It’s called a “hand walkout” and is a body weight move. It’s quick, it’s easy to learn and it’s great for your bod. Depending on your flexibility you can start with knees bent or straight and put your hands palms flat on the ground. Now walk your hands out until you are in plank position, then walk them back up to your toes. Watch the video to see how it’s done!
2. Try this energy boosting exercise that will wake up your entire body and help get you get focused for your study session. It is a yoga inspired exercise that opens up your chest and really recharges your body. If you love yoga, this move is a must before the heading to the libs.
3. If you have 10 minutes, try this fat burning ab workout that will have your entire body burning while working your core.
4. If you have just 4 minutes to spare, try The World’s Fastest Workout. It can burn as many as 800 calories after the workout is completed! How? It basically lights your metabolism on fire for the rest of the day! If you’re going to be at the gym, try this 4 minute workout on a bike that will burn just as many calories!
Instead of looking at this time as dreaded exercise, pick something you love (walking, tennis, basketball, or even dancing) and reap the mental and physical benefits. Focus on getting about 30 minutes minimum each day and you will be feelin’ good in no time.