Exercise to Manage Stress

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Christie Stewart
Assistant Director of Campus Recreation - G.I.T. FIT Programs

As any college students knows, finals week can be one of the most stressful times throughout the semester. Recent statistics show academic requirements becoming more rigorous and students experiencing more headaches and other physical ailments related to stress. Unfortunately, it is during this demanding time when many physical activities and stress reduction techniques take a back seat to studying. In fact, there are many practical activities that may physically and mentally benefit your student during this time.

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) has identified four ways exercise controls stress:
1. Exercise can help you feel less anxious. Following a session of exercise, clinicians have found a decrease in electrical activity of tensed muscles. This exercise session can provide a chance to clear your mind and take a much needed break from studying.
2. Exercise can relax you. One exercise session generates 90 to 120 minutes of relaxation response. This post-exercise euphoria can help improve your mood and leave you relaxed and refreshed for the next study session.
3. Exercise can make you feel better about yourself. Many individuals feel a sense of accomplishment after exercise. This feeling of self-worth can aid in stress relief.
4. Exercise can make you eat better. People who exercise regularly tend to eat more nutritious food. Proper nutrition can assist with the management of stress.

What types of activities can students choose from?
Cardiovascular Activities: Just 20 minutes worth of aerobic activity daily can help with stress.
Yoga: Yoga is a great way to clear and strengthen your mind. Recent studies have shown that when large muscle groups repeatedly contract and relax, the brain releases specific neurotransmitters that can help you feel more relaxed and alert.
Recreational Activities: Find a partner or group and play a sport such as racquetball or basketball. The CRC offers many activities that can provide a social outlet as well as physical activity that can assist with reduction of stress-causing hormones.

The CRC also helps students find stress-reducing activities during finals week.
Chair Massages: The CRC will be offering chair massages on Monday, December 8 from 5:00-7:00 pm. This will give students an opportunity to get in a workout and relax with our licensed massage therapist.
FREE Group Fitness: During the week of December 8-12, the G.I.T. FIT program will offer fitness classes free to all students. Classes include Power Yoga, Indoor Cycling, Bootcamp, GRAVITYinterval, and Water Fitness.

It is also important for students to remember to eat healthy snacks including apples, bananas, granola bars, and bottled water throughout the week. Making time to exercise is an important factor in controlling stress - it is worth effort! For more information, visit the CRC Web site.


  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created By: Rachael Pocklington
  • Created: 11/30/2008
  • Modified By: Fletcher Moore
  • Modified: 10/07/2016


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