As exams continue to overwhelm you and stressful decisions regarding future plans start to affect your work ethic, find inspiration and motivation through exercise.
Research has demonstrated that after exercising, the brain is more prepared to retain information.
Exercise: Use exercise as an antidote to defeating your winter blues. Go for a run to clear your mind, or take a bike ride as the weather begins to warm up.
Stretch: When you wake up and begin your monotonous daily routine, incorporate a ten minute stretch to warm up your muscles and wake up your brain. As your muscles begin to experience less stress, you’ll also begin to feel mental relief.
Take a deep breath: Deep breathing is a functional technique to eliminate unnecessary anxiety. Your body instinctively defaults to shallow and rapid breathing when stressed, so take a deep and slow breath to counter your natural tendency.
Take time to think: As you go to the gym or outside for a run, clear your mind. Allow your thoughts to wander when you’re releasing endorphins and focus on positive thoughts rather than negative ones.
Put things into perspective: Know that your feeling stressed is perfectly valid. However, the way you respond to your stressful situations will be the determining factor for your mental health. Consider how your decisions now can affect your future and respond accordingly.
Find fun ways to exercise: Whether it’s hot yoga, spinning or Zumba, invest your time into an exercise class that will motivate and encourage you.
Create practical ways to incorporate exercise: As you brush your teeth, do two minutes of squats or wall-sits. When you climb a set of stairs, take them two at a time or go up and down an extra time. While you’re washing the dishes, tone your legs with calf-raises. Walk or take your bike to places you already intend to go instead of driving. Hold your legs off the ground when you are sitting in class instead of keeping them on the comfort of the carpet. Make an otherwise boring task exciting by incorporating sensible ways to exercise.
Go the extra mile: Push yourself to do one more repetition or an additional ten minutes after you think you’re done exercising. Exercise will push not only your physical stamina, but also your mental endurance. Though your body says no, let your mind say yes.
Although in the moment it may be wearisome, in the long-run exercise will leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. You may see the positive physical results from exercising, making you feel better about your appearance, which can boost your confidence and self-image.
Every little bit of exercise can help your mind and body. Sometimes, you just need to get moving.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost