By: Cameron Addertion ‘ 20, communications
College students today are experiencing anxiety and depression more than ever. Wellness and Recreation has certified wellness coaches on staff to help students manage their stress. Wellness coach, Zack Jenio ‘22 provides insight into how students can effectively manage their stress through physical activity.
How does physical activity relieve stress?
Students should begin with the goal of 150-minutes of exercise a week or 30-minutes a day. There can be a decrease in stress when there is an increase in exercise. “People that implement 150-minutes of physical activity can have cognitive growth, they can experience benefits outside of weight loss and strength gain,” said Jenio. Jenio shared that his clients in the past have felt more energized when they begin moving 30-minutes a day, caused by an endorphin rush.
How can you Move30?
Meeting the goal to move for 30 minutes does not have to be through the traditional exercise in a gym, but can be any physical activity such as sports or utilizing active study spaces. Jenio recommends walking for 30 minutes if structured exercise is uncomfortable or difficult due to a busy schedule. “You can fit in 30 minutes of movement by doing 10-minute spurts and it is just as effective,” Jenio said. The main goal is to reach 150-minutes of activity per week and to get your body moving in any way.
Improvements from physical activity
“Studies have shown that if people incorporate more activity in their lives they can have improved cognitive functioning abilities and can be more adaptive to stressful situations,” said Jenio. This means that someone who moves frequently or reaches the 150-minute goal may be equipped to manage their stress or stressful situations. People who exercise may have fewer symptoms of stress. “Studies have proven that when you implement regular activity you will have more energy both in the short and long term,” said Jenio. It is a common misunderstanding to think that exercise will only make you more tired explained Jenio, but instead, it will provide you with extra energy.
What are the signs that exercise is improving stress?
A definite sign that exercise is improving stress is when exercise becomes less of a task and becomes an enjoyable habit. This can be identified by an “I feel better” statement, Jenio can realize his client has had a mental shift of how he or she has benefited.
Wellness and Recreation is here for you
Take advantage of the resources Wellness and Recreation offers you by visiting Carmichael Complex and making an appointment with a wellness coach.