How to manage your stress from finals with exercise

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“Dead week” is the time when college students start to cram homework and reviews to prepare themselves for upcoming finals. With all of that preparing on their mind, what else do students have to worry about besides their studies? These last two weeks of the semester are the time when most students are deprived of sleep, exercise and nutrition.

To prepare for your crazy week, try to maintain a healthier lifestyle, remember to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep, stretch your legs and go exercise at the Recreation Center to relieve any stress or tension you have before your final projects. On top of exercising, make sure to have a good intake of fruits and vegetables instead of eating carbohydrates such as chips, candy, pretzels or other junk foods.

“Last semester I spent at least seven hours every day in the library focusing on my finals, making sure I was prepared enough for the upcoming week,” said sophomore social studies major Riley Cunningham. “I don’t doubt that I will do the same this week. But my week of studying would have definitely been less stressful if I found a way to relieve all my stress from studying.”

Purdue University compiled data from students who accessed the gym in the 2010 spring semester and concluded that students who worked out at least 16 times a month averaged a 3.1 or higher GPA when students who only worked out seven times a month averaged a 3.0.

“Students who worked out at Purdue’s gym at least once a week were more likely to earn a higher grade point average than students who visited less or not at all,” said Purdue’s assistant director for student development and assessment for recreational sports, Tricia Zelaya in a press release.

But does exercise really help boost your grades like the Purdue study mentions, or does it relieve stressors to calm brain activity and aid in focus levels? Sophomore Hailey Kirch, a student who is currently taking a self defense class class at the Rec Center, described how exercising every other day has affected her physically and mentally.

“Taking an exercise class (this) semester has definitely had its up and and downs. On the upside, I have stayed in shape all year and it helps me relieve any stress I have in my life,” Kirch said. “On the downside, I do get exhausted from having to work out every other day and having to put off my homework until after my class is over.”

With finals week ahead, students can take advantage of their Rec Center access by taking study breaks every couple of hours and attending group exercise classes. Restorative yoga can help students to relax and relieve stressors, or more strenuous exercise like cycling, lifting and zumba classes are available. Class times are available online at the Boise State Rec Center website. The Rec Center is open from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. unless posted otherwise.

If you do not have time to make it to the gym, that’s okay. Taking a nice walk outside and getting some fresh air walking around campus is a simple alternative. Even a little time walking around to get some oxygen while getting  your blood flow going is good for you after sitting in a chair studying for several hours. Good luck these upcoming weeks Broncos with studying and preparing for your final exams. You got this!



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