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Health Journal: Tips to relieve late-semester stress

For every college student, stressful moments are inevitable. From forgetting to write a paper to waking up late for a test, feelings of anxiety are often unavoidable.

However, with proper exercise and stress-reducing techniques, these moments can drastically diminish, much more than anticipated.

“Often, exercise and leisure activities are the first to go at crunch time,” Sherri Theoharidis, Ph.D. of the Counseling and Testing Center said.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, (ADAA), exercise not only reduces stress, but it is also considered vital for the maintenance of mental fitness.

From forgetting to turn in an assignment to focusing on the next social event, students are often overlooking the importance of maintaining their health in such a fast-paced environment.

“[These situations] only result in increased stress, pressure, fatigue and potential burnout,” Theoharidis said.

The demands of college and everyday life are constantly clashing. The ability to concentrate has become especially hard with the constant presence of technology and, thus, the presence of multi-tasking.

“It is helpful for students to map out a guideline for themselves during the semester that allows for organization of their time breaking large tasks into smaller readily achievable tasks,” Theoharidis said.

Exercise can help students achieve their other goals.

“Plugging exercise into that weekly schedule instantly increases the likelihood of it occurring, as well as builds in the benefits of taking a break, increasing focus and creating an outlet for stress,” Theoharidis said.

From working out between classes at Swinney to walking up and down the infamous stairs leading to the Student Union from 51st and Oak Streets, there are many viable exercise options on campus.

“Swinney offers an array of exercise machines, an aquatic center, indoor and outdoor track and so much more,” said Swinney Recreation employee and dental hygiene student Carolyn Carmosino.

“They also offer exercise classes. In particular, the one that comes to mind when talking about stress is yoga. I would definitely recommend that class to someone who was looking for a way to relieve tension.”

According to the ADAA, exercising for even five minutes a day can begin to healthily affect one’s body, stress levels and self-esteem.

In fact, with multi-tasking becoming second nature to most, a quick, five-minute exercise between classes can make a difference.

“Personally, I really enjoy running and listening to music,” Carmosino said. “I find it really helps my focus and is a great way to relieve built up stress and anxiety.”

Regular participation in exercise can improve countless aspects of health, academic performance and overall mental stability.

For more information on quick exercise tips and stress relief techniques, contact the UMKC Student Health and Wellness Center at 816-235-6133, or the Swinney Recreation Center at 816-235-2712.

abyrne@unews.com

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