College is stressful

College is stressful. Four classes a semester, with professors who often seem to think you are taking only one class and so they pile on the work. Then there are friends and significant others to see, exams, extracurriculars, and if you live off campus you have to find time to go grocery shopping and clean on top of all of this. The problem is that you also have those fitness/health magazines breathing down your neck, telling you that you have to work out. But there are only so many hours in a day, and sleep is so important! Working out often takes a back seat in the lives of college students, especially the upperclassmen who, on top of everything else, have to worry about finding a job after graduation.
You consider a way to relieve some of your stress, to zone out for a couple of hours so that you can focus on your classwork with a ‘fresh’ mind. In my experience, though, watching mindless tv is not very refreshing. I usually end up watching a few more episodes than I originally planned, and try to get through my work as fast as possible–so, I don’t absorb the material, and waste brain space on silly tv shows online.
A release is necessary every day to keep your sanity, but why not take out an hour of that TV time and use it to go for a run instead?
Running, in my opinion, is the best exercise for college students because it doesn’t require a gym, it is fairly low-cost, and it’s a great cardio workout (unlike ellipticals…). Plus, it totally refreshes the mind. You can still zone out for 30-60 minutes, but you get some fresh air, you get your blood pumping, and your eyes can take a break from the computer screen. It’s always hard to get yourself to get out there, so keep in mind that feeling you get when you finish the run. There’s that sense of accomplishment, and the feeling that your brain just reset itself.
Just make sure to be smart when running: get fitted for a pair of running shoes so you don’t injure yourself by wearing a pair that doesn’t work with your body, if you’re going to run in the street then run against traffic, and don’t keep your music too loud. Start slow and with short distances, and gradually build up. You may hate running now, but I guarantee that after a month of consistent running, you will see improvements and will fall in love with it.

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