Movement and exercise benefit both your physical and mental health. When you engage in physical activity, your body’s natural stress hormones are reduced. It also increases the production of “feel good” hormones such as endorphins.
When it comes to using movement as a form of stress management, there are several things to keep in mind:
Do what works for you. While lifting heavy weights or running long distance might work for some people, those types of workouts are not the only type of movement that can help reduce stress. From walking your dog to dancing, there are many physical activities that can contribute to stress relief.
- Avoid comparing yourself to others. It can be intimidating to start exercising if you compare yourself to what others are doing. When we compare ourselves to others it not only contributes to our stress levels, but also makes it more difficult to get started and stick with it. Everyone has unique physical abilities and interests. Consider staying true to who you are and what your interests are.
- Incorporate movement into your daily routine. If you find it difficult to find time to exercise, consider incorporating movement throughout your daily routine. This could look like walking/rolling to class instead of taking the bus.
- Get creative. Movement does not have to mean a trip to the gym. Consider doing a dorm room workout or using at-home items, such as heavy textbook, to create your own workouts.
- It's ok if you don't know where to start. If you are looking to incorporate more movement into your daily routine, the Student Rec Center has Personal Trainers who can help you get started!
Check out WVU Campus Recreation for more resources on physical wellbeing.