Monday, February 20, 2012
Student in Distress
Stress is the number one killer of college students...
Well, no, not really, but most students will tell you it is. Stress is a term that is thrown around loosely. Every time we are overworked, overtired, or in any sort of predicament, we say that we are stressed. The word has such a negative connotation that you may be hard pressed to convince anyone (especially the college student) that stress can actually be a good thing. But, in reality, it is a good thing. Stress is the thing that keeps us on time, it is the thing that makes us study for exams, and it is also the thing that motivates us the most. This type of motivational stress is called eustress.
This is not to say that stress is never a bad thing. Quite the opposite. While you have your motivational eustress, you can also have your negative stress, or distress. You find yourself in distress when you work yourself up so much that you can't focus, you can't relax, and it feels like you can hardly breathe. When you find yourself distressed, it is time to take a step back from whatever is causing you angst. At this point, it may be wise to shift gears and do something mundane, or something you enjoy. For me, this is exercise. Exercise, in my opinion, is the perfect relief of distress. Not only does is help you stay in shape, but it also causes the release of endorphins in the brain. These chemical signals make you feel happy, they make you feel relaxed, and make you feel in control.
People have a range of excuses for not exercising. Either they don't have time, they can't get into a routine, or they don't have the money for a gym. I too had these excuses. I am not a fan of weight lifting, and monotonous cardio workouts get boring very quickly. My solution was a video based workout program. The program I use is called Insanity. Now I know what you're thinking, Richard Simmons, but Insanity is nothing like that. This program is a cross-training program that contains an excellent balance of cardio and resistance training. The best part about this program for me is that there are no weights and you don't need anything except yourself and some water. I highly recommend this program for anyone who struggles finding time or finds it hard to get into a routine.
If you are looking to start a workout routine, make sure you are up to the intensity that each program offers. Choosing a program way above your level can be detrimental. Also remember that nutrition and hydration are important parts too. I recommend taking a daily multivitamin to ensure that you are getting all of the essentials nutrients. Shaklee is a great source to find supplements as well as information. I personally use the workout drink called Performance and the post-work out formula called Physique.
If you are looking for a workout blog, I also recommend looking at Dig In Dee. This blog contains some good workout advice and provides commentary on other performance products.
Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one.