Exercise Your Way to a Stress-Free Life

Let’s be real, we have a lot to be stressed about: relationships, jobs, school, extracurriculars and countless other things. Boston College is a place that can seem like everyone has their life together and everything is absolutely fine.

Underneath this façade, a lot of us struggle constantly with stress. While many of us struggle with stress, 20 percent of us have already been diagnosed with anxiety or depression. Some of these issues should be helped by a certified counselor, however, there is a lot to be said for exercise and being active. There is a ton of research to confirm that exercise can relieve stress and improve your mood.

With help of Elite Daily, here are four types of exercise that may help in alleviating different types of stress, based on what you are looking for.

Running

Best for: Problem Solving

At BC: While there is the classic and timeless Res run, branch out a bit and head into Boston and try a run along the Charles River Esplanade, a scenic river walkway.

Imagine just you and the pavement. This solo activity keys you in and helps you to focus on one thing. Blast your favorite music and focus on your strides. This routine action gives you time to weigh the pros and cons of a decision, without the distractions of the outside world. With running, you are left to think for yourself and ignore the unwanted opinions of others. The unaccompanied act of running makes it easy to find clear-minded decisions.

Barre

Best for: Building up Self-Esteem

At BC: Group Fitness classes for Barre are from 3:00-4:00 pm on Wednesdays, 5:15-6:15pm on Thursdays and 7:15 to 8:15 am on Fridays.

This ballet-based class is intended to tone, lengthen and strengthen. The movements and flow will help you find your inner strength, while also strengthening and toning your major muscles. When you’re feeling down and unmotivated, take these classes to re-boot your confidence and strength, and you may just walk out feeling like Beyoncé.

Weightlifting

Best for: Finding Inner Strength and Confidence

At BC: The weight room (obviously), open during normal Plex hours.

Your body and mind are capable of handling a lot more than you first think. The reps that you put in validate your strength and can be seen as a progression to a future goal. Proving to yourself that you can lift a certain weight or do a certain amount of reps will boost confidence and show you that you are stronger than you think or believe. If you are not experienced with weights, take a class with a professional or ask the person on duty for some advice. If you tough out an hour of squats, you will prove to yourself the strength you never thought you had and feel much more accomplished afterwards.

Kickboxing

Best for: Expelling frustration and anger

At BC: Mondays 5:15-6:15pm and Wednesdays 5:30-6:30pm in the Plex

How often do you get permission to just punch something? Mostly, letting out anger in a violent way is looked down upon, but with kickboxing, it is highly encouraged. Release whatever is holding you back in this great way of working out. Not only are you releasing the anger you have been holding in, you are also building muscle mass and getting more toned. With this type of hitting, the only result that you are to expect is awesome toning. Rather than letting your emotions and frustrations build up inside, take advantage of this release.

For a full range of exercise classes offered here at BC, free to students, check out: http://www.bc.edu/offices/rec/programs/fitness/group.html

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Claire Jasper