I remember during the fall semester of this past school year I had created what I thought was an awesome workout plan for myself. I was going to go to the gym everyday (excluding weekends, of course, because I could never be that productive) and do cardio for 30 minutes followed by abs, arms, legs or back, depending on the day. I created that regiment by reading someone’s blog. I thought it would be easy; it just required discipline.
After about two weeks, I realized that I hated this routine. I would stare at the time on my treadmill or elliptical praying it would go faster or begin plotting ways in my head I could cut the time down: “I won’t eat any sweets tomorrow” or “I will walk the long way to class this week.” I thought to myself, “Why am I spending so much of my time doing something I absolutely hate?” That’s when I broke off my relationship with the boring schedule and started doing things that actually allowed me to release energy positively.
I do believe that working out is beneficial during the school year, especially because it helps you blow off steam and get your mind off school work. Also, being healthy will improve your life holistically. However, there are so many ways to release excess energy during the school year that don’t require stepping into Yates. For example, you could go for a walk, do yoga from YouTube, join an intramural team or rent a bike and ride along the Potomac.
The most important thing is to take up something you truly enjoy. Try out different ways to release energy this summer, and if you get tired of one way, try something new. Working out shouldn’t be a burden; it should be an outlet, just like a hobby. Moreover, if you skip one day, don’t beat yourself up about it. It takes about 3,500 calories to gain one pound, so one day away from working out won’t hurt.
Releasing energy positively will help you in many ways that are unique to you. For me, it has helped a lot with my stress levels, body image, sleep schedule and performance.
Lastly, I, like many others, believe that it is very important to take 10-30 minutes minimum for yourself every day. I usually take this time when I am working out, which is why I pair the two ideas together. I know that to me, this sounded excessive at first. I would think, “Isn’t five minutes enough?” But it’s not. Whether you are doing breathing exercises, focusing on how you feel physically or emotionally, or just sitting in silence, I cannot stress enough how important those moments are. Silent moments help boost creativity, concentration and insight into your personal well-being. Don’t cheat yourself out of silence and solitude; it’s nutrition for the body.
Santana Jackson is a rising junior in the College. Steps To Recovery appears every other Thursday.