The Importance of Exercise During Finals Week 

Sadie Blace, Reporter

For most students, finals week is the most stressful week of the semester. Students are pushed to their absolute limit, being tasked with multiple projects, assignments, reviews, and exams. This high pressure can be overwhelming and is often accompanied by the feeling of stress that I am sure we know all too well. While it may seem like an obvious solution, exercise is one of the healthiest coping strategies that can be easily integrated into any finals week schedule. To some, taking time to exercise may feel impossible amidst the struggles of allocating time to study. However, the abundance of benefits to exercise are some that I think everyone should consider. 

 Exercise has the ability ignite your brains “feel-good” neurotransmitters, otherwise known as endorphins. You do not have to run a marathon to ignite these endorphins. Though it may seem evident, exercise takes multiple forms. It could be in the form of walking, running, lifting, dancing, biking, swimming, stretching, skating, or yoga, just to name a few. One of my favorite forms of exercise is dancing. Whether it be in the form of a structured dance class or a living room dance party, I am quick to turn up music and move my body. Another one of my favorite forms of exercise is outdoor walks, though this form of exercise is a little harder to complete during the cold, North Dakota winters. Cortisol is known as the “stress hormone” and can be decreased through exercise. By participating in one of these exercises, one can increase endorphins and decrease cortisol, which can significantly lessen stress levels. 

 While it may feel hard to dedicate an hour of your day to working out, the benefits significantly outweigh the disadvantages. Amidst the busiest week of the semester, I suggest integrating exercise into your daily schedule. If you need a friendly reminder, write it in your planner, set a reminder on your phone, or put a sticky note on your desk. You can complete a few forms of exercise in your room or outdoors, however, it is important to acknowledge the facilities that our university has for students to use. For example, the Wellness Center has an abundance of resources including weights, treadmills, cycles, and a rock wall. The Wellness Center also has studios on both the first and second floors. These are great for yoga, stretching and dancing. Taking advantage of the facilities that UND has provides an exceptionally large upside. Additionally, you can gain free entry with the use of your university ID.  

In addition to being extremely good for you, exercise can be fun. You can exercise with friends, in cool places, and with various mediums of exercise. Working out and moving your body can also build confidence. No matter the exercise you choose during finals week, there will be benefits that will help you. I challenge you to prioritize taking care of yourself during this finals week, and trust me, you and your body will thank me later. 

 

Sadie Blace is a Dakota Student Reporter. She can be reached at [email protected]