Managing Stress: Exercise


  • Boosts energy.
  • Increases ability to concentrate.
  • Makes you feel great because your body will produce endorphins, which naturally relieve pain and induce feelings of well-being and relaxation.
  • Improves physical appearance, enhances self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • Helps you fall asleep faster and improves sleep quality.
  • Means fewer illnesses – physically fit people are more resistant to diseases.
  • Strengthens your heart which is constantly being called upon to “fight or flight” from job, school, family, financial, relationship, and every other kind of stressor you confront daily.


Change the “E” word from exercise to enjoyment. Find activities that you love to do and that match your personality. If you love the outdoors, go hiking or biking. Dancing, gardening, or skating might be your passion.

Do it to music. Plug yourself in and listen to music, news or books-on-tape.

Use personal muscle power for transportation. Bike to school or to the store, walk to lunch or to your next class, or get “in-line” and skate around campus.

The Ramsey Center has more than weights and aerobics classes. Try their climbing wall, exercise balls, ballroom or Latin dance classes, martial arts programs, yoga, or pilates classes. You can also fence, play tennis, soccer, and many other games through the Recreational Sports Program. Join ORC (Outdoor Recreation Center) for great outings and equipment rental.

Get a partner. Exercising with someone else can be more fun.

Vary your routine. You may be less likely to get bored or injured if you change your routine. Walk one day. Bicycle the next. Do a set of Pilates exercises at home another day.

Choosing the Best Type of Activity For You
Questions to ask yourself to help you decide which forms of physical activity might be right for you. Includes a sample physical activity plan.

Sticking to An Exercise Program
You have a plan, but how do you maintain it? Tips for keeping up with your physical activity, determining your target heart rate range, and an example of a physical activity diary.

References and Resources