by Maggie Hammond
When you first enrolled for your online counseling degree you were likely filled with excitement for the future you were laying out for yourself. However, it probably didn’t take long to learn that an online masters in counseling also brings with it a fair amount of stress.
Stress is incredibly common among college and university students who are pouring all they can into their studies while also balancing their home life, and even a job on the side. One of the best ways you can manage the stress is through exercise.
Here’s a look at the top exercises you can do that will help to alleviate the anxiety and stress you’re feeling. The bonus about these exercises is that you can continue them throughout your career as a counselor, since it is a field that tends to be rather stressful at times. The less stress you allow in your life, the more effective you will be as a counselor.
If you are the type that enjoys quiet, more individual exercises, then yoga is a wonderful option. It can be done by anyone of any fitness level and doesn’t require any sort of fancy equipment. What makes yoga so effective is that it targets your body and your mind helping you to relax and find balance.
Walking is a wonderful exercise for anyone looking to relax, unwind, and alleviate stress. If you’re new to walking you may want to start out at a slower pace building speed over the course of a few weeks. Ideally, you want to be able to walk at a brisk pace for 30 minutes per day. This will allow your heart rate to speed up and really get your blood pumping and flowing.
Join a Team
While some people prefer to exercise on their own, others like more of a social atmosphere. If you like having others around, then a team sport may be a good option for you. Be sure to pick something that will push you and really get you moving such as soccer, football, or hockey. You can even mix it up and change the sport depending in the season.
There is no reason that exercise can’t be fun at the same time. Why not join a dance class, meet some new people, and get in a fabulous cardiovascular workout at the same time. Dancing is able to get your heart rate up, which then promotes the release of endorphins (feel-good hormones) in your body.
A Healthy Habit for Life
Exercise has been shown to be one of the best ways for people to fight stress in their lives – no matter what that stress is stemming from. Exercise promotes your body to release hormones that actually fight stress, giving you immediate results. Whether you are a student or just starting out in your field as a counselor, taking regular exercise is bound to have a positive impact on your life.
About the Author
Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organizations.