Thursday, April 26, 2012

FITNESS: It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The pressure is on. It may be finals time. Or a few weeks before that summer vacation. Basically, you have a lot of work to do, and fast. Either way you are probably not in your best of conditions. Hygeine may have become a word temporarily lost from your vocabulary. Maybe you wouldn’t be the best candidate for that Neutrogena commercial. Your hairbrush hasn’t been seen for weeks (and let’s admit it, you haven’t really been looking…)
But no matter what you do…let me repeat… NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO. Do not let this stress channel enough energy through your fingers to allow you to dial the number for that shady pizza place down the street. With the cheesy bread. And creamy garlic sauce. NO. I REPEAT. Do not let it affect what you eat. Because that pimple will eventually go away with some acne cream. But that five pounds could take months to go away. Thunder thighs are not necessarily a reminder that you want to have….especially if you failed that final.
So what to do? Maybe at this point getting an A+ on the test is what is most important to you, more important than your health. But lets think about it, if you let yourself have that attitude at any stressful point in your life….what will the result be? Maybe every time you see your mother in law, you will treat yourself to a cookie…or 5. Or maybe when you are making that presentation at work…
But now, let me take a look into your future…
It's not good.  It's not good.
You have to learn healthy ways to handle your stress at some point, so why not start now? Start off by identifying what is prompting you to grab the Doritos. There may be some bully in your head. His (or her) voice is soft at first, and then gets progressively louder until you are forced to listen. Those [insert shitty food] look so good. They will make you feel better and relieve this stress.. They might even make you study better…
But the bully is not smart. All he/she cares about is immediate satisfaction, now. Not your future happiness.  So here are some recommendations I have so you do not make regretful decisions in times of stress:
1.     Think twice. Why do I feel this way? Will this really help relieve my test? Doritos = A+? (Not the most logical idea)
2.     Take a break! Do something that makes you happy that doesn’t involve food (like exercise, a short walk, lying in the park, go in the sun!). Take a 30 minute break! Fresh air may take your mind of off your stress.
3.     Try taking a few deep breaths. Count four deep breaths in. Hold for four. Breath out of four. You may be perfectly capable of distressing yourself through your own breathing.
4. Imagine what unhealthy food does to your body. What's more stressful? The immediate stress you have welling up inside you now? Or the self-loathing you will feel, that will too cause stress, when you realize how unhealthy you feel when finals are done? Just take care of yourself!
Hope this helps!

The Woman Behind the Fitness Section:
Samantha Salis is a Psychology Major and Political Economy Minor at UC Berkeley. She is a dedicated young woman, ambitious and sharp as a whip. Our dear Samantha tutors high schoolers and works at a Psychology lab at UC Berkeley. Even with this busy schedule, Ms. Salis creates the time to divulge to us her passion about the fitness and health of women, and is (fortunately for us) very well informed on these topics. Enjoy!

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