Purpose The purpose of this research is to discover what impact exercise may have to relieve some of the stressors of graduate life in order to maintain optimal health. This is important to help prepare future students before entering graduate school and to help those in graduate school be better prepared for handling the stressors using exercise which could mean better mental and physical health.
Sympathetic Dominance Persistent stress leads to the dominance of sympathetic nervous system. Being able to recover and relax is difficult. Graduate students are guilty of many behaviors that lead to sympathetic dominance such as the following: Ignoring fatigue in order to get projects done Not sleeping enough Using stimulants to keep going Skipping meals Not exercising Worrying (Varano, 2009-2010)
Stopping the Stress Sympathetic dominance may predispose graduate students to stress related issues which in turn may bring about more stress. The stress has to be managed. Exercise is one way to control stress.
How Exercise Reduces Stress(How Exercise Reduces Stress, 2010)
The “Tranquilizer Effect” First exercise- anxiety increases, then anxiety stabilizes 5 to 30 minutes after exercise you will be less anxious Decrease from anxiety shown to be greater than the tranquilizing drug meprobamate Relaxation from exercise lasts for only four hours or so However, anxiety returns to previous level within 24 hours Exercise every day to see a continuous effect (ICBS, 1998-2007)
Three Categories of Fitness Weight Lifting Flexibility Aerobics (Burton, 2005)
Seeing & Feeling Changes To change how you look takes about 6 months to a year (Kolata, 2009) For strength training results may start as early as 1-2 weeks and cardiovascular can bring increased energy and stamina in 2-3 weeks(Seeing Results, 2011) Type 2 diabetes may be prevented by altering fat metabolism in muscle after just 1 exercise session (Hareyan, 2007)
Building Resilience Emotional resilience is the ability to cope effectively with the challenges of life and stay healthy despite stressful circumstances. Improvements in mood: relaxed & positive Increased energy: emotionally calm but energized & better concentration More self-confidence: feel good about progress Better health: Feel better & able to do what is needed Less stress, anxiety & depression: May be as effective as medication for mild to moderate feelings of stress, anxiety and depression (Brehm, 2008)
Conclusion Graduate life can be a time of great stress due to the many responsibilities of life tugging from all directions. Exercise may improve health as well as release feel good hormones thus decreasing stress levels. Also, regular exercise may increase resilience to stress. Time restraints play a major in not exercising but it is a habit worth scheduling in.
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Bibliography Continued Muddell, K. (2011, January 17). Reasons why not to exercise and how to deal with them. Retrieved March 11, 2011, from Australia Lifestyle Yahoo: http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/opinions-health/opinion/show/2441147/reasons-why-not-to-e... Tim. (2010, July 23). Top 10 Stress Reduction Exercises. Retrieved March 11, 2011, from Outofstress.com:http://www.outofstress.com/stress-reduction-exercises/ Varono, D. (2009-2010). What is Stress? Retrieved October 31, 2010, from Dina Varano, MA, Licensed Mental Health Counselor: http://wwww.dinavarano.net/stress.php