Beat the Stress: The Exercise Edition

By Shubha Rao

Have you ever stared at a computer screen knowing that what you’re about to put on this electronic paper is just going to be brilliant? It just has to come to you… eventually… where is it?! Well, one way to stimulate your brain is to get out of your seat and do some exercises. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, even low levels of exercise can improve your ability to think, process facts, and stimulates creativity amongst many other benefits. By stimulating your mind, you’ll get more out of that degree you worked so hard to earn. Let’s make sure you get the most from every penny of your student loan repayment.

Make it a Game

Society has, for some reason, made working out feel like a chore. It’s like doing the dishes or finishing your homework. When you switch your mindset into thinking it’s a reward, it becomes a lot easier. You might even get hooked! Or at least get more excited about the task at hand. I tell myself that after I finish an assignment, I can go on a walk with my dog, or go swimming. Walking around, though simple, is the best way to find gems like an awesome hole-in-the-wall taco place, or hidden coffee shop or bar.

If you have a smartphone, then you probably have an app that tracks your steps. Its extremely satisfying to open up your phone, find your health app and bask at the number of steps you took that day. It doesn’t really feel like exercise to me anymore, it’s like a game. You win by hitting your steps without even thinking about it or doing anything extra.

You are only limited by your imagination

Benny Bellamacina

Give Yourself a Break

Another way to fit in some exercise without paying for it is by doing it whenever you feel like you need a break. I have a coworker with whom I would get up and do squats whenever we felt stressed, mentally stuck, or physically stiff. We were lucky enough that we worked somewhere that allowed us to do so, even if we looked silly, but the idea of fitting some activity into your work or school day is extremely doable. Going to get lunch? Maybe walk to the Chipotle that’s a little further. Filling up the gas tank? Run in place as you wait for your ride to fill up. Sitting at home in front of your computer? Take a break and dance to your fave song. Get rid of the idea that working out belongs in a designated place like a gym. In case you need more inspiration, here are 100 free or cheap ways to exercise by Broke and Healthy

So whether it’s attending a free class, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, doing crunches on your couch as you re-watch Game of Thrones for the third time, you can totally find ways to exercise your body without having to shell out the money for a gym membership. So close Instagram for now, get on your feet and treat yourself to some fresh air, neighborhood exploration, a bike ride to your favorite clothing store, or whatever else sounds fun to you in the moment. Not only will you be happier, but you will be reaping the never-ending list of benefits associated with moving your body.

See you outside!

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