Reducing anxiety on campus

Natasha Rocci

As the semester begins rolling, it isn’t uncommon to feel overwhelmed. There are many demands of a student that can be taxing on the mind and the body, not to mention the demands of the world outside of the college environment. We all know different ways to combat this stress and anxiety, but what we might not be aware of is the fully paid for usage of the Rec Center. Jeff McMaster, the director of Student Accounts here on campus expanded, “State appropriations and the University fee support the operations of the entire campus which includes the Recreation Center”. At the Center, there are several fun group exercise workshops offered to Fitchburg State students that are an awesome way to unwind and take care of your mind and body!

Dr. Jason Talanian, a Health and Fitness professor and expert here at Fitchburg State was kind enough to give his input on the benefits of exercise and the Rec Center. “Even one bout of exercise can have a positive impact on one’s mental health.”

With programs available such as Yoga, Zumba, Buns & Guns, Rockin’ Abs, Sculpt & Tone and more that offer group exercise opportunities, we can easily combat the pressure of being a student while having fun and connecting with peers and other campus groups. On top of that, the beneficial effects of fun itself can be uplifting and healing! These programs are often run by students, creating a social space where you can work together to exercise, relax, and stay fit for life both inside and outside of your scholastic career. Dr Talanian expands on this more, “Exercising in a group can help an individual stay motivated with added support from group members, it can be more fun when exercising with others and it also acts as a social outlet where you can possibly build new friendships.”

In addition to the group exercise programs available, there are also ways to enjoy the benefits of the Rec Center in a more free form and less organized way. With numerous facilities, you can go alone or with a friend and not be pressured in the same way you may be in a group setting. On the Rec Center, Dr. Talanian’s frequently visited space on campus, he was enthusiastic and supportive; “The Recreation Center is a great outlet that is close to  the dorms where students can easily go to get a quick workout individually on the cardio equipment, in the weight room or even on the indoor track or swimming pool.” When outside of the group activities that are offered, you are able able to proceed at your own pace and ability. Being able to use the facilities of the Rec Center freely is another benefit of visiting for positive physical and mental health results.

The Rec Center is located on North Street, passed Green and directly across from Congress. The Center is a convenient 15-minute walk from the rest of the facilities on campus and is very close to the dining hall and Hammond. All you need to be able to take advantage of the facilities and programs provided is your OneCard, with that you will be able to sign in at no cost to you.

“We often get caught up in the rigors of classes, homework and maybe even a job outside of school, and as a result sometimes we look at going to exercise as more work. But the truth is that exercise often raises our daily energy level and helps us better focus on our studies. The human body is built to move and when we don’t work to maintain our physical activity level, our physical and mental health can suffer.”