Students turn to The Well to relieve stress

Ashley Hurtado

As the semester progresses and course work becomes increasingly demanding, students are utilizing the Well to relieve stress that has built up the first couple weeks of school.

Business administration major Ashley Pries said exercise helps her concentrate better, relieve stress and gain confidence. Before finding an interest in working out, Pries’ stress caused her to lose motivation but now because of exercising feels less overwhelmed.  

“I’m really busy outside of school, so when I have gaps between classes, I can fill that gap by conveniently exercising on campus,” Pries said.

Pries said students feel stressed and a good way to alleviate this feeling is working out at the Well because it helps them relax their minds and forget about the worries of school.

 Group fitness coordinator Kendra Densmore, said the Well offers a variety of classes that allow students to reduce stress.

“All recreational and physical activity can help people reduce stress, and that’s one of the biggest reasons that people come to the Well, but everyone does it differently,” Densmore said.

Activities in the Well include intramural basketball, polynesian Capitalize Polynesian Dance, boot camp, yoga, Zumba and cycling.

Densmore said although all classes are popular, student participation is always higher at the beginning of the semester.

The Well offers five different semester passes for fitness classes. Students can purchase semester passes for $48 and single-class passes for $3.

Some fitness classes specifically focus on mind and body relaxation. Students who purchase the pass can attend yoga, foam roll and pilates classes.

Yoga Instructor Cathie Apple said her exercises change breathing patterns and helps students focus on one skill at a time, allowing the body to release “Feel good” hormones which reduces stress.

“It could be focusing in on your breath, on your balance or how you feel in a posture and taking away all the chatter, that mental chatter, and getting to the point where that becomes a regular practice,” Apple said.

Densmore said she believes students should make an effort to exercise regularly during the semester because it increases overall energy and focus.  

According to Anxiety and Depression Association of America, seven out of 10 adults experience stress daily, and exercising is vital for maintaining mental fitness and reducing stress.

“Stress has been with me since I can remember. I’ve broken out in hives; I’ve gotten stomach issues because of it,” said ethnic studies major Maria Lopez. “My intestine lining is very thin because of acid reflux that was caused by stress. At one point, I had hair loss.”

Lopez said the Well is important in her life because it has helped both her physical and emotional health.

The rock climbing wall is another popular activity at the Well that also offers fundamental classes.

Dance major Sandra Duran said she enjoys the rock climbing classes because it helps reduce stress by focusing on the challenge ahead

“[When] stress affects me, I start to tense [up]. I can’t sleep because I want to finish what I have to do and I don’t eat,” Duran said.

Duran said the tension caused by stress can also affect her grades. She said sometimes her stress has prevented her from doing well on exams although she knows the material.

For a schedule and description of fitness classes offered at the Well visit