Hi friends!

Happy Spring! With the nice weather becoming more and more frequent, we wanted to tell everyone the benefits physical activity has on your mental health. There are many ways to be physically active in Stevens Point as well! We will be listing a couple different ways to stay active in the community and on campus in Stevens Point.

Here are a couple different ways that physical activity helps your mental health… 

  1. Can treat mild to moderate depression: Exercise has the same effect as an antidepressant medication without all of the side effects. Studies show that if you run for 15 minutes a day or walk for an hour it decreases the risk of major depression by 26%. 
  2. Relieves tension and stress: Exercise releases endorphins, which reduce feelings of pain and a boost of pleasure, in the brain, as well as helps relax the muscles and ease the tension in your body built up by stress. 
  3. Reduces symptoms of ADHD: Exercise helps increase your concentration, motivation, memory, and mood. It works the same way ADHD medication would. 
  4. Helps with PTSD and trauma: Helps get your immune system “unstuck” which helps to immobilize the stress responses that are associated with PTSD.  

Here’s the link to the website we used if you want to read more about how physical activity helps your mental health.

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/the-mental-health-benefits-of-exercise.htm 

UWSP has many options for students and staff to be physically active on a daily basis. Here are some free resources to look into to jumpstart to your physically active lifestyle!

  1. Aquatics Center - Free Open Swim (Monday & Thursday 11am - 1pm, Sunday - Thursday 7pm - 9:30pm)
  2. Group Exercise (GroupEx) - Free workout classes run by our very own UWSP students ranging from yoga, Zumba, cycling, and more!
  3. Open Recreation at MAC - Students and staff have access to the track, basketball courts, tennis courts, as well as the climbing wall! Be sure to look on the campus website or Facebook page for more information.
  4. Schmeeckle Reserve - Our 280-acre conservatory area on campus with 5 miles of trails and boardwalks, a 24-acre lake, and so much wildlife to discover!
  5. Green Circle Trail - A 27-mile hiking and biking trail that loops Stevens Point. Perfect for getting outdoors and getting your steps in, as well as exploring nature! 

We hope all of these tips and tricks will help you become and stay physically active as you increase your mental health along the way! 

By Kaden Manternach and Eryn Murphy