Following the tragedy that occurred on Michigan State University's campus on Monday, Feb. 13, students are have turned to a wide variety of measures to help cope. Exercising and going to the gym is just one of these strategies.
According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise can help improve sleep and is proven to decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety. It does this by initiating an endorphin release, which can often be referred to as "runner's high" for frequent exercisers.
Psychology senior Hannah Greenspan went on regular runs around campus after the shooting because the gyms were closed.
“I would make sure to run every day by the statue and the rock and I would stop there for — I think the first few days I was there for probably half an hour,” Greenspan said. “That was how I made my peace.”
Stopping mid-run remember and mourn those affected while her heart was pumping helped Greenspan come to terms with everything that happened, she said.
Psychology freshman Karyngton Castillo also uses cardio exercises to cope. The fitness centers in dorms are small, non-threatening spots where it is easy to focus on a workout.
“After all the stress and frustration that the night obviously put a lot of people through, including myself,” Castillo said. “it just helps me let out all my emotions and all the frustration I have.”
The gym community is also a very supportive and welcoming environment that can help relieve stress, Castillo said, because gym-goers are open to helping out newcomers and lift each other up.
Not only is the community a helpful aspect of exercise, but going to the gym and getting into a different space for a couple of hours is a great distraction, according to creative advertising sophomore Morgan Mabee.
“Definitely since last week I’ve been going pretty much every day,” Mabee said. “It just takes my mind off of it and it helps me focus on one thing instead of thinking about everything that happened.”
Mabee, who weight lifts, said that although she dreads the workout at first, she feels energized and her mind is at ease after a morning lift.
“I definitely recommend it because it just takes your mind somewhere else for a little bit,” Mabee said.
Normal hours of operation for MSU's gyms resume on Monday, Feb. 27. Hours for each facility can be viewed online.
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