February Club Sport of the Month: Lacrosse

Hard work is a tool. A tool utilized by NC State’s student body to continuously think and do. Within that paradigm, there are a select few at this university who set an example of the value of hard work through sport.

A sport that is entrenched in American history, lacrosse, has provided our men’s club lacrosse with an avenue to exercise their potential as student-athletes. Maintaining good grades while performing on the field every weekend can be tough, but these men show that all is possible with hard work.

In the month of February, our men’s lacrosse team will embark on a new season as a squad of 45 men, prepare for battle. In an effort to see their progression into the 2016 season, we interviewed club president, John to learn about the teams’ resilience and excitement.

UREC: Can you recall a memorable moment you guys had last year?

John: Last year we shoveled an entire field before a game. It was the first game of the season and we already had three games cancelled. We wanted to play our first game so we were out for eight hours shoveling the field. The next day, we came out and won the game.

UREC: How’s preseason coming along?

John: This year we’ve got 45 kids lined up to play on the team so preseason has been different. When I started we only had about 25 kids so this year we have more reps, more time and participation, so all is well.

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UREC: What are you guys looking forward to the most this season?

John: We are looking forward to playoffs, we’ve got a place in our division, but won’t be easy. This year, we are looking to win a playoff game. Last two years we’ve made the playoffs for the first time in team history so this year if we win a game it’d be the biggest thing yet.

UREC: How was Club Lacrosse at NC State established?

John: Team started 15 years ago once the school lost its varsity program. After a few years, club lacrosse became word of mouth. We’ve got a website so guys who come out of high school we don’t really recruit them, they just come to us.

UREC: With school and athletics, how do you guys balance?

John: This team only has six hours a week to practice so it isn’t a terrible time commitment. Once we start traveling, we definitely ramp up the commitment, but as a far as running the team, we have over 10 officers doing the leg work. That makes things run smoothly, letting guys come out to relax from school and get the stress off.

UREC: One thing your squad would like the students of NC State to know?

John: This year, we’d really like to have more support. A lot of the fans come from local teams that we played for and family but we’d like to have a bigger support from the school. We’re out at Method Road so its not directly on campus but the games are fun to watch and we’ve got really good competition so we’re excited.

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The team plays their first set of games this weekend in Athens, Georgia. Using the inspiration of making the playoffs two straight years, the team expects to add to that schuss with big time wins.

With the support of the Wolfpack nation, getting the boys over the hill will be an easier task. Make sure to keep up with their schedule and more at their website!

Relieving Stress During Exams

Stress can be a good thing. Yes, you read it here first; stress can be a good thing, but only if you learn to use it as strength.

Eustress is defined by a University of Mississippi study as “positive stress that improves performance, motivates and focuses energy.”

Reaching a point in which the stress you’re dealing with becomes a motivating factor in studying and maintaining a high self-esteem can become beneficial for your grades, appearance and overall health.

Distress is the opposite of eustress, defined by the same University of Mississippi study as “negative stress that can cause anxiety or cause for concern.”

The concept of distress and eustress is prevalent on a college campus. Depending on your perspective, the pressure of this time period can either bring the best or the worst out of a student.

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This time of year is critical for the typical NC State student. With exams, projects and presentations due, the stress is at an all-time high from Main Campus to Centennial Campus.

Dealing with the stress is pivotal to attaining academic goals. Preserving the body physically can prepare the body for the mental rigors of the exam period.

At University Recreation, we offer four activities in particular that allow participants to turn distress into eustress. Here are my favorite activities:

YOGA

As an activity predicated on building flexibility and balance, yoga is perfect for dealing with stress. According to a recent study from the MGN College of Education in India, “Seven weeks of regularly doing poses, practicing yoga breathing and participating in mediation practice reduced students’ stress levels, which translated into better academic performance.”

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The facts stated show the effectiveness of yoga in relieving distress and building eustress. Utilizing breathing techniques to clear the body of negative energy while training the muscles to adapt to various positions almost replicate the process of retaining information.

When you study, you try to learn the unknown and master the material. The similarity to yoga is scene through the repetition and the adaptation of the mind and body to its environment, making yoga a fantastic activity for exam week.

BOXING

Boxing has long been heralded for its ability to build cardiovascular fitness while releasing stress that can way a person down. The combination of the two opens up the mind to receive information through releasing the bad vibes that can plague the thought process.

“Studies have shown that working out can help relieve depression, stress, anxiety, and anger. When you get your adrenaline going, your mind starts going, too” said renowned psychologist/physical therapist Elizabeth Lombardo.

Through a sport that drains you of negative emotions and clears the mind, the strenuous process of studying can become easier, especially when it comes to retaining information with a clear mind.­

H.I.I.T.

High Intensity Interval Training. The words that spell out “H.I.I.T.” all are vital descriptions of this activity. Built upon the principle of maintaining a high rate of activity in a short span of time, H.I.I.T. is a fantastic way to build fitness while clearing the mind.

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The vast combination of workouts and intervals provide a mercurial realm of activity that forces the participant to build a sharp, attentive mind state. This activity evolves through an individual workout in a similar manner to the material you learn in class.

Within a curriculum, the information grows in difficulty and quality of time. H.I.I.T. replicates that system through a rise in tougher activities as you get acclimated to the initial exercises. This model of progression can get a student into that mindstate of climbing their ladder to success.

SWIMMING

In a recent study conducted by Speedo and Ipsos MORI, swimming was discovered to be a perfect activity to wind down the stress of the day. A quote from the study stated, “Over two thirds of those surveyed feel that swimming can have a positive mental impact, with 70% agreeing that it helps them to feel mentally refreshed.”

Recognized as a perennial sport in regards to building fitness, swimming is perfect for allowing the participants to trade their negative energy for positive, clear-minded thoughts. Through the rigorous strokes necessary to progress within the water, swimming provides a great workout with minimal force to the joints.

Getting in water overall is a great feeling. It creates a weightless feeling for the participant that almost immediately alleviates the pressure on the mind that can carry on to other parts of the body. Swimming is perfect for clearing the mind and relaxing the body during exam week.

As the semester wraps up, all of our hard work from the past four months will come together. Group projects, presentations and those dreaded exams stand no chance if you can maintain eustress and avoid distress.

With strenuous nature of the last two weeks of December, we hope to provide you with an alleviating alternative to you day. To learn more about what we offer, visit recreation.ncsu.edu/.

Think and DOminate,

Cherif

Outdoor Adventures Equipment Rental Center

Have you ever thought about taking a long weekend to go camping with some friends, but don’t have a tent? Or maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to snowboard but didn’t know where to start? The Outdoor Adventures desk answers to all of these needs.

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Often, students forget that you can rent all different types of equipment through the outdoor adventure desk. The Outdoor Adventure Equipment Rental center rents out equipment such as boats, cookware, coolers, dry bags, tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, camping accessories, bicycles and even tailgating gear. A full list of rentable items can be found here. To rent something, all you need to do is show up to the Outdoor Adventures Equipment Rental center desk and bring your Wolfpack One Card. Reservations can be made up to fourteen days in advance and equipment can generally be rented for up to 2 weeks. However, if you need a longer duration of time, we will try to work with you. The most commonly rented items include: boats, tents, sleeping bags, bikes and Enos. So, next time you are thinking about taking a trip with some friends and are in need of some equipment that doesn’t seem to be lying around the dorm, come check something out at the Outdoor Adventures Equipment Rental Center.

Trips

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Outdoor Adventures also provides students with the opportunity to go on trips. Trips include activities such as sea kayaking, snowboarding, hiking and biking. Not only are these trips a ton of fun, but they also present benefits that equip students to excel on campus.

These trips allow students to get a break from technology and the hustle and bustle of school life and out into nature. This exposure to the outdoors relaxes and in turn refuels students who may be drained from endless study hours and other on campus commitments. According to Association of College Unions International, students who return from an outdoor adventure trip return with lower stress levels and reduced anxiety. So, if you start to feel overwhelmed or stressed by school consider taking time to “refuel” on one of our outdoor adventure trips.

Taking steps out of your comfort zone can boost your confidence. Sounds ironic, doesn’t it? Going on a trip through University Recreation allows you to try something new, something you never thought you would enjoy or even be good at. Then to your surprise, you realize that you were good at snowboarding, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding etc. Many students claim that there is a feeling of accomplishment and self confidence associated with learning new skills on these trips. Self confidence is important to have as a student because believing in yourself is the first step in convincing others, such as employers and teachers to believe in you as well. Instructors at Confidence Building Courses report that people with healthy self-confidence are generally happier and more satisfied with their lives than people who lack self-confidence. So join us on a trip and boost your self confidence while learning some new skills in the process.  

Find a new hobby. Personally, I never would have never considered Rockwall climbing as a hobby or something I would like. Yet, after attending a rock wall climbing trip through University Recreation I realized how much fun rock wall climbing is and I now go to the indoor rock wall with my friends weekly. Who would have known? And that’s just it: you won’t know unless you try. Explore your interests, college is a time to learn about yourself. You might find a hobby that you end up pursing for the rest of your life.

Come visit us today at the Outdoor Adventures Equipment Rental Center to sign up for trips and rent equipment. We are located on the first floor of the Carmichael Recreation Center and hours can be found here.

 

Go Wolfpack,

Kaley Moffitt

 


 

 

November Club Sport of the Month: Men’s Soccer

Globally recognized as the world’s game, recently, soccer has grown substantially in the United States. Building off of the energy of tournaments like the World Cup and video games like EA Sports’ FIFA, soccer is becoming a major sport in a country that is enamored with football, basketball and baseball.

At NC State, soccer has maintained a great following through the legacy of our men’s varsity team, currently ranked top 25 in the nation. This team has produced players such as former US Men’s National Team member Pabli Mastroeni and current Carolina RailHawk Nazmi Albadawi.

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Our men’s club team has followed suit, building a program predicated on building great student-athletes and fantastic soccer players. Check out our interview with the team below.

UREC: How is the season going thus far?

So far we have had a very good season; we have yet to lose a conference game and we look like strong contenders for Regionals. As the season goes on we have only been getting better and that is something that is very promising.


UREC: What are you guys looking forward to the most this school year?

As the regular season comes to an end, we are really looking forward to Regionals. If we qualify, we will be going to Florida on Halloween weekend and hopefully we can have a strong showing there. We have not qualified for the past couple of years, so this is something that we are really looking forward too.


UREC: As the new members come in, what is the most important thing necessary to become a valuable team member?

The most important thing would be commitment. We have players from all over the place with many different playing styles so when a new player comes in it is important that he is going to all the practices in order to get better team chemistry. The more committed the player is the better adapted he can become to our playing style, and the bigger impact he can have for us on the field.

UREC: What is the strongest attribute of this team on the field?
Our strongest attribute would have to be our teamwork. We work very hard every practice to make that we are all on the same page when it comes to game time, and that shows. We are very strong when it comes to attacking and defending as a unit.

UREC: Typical practice looks like?
At the beginning of practice the first thing we do is get a warm up going, this usually consists of a couple laps around the field just to get our legs going. After this we incorporate some technical work with some fitness as well. Once we finish this we move on to some small sided games, some possession drills, or a scrimmage. We also try to make things more interesting by having the losing team do more fitness at the end of practice.

UREC: During travel, what are some of the best memories you can recall?
The best thing about traveling with the team is the time we get to spend together. The team meals we have are usually what everyone looks forward to and is always a good time. And of course whenever we stay at a hotel we seem to also find a way to get a little soccer game going, usually in the halls or in the parking lot.

UREC: What is a staple tradition your team has?
Our biggest tradition is going to the Clemson tournament. Every year Clemson has a tournament, and this is something that we always look forward too as a team. This is the time we get to spend the most time together as a team and it really helps us come together and get to know each other, especially the newest players that some might not know as well.

UREC: Being a student-athlete has benefited you in a multitude of ways, top benefit is?
Being a student-athlete can be something that is very demanding at times. With school being very stressful at times with exams and projects, the best thing for me about being a student-athlete is the relief that is gives me. I know that no matter how busy the week is, at least twice a week I am going to have a couple hours where I get to relax and do what I love. It helps me relax and get away from all the stress of school, and that is something that is very important I think for everyone; everyone needs to do something that gets you away from the stress and re-energizes you.
 
UREC: Lastly, what makes men’s club soccer at NC State special?
What makes club soccer soccer so special is the bond and friendships that it creates. There is something about being part of a team that is inexplicable. We have people come from so many different places and cultures that are brought together by this one sport that we love. Club soccer takes soccer and creates bonds that go way beyond that, it creates awesome friendships. Club soccer has given me friendships that will last a lifetime, and that is pretty special.

Running Tips

With leaves falling from the trees and crisp, cool air, fall is an ideal time for running outdoors. Whether you’re getting into running, getting back into running, or already a runner, being knowledgeable about the sport is crucial to being a safe and successful runner. Preventing injury and maximizing your workouts will put you on your way to a lifetime of happy running. As with any goal-oriented aspect of students’ lives, approaching running with knoScreen Shot 2015-11-04 at 5.49.38 PMwledge and tools to succeed is the key to improving as an athlete and reaching your goals, whether it’s a mile or a marathon.

PACE                                                                                                                              Only the runner knows what pace is best for him or her. Starting a run too fast tires you out quickly. Running with a buddy can help you keep up a steady pace and it is good to have moral support. Don’t get discouraged if you’re running with someone who is faster than you-every runner is different and whatever pace you feel comfortable at is a good pace. Also, keep your goals in mind. If speed is your main goal, look up a training plan or ask a fitness professional what sorts of workouts will lead to faster times. However, if distance is your goal, you’ll want to train in a different way, and pacing yourself is crucial to hitting your miles goals.

COURSE                                                                                                                                            Where you run makes a big difference in your workout. The surface you are running on, the incline of the ground, and the surroundings impact how challenging the workout is. If you want to have hills as a part of your run, then look for a course with varied incline. Along with making the run harder, incline helps to tone your leg muscles. If you’re looking for something easier, a track is always a good place to start. While the scenery isn’t the most interesting, tracks are flatter and softer than pavement. It also is fairly easy to keep track of distance on a track: each lap on a standard one is a quarter mile. Running on pavement or a track is a personal preference and there are pros and cons of each. Don’t forget that you can work on your running skills in the gym, also. Treadmills are extremely useful tools for runners. Make sure to add some incline and vary your speed to get the most out of a treadmill workout.Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 5.48.42 PM

NUTRITION                                                                                                                         A successful run is a well-fueled run. Just as a car won’t work properly on the wrong gasoline, your body won’t run its best without the right nutrition. Running is physically taxing, and eating nutritiously prior to and following your run will help you maximize on your workout. This article from The Starting Line has some easy and useful nutrition advice about topics including staying hydrated and shopping for healthy foods.

SAFETY                                                                                                                             Outdoor workouts have plenty of benefits, but also pose different safety concerns than indoor workouts. If you plan on running outside, make sure you do so during daylight hours. If you run at night, bright clothing can help you be visible to drivers. Vehicles pose a risk for runners during the day also, so be aware of your surroundings, look both ways before crossing the street, and cross at designated crosswalks when possible. There is also the risk of falling, so always keep an eye on where you’re running and have proper footwear. Also, it is smart to stay in fairly populated areas in case you are to need assistance. Running is a rewarding form of exercise that millions of people love, and is safe as long as you take precautions.

 

STRETCHING                                                                                                                    It is important to stretch prior to running as well as after. This Runner’s World article on Dynamic Stretching explains a series of exercises to do before your run. Stretching is often overlooked, but is a crucial aspect of preventing injury and being a successful runner.  As for cool-down stretches, check out this article about what to do following a run.

Join the University RecreatiScreen Shot 2015-11-04 at 5.50.21 PMon Run Club, which meets outside the Recreation Center on Monday evenings at 5:30. There’s the option of a 1-2 mile loop as well as a 3-5 mile loop, both of which are led by knowledgeable staff members who can help you along your running journey. Whether you’re a novice or an expert, UREC is here to help you succeed.

Run with The Pack,

Abby

October Club Sport of the Month: Ice Hockey

University Recreation is proud to recognize Men’s Club Ice Hockey as Club Sport of the Month. The club first formed in the 1970’s as the NC State Ice Hockey Organization and has since been very successful. Last year, the team earned the bronze medal in the ACCHL championship, medalling for the third year in a row! According to the Technician, the team has a substantial fanbase that helped them raise over $6,000 for a new locker room in the Raleigh IcePlex, where they practice and host games. The new locker room is an incredible gift for the Ice Hockey Club because they don’t have anywhere to put their equipment, so many just leave their pads and sticks in their cars. The teammates have spent many nights and weekends build much of the locker room themselves.

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I was able to interview NC State’s Men’s Club Ice Hockey Team president, Garrett Sunda, to learn more about the team.

University Recreation: When does your season start, and how long does your season last? 

Garrett Sunda: We start practicing at the end of august, our games begin mid September and we play until the ACC tournament in mid February.  

UR: Does your team have any recent achievements that you are especially proud of?
GS: Last year we claimed our third consecutive ACC Regular Season title, which gave us a total of 7, more than any other team in the ACC.

UR: What is a tradition your team has?
GS:  After each practice, a player on the team “gives thanks” which is a short talk about what that person is thankful for such as an upcoming game or thankful for a previous win. It’s a fun tradition that can be both serious and humorous and brings everyone together at the end of each practice.

UR: What is your favorite thing about playing and being a part of a Club Sports team at N.C. State?
GS: Being a student run team gives us flexibility such as who we want to play against and when we want to practice.  It also allows us to focus on our academics while still enjoying the sport we all love.

UR: How often do you practice? What is your typical practice like?
GS: We practice on the ice three times a week, 6:30 a.m. Monday9:15 p.m. Tuesday10:45 p.m. Thursday.  We also have team workouts at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday and 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.  The typical on-ice practice involves skill improvement drills, team based drills and some form of conditioning.  It’s a lot of practice each week but that’s what allows us to continue our success.

UR: What is it like to travel around and compete against different schools?
GS: It’s great to be able to see different universities and play different opponents.  Some of the road trips can definitely be tough though. Last night we didn’t get home from Clemson until 5:00 a.m. after a 9:15 p.m. game.

UR: What is your best memory about the Ice Hockey Club team?
GS: In the last home game of my Sophomore year we were up against George Washington.  We were ranked first and GW was second, and the winner would clinch the Regular Season ACC Title.  After going down a few goals early, we started to lose hope.  We kept at it though and ended up being able to tie up the game late in the third period.  We went on to win the game in a shootout and the crowd went crazy.  Definitely a game I will never forget.

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UR: What if someone is interested in the Ice Hockey Club? How can they find out more information? Are there tryouts?
GS:  If someone is interested in joining our team we suggest they fill out a recruit form on our website or email us at icehockey-club@ncsu.edu. Each year there are tryouts in the fall.

UR: What sets Ice Hockey apart from other sports?
GS: As an organization we’ve been growing a lot over the last few years and we now have the support of a rapidly expanding fan base.  It’s awesome to have students and other members of the community support us at our games.  At our UNC rivalry game last year we had over 600 fans! In general, Ice Hockey is different than other sports because it combines a wide range of athletic abilities.  Each player has to be fast and agile but also strong enough to maintain possession of the puck in each battle.  Ice hockey also isn’t a sport that can be quickly picked up. Being able to skate takes years to learn and perfect.  Most of our players have been playing since they were very young.

Stephen Russell Hockey Poster

Club Ice Hockey invites you to join them this weekend, October 9 through the 11, for their  Annual Stephen Russell Memorial Tournament. The tournament in is a memoriam in honor of a beloved teammate who passed in 2009. The tournament was previously called the Canes Cup, which was sponsored by the Hurricanes. In 2009, the team retired Stephen’s jersey and the Hurricanes renamed the tournament in his honor. Stephen’s family and the team work together with the generous donations from the fans to sponsor this tournament. The tournament was relatively small until last year. This year marks the second year the tournament is the official season opener with the entire league and other region schools participating. The goal of the tournament is to promote sportsmanship, teamwork, the student athletes, and academic excellence. The schedule is jam-packed, so come join the excitement!

Home games are at the Raleigh IcePlex and tickets are available at a reduced price for students.

Think and just do it,

Sarah

Balancing Everything in College

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Every college student at some point has struggled with balancing a busy schedule of class, social lives, and personal health. The key to keeping your life in check is to always remember the important parts of a balanced lifestyle and if you need a little help, here are six tips to balancing your college life.

Top Six Tips For Balancing College Life

1) Learn to Study Like a Champ: Yes, everyone has to study at some point during their college career (or so we would think). There are many ways to figure out a studying routine that works for you. Whether it’s being tucked away in the library or in your room, make specific blocks of time in your schedule to dedicate towards studying and learning your course materials. Be mindful of when you are most alert and focused during the day, and take advantage of that time instead of trying to cram before an exam; which can lead to increased stress levels and hinder your academic performance. Not sure where to start? Try different apps and websites that help create positive study habits like Focus Booster, IStudiezPro, StudyBlue, etc.

2) Time Management for the Win: Stop the procrastination and all-nighters! Between your classes, study sessions, projects, internships, and social outings, it is possible to get things done without sacrificing your sanity and sleep. College is challenging and managing time becomes difficult because your schedule can be very different each day. If I asked you right now what your three biggest stressors are from now until the end of the semester, I know you could tell me. If you already know what they are, instead of procrastinating and pretending like these stressors don’t exist until you’re forced to deal with them, make an action plan now to include small steps to successfully getting through those stressors before you become completely stressed out and frazzled. Plus, if you’re going to spend half your day on your phone tweeting, etc., use it for your benefit and improve your time management through the use of a few apps like Focus at Will, 30/30, Remember the Milk, Super Notes, and Google Keep.

3) You Are What You Eat: You’ve heard this saying, so embrace it, and become what you eat! Meaning, the better you eat, the better you can perform academically and physically. In numerous studies, it has been proven time and again that students who ate healthy, balanced meals before exams performed better than those who ate foods filled with sugar, grease, excess fat, etc. Thinking about grabbing a quick bite to eat before a test? Skip the fried/fast food and opt for an on-campus dining solution that is “Wolf Approved”, or look for the “Dietitian’s Dish” options online, or browse dining options and look for places that offer a variety of fruits, vegetables, and proteins, like One Earth, Jason’s Deli, etc.

4) Strive for 150 Minutes: When you are so consumed with studying, socializing, and attending your classes, it’s fairly easy to put physical activity and exercise on the back burner. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, we should strive for 150 minutes of physical activity each week. Although it may sound like a lot, things like walking to class, walking your dog, etc. count as physical activity. Plus, research shows that exercise improves mood, boosts energy, increases relaxation, promotes better sleep, and more. If those aren’t good enough reasons to get your weekly 150 minutes- exercise with a friend who will keep you accountable.

5) Use Your Campus Resources: One of the awesome things about college is that you are surrounded by great campus resources that are just waiting to be utilized. Feeling overwhelmed? Check out the Counseling Center during walk-in hours, or make an appointment. Utilize your University Recreation resources and join an intramural sports team, or go to a fun Specialty Group Fitness class. While you’re at it, do yourself a favor and get a nice massage from Student Health Services. Or, improve your professional network and resume with the helpful staff at the Career and Development Center. I could go on, but you get the point. Everything you need to become your best self is here on campus, so use it while you can!

6) Socialize to Reduce Stress Build-Up: According to research, we generally need six hours of social time each day! Those six hours include time at work, at home, on the phone, talking to friends, sending emails, and other forms of communication. In fact, results from a recent study show that each hour of social time decreases the odds of having a bad day. Crazy, right? While it’s good to have one or two close friends, making new friends is also great for your overall social well-being. What better place to make new friends than on a college campus? Just make sure you create a balanced schedule so your social life isn’t taking over your other priorities like going to class, studying, working, etc.

The last thing you need to know about balancing college life is understanding that all aspects of your well-being are intertwined. If you are struggling in one area of your well-being, you’re likely struggling in other areas as well. For example, when you procrastinate and pull an all-nighter, you become stressed, avoid socialization, and get little sleep, which in turn affects your brain function (Sleep powers restoration throughout our body, like improving memory), it affects your mood (we are likely to become cranky without enough sleep), and more. Keep this fact and top 6 tips in mind for a balanced and successful college lifestyle.

Always Howlin’
Alan

Insight on the 2015 Monster Dash

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As Raleigh’s hot summer days turn into chilly fall nights, we look forward to helping the Wolfpack family grow through fun, engaging events. One event that we are looking forward to is the Monster Dash on Centennial Campus.

Scheduled to kick off on October 29th, this event combines obstacle course racing with Halloween traditions. The combination of running, crawling and critically thinking fits NC State’s mindset of “Think and Do” like no other.

The 5 kilometer, 3.1 mile race begins with a puzzle that is meant to stimulate the mind before a plethora of new challenges. Teams have to work as a unit to finish their puzzle or lose precious time to their fellow competitors. Once the puzzle is complete, participants begin their quest for first place as the Dash officially starts.

A staggered run from Centennial’s Greenway to Lake Raleigh leads to the paddling phase, which is one of the most fascinating elements to the Monster Dash. Kaley, a participant from last year’s Monster Dash says, “Paddling was the coolest part of the Dash because some of us had to learn on the fly. It gave us so many laughs and moments to remember.”

This year’s Dash is at night, adding a whole new level of difficulty for the paddling phase. Though the water will have lighting, paddling at nighttime will make the journey interesting as many participants will experience paddling in the dark for the first time.

An interview with one of the Monster Dash’s coordinators shed light on this year’s new component. “Hosting this event at night will make it extremely interesting. Paddling on Lake Raleigh at night while wearing wild Halloween costumes will definitely make it a night to remember” said the Monster Dash coordinator.

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Once the paddling phase is complete, runners will pick up their team pumpkin from the Greenway and proceed to Centennial’s Oval to complete a plethora of challenges. These challenges test teamwork and communication skills as teams will complete tasks varying in difficulty such as jumping through tires and completing small games.

After the games on the Oval are done, participants will complete their longest straight run of the day. This run will serve as crunch time that will likely dictate the winners of the race. Competitors will have to remain consistent and strong on their stride towards the finish line.

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At the end of the run, participants will finish with a bang as the last part of the race is a 50-yard low crawl through mud. This part of the race will stress the concept of unity within teams as all four members will have to complete the low crawl to cement a finishing time.

Throughout the race, teams will enjoy their time together working hard and thinking critically on the pursuit of the coveted first place title. Laughs aplenty will be generated through great costumes and challenging tasks, creating great memories to start the fall season.

The winning team will take home a prize pack including an Adidas sports bag, perfect for holding gym apparel. All participants who register before October 22nd will also receive a commemorative Monster Dash tee shirt in their size.

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Post-run, competitors will be treated to snacks and encouraged to take pictures of their team’s costumes. At this stage, costumes will be the focal point as participants and staff alike will marvel at the creativity of the Wolfpack family. After a review from race staff, the best costumes will receive a prize from University Recreation.

To register for this race, visit IM Leagues to add your team of four or even enter as a free agent. Teams of four will be constructed upon submission of teams with any less than four participants.

Why Group Fitness?

 

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Between class and other campus activities, prioritizing the time for a regular workout  can be difficult. Group fitness classes are a great way to combat this issue of finding time and motivation to exercise. These free classes consist of a group of participants who follow a trained instructor through a combination of exercises. Here at the Carmichael Complex we have a diverse selection of group fitness classes in categories such as: cardio, strength and mind/body. Between Cardio Dance, Ab Solutions, Yoga or something else, there are fitness classes for everyone. With a fun, motivating, instructional atmosphere these classes draw members in, promoting an alternative way to pursue a healthy active lifestyle.

 

HAVE FUN

Some members grumble about how their workouts have become boring, or too routine. With group fitness classes, working out can be fun. These engaging classes, led with high energy and positive attitudes are a hit for those who consider working out to be a bore. The atmosphere of group fitness classes are purposely intended to spark a fun, effective workout. For example, in most classes music is played. According to an article in the New York Times, entitled Phys Ed: Does Music Make You Exercise Harder?  a study done by Nina Kraus, states that, “music is effective and desirable during exercise.” In essence, this study demostrated how most people excersice harder and enjoy their workouts more when music is played. Therefore, participants who attend group fitness classes are probably working harder than if they were working out alone.

Another way group fitness classes stimulate a fun atmosphere is through the contagious, positive attitudes of the instructors. Upon walking into a group fitness class you are met by smiling instructors whose goals are to keep you happy and engaged. Instructors do this by showering participants in encouragement and compliments throughout the workout. Ultimately, the instructor’s energetic attitudes encourage participants to share the same attitude on working out: smile and have fun.

One of the most obvious ways group fitness classes create a fun atmosphere is by allowing participants to surrounding themselves with friends and fellow co-workers/students. Not only is it fun to be around friends but it can serve as a good distraction from the actual workout itself. After all, “time flies when you’re having fun,” right? Thanks to group fitness classes participants are able to enjoy their workouts and therefore it becomes much easier to stick with it.

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GET MOTIVATED

Working out with others is motivating. According to Active, “people are less likely to ditch a group fitness class if they know that their friends or fitness instructor will give them a ‘hard time’ for not showing up.” So, if you have someone holding you accountable for your workouts, you will be more likely to attend and benefit from the class. Group motivation is also key. Members are able to motivate one another by relating and supporting eachother during difficult workouts. To hear that you’re not the only one struggling with a certain yoga pose or rep can be comforting. Then working with those same people to accomplish the challenges posed by the class can be rewarding.

SAFE AND EFFECTIVE

Having a trained instructor lead a group fitness class can help insure safety. As stated by the American College of Sports Medicine, “An exercise class… can be beneficial for people with limited knowledge about safe and effective exercise…” Therefore, because instructors are trained to ensure proper form, participants become educated on safety and effectiveness of workouts. This is especially helpful for members who are trying a class for the first time. For example, if a member were to attend a yoga class with no previous experience, an instructor would be there to introduce the correct form, preventing injury. Then, once participants learn new form and technique they can add it to their own workouts.

Another advantage to having an instructor guide your workout is simply that the workout becomes almost mindless. Meaning that, instead of having to take the time to plan out your next rep or decide which machine to use, all you have to do is follow the instructor’s directions. Not only does this save time but it’s helpful for those who aren’t quite sure how to begin to construct a workout routine. This is also beneficial for those who are looking to spice up their current workout routine.

CHALLENGE YOURSELF

Group fitness classes challenge members to push their minds and bodies to the next level. This mental drive and initiative is the result of positive peer pressure. While working out, members are able to look around the studio and watch and learn from others performing the same rep, dance, or pose. This both encourages and inspires participants to work harder toward their fitness goals. This ambition to obtain fitness goals may have not been initiated during an individual workout. Peer pressure isn’t always a negative thing, especially when it comes to group fitness classes.

 

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MEET NEW PEOPLE

While group fitness classes are a great way to stay active, they are also a great way to meet new people. Taught on a regular schedule, group fitness classes allow members to run into the same faces on a regular basis. These familiar faces become inviting, encouraging a comfortable, accepting environment. The neat thing is friends met in group fitness classes are friends who share the same goals of pursuing a healthy, active lifestyle.

Needless to say, group fitness classes have numerous ways of benefitting everyone. Check out our group fitness schedule and try one out!

 

Back the pack,

Kaley

Benefits of Competitive Sports

 

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University Recreation is dedicated to providing students with a plethora of options to maintain healthy, active lifestyles while pursuing academic goals. This dedication makes our competitive sports sector an integral part.

Many students at NC State have a passion for athletics. Sadly, not all of us had the basketball skill of Abdul-Malik Abu or the football skill of Jacoby Brissett to continue playing at the highest level. This leads us to require a fix or a supplemental realm to live out our athletic dreams.

Within our recreational facilities at NC State, many competitive sports teams host games and matches built to test competitive will and build camaraderie. From cricket to the popular flag football, University Recreation covers a wide demographic of different athletic interests.

The various sports University Recreation offers allow participants to enjoy a multitude of different sports, even some during the same seasons. Getting into a sport and building relationships with your peers of different characteristics is easier when you’re interacting through competition. Taking advantage of this allows the participant to benefit in a variety of ways.

ACADEMIC 

Playing competitive sports in college has been proven to increase the rate of positive academic achievement. Spikes in grade point average, test scores and overall consistency in school have been linked to participation in intramural and club competition.

A 2014 study at the University of Maryland provided context into the known fact of competitive sports’ impact on education. The research in this study led by Maryland professor Sangmin Kim utilized a representative sample of 9,230 students in high school and college.

10 years of research concluded in findings that showcased a positive relation between high math scores and competitive sports participation. Sports such as baseball, soccer and football in particular showed high scores in reading along with consistently above average scores in math.

These statistics prove the true benefit of competitive sports. The added activity in your schedule can keep you busy while participating in a sport you love. Overall, staying busy is extremely helpful to the pursuit of a success academic career as you are constantly processing experiences. Utilize competitive sports as a part of your day in which exercise produces growth.

SOCIAL

Competitive sports in college allow participants to maximize understanding of their peers and colleagues. The more dialogue a student has with their classmates, the better they understand the culture they reside in and how they can make an impact on it. Competitive sports foster healthy communication through sports, promoting the idea of campus growth.

In a study conducted by Brock University in Ontario, Canada, competitive sports’ benefit to college students is studied on a social level. The study aimed to provide information on what social characteristics changed in participants of friendly competition.

After a review of over 300 surveys, the study found competitive sports to improve leadership abilities grow self-confidence and especially improve tolerance of different culture. The last one in particular struck a nerve as participants noticed a major spike in their acceptance of other culture.

When you go to a prestigious public university, you encounter people from all across the world. Participants of this study showed growth in their understanding through constant communication with people from various cultures. Sports was utilized as a medium between American culture and the world, creating a space in which participants can grow personally through simply playing games.

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Competitive sports also proved to reduce social alienation amongst participants. During college, things get tough and time goes quickly leading to people alienating themselves to find peace. The Brock University study showed that sports allowed students to release the tensions of the day with their peers instead of coping alone.

As a senior at NC State, I can attest to having moments in which I wanted to be alone. Through it all, playing club soccer allowed me to find people who I could relate to, making my time here easier.

The relationships I’ve built through simply playing sports have made life fun at NC State. Whether its having relationships with coworkers or classmates that I already met through competitive sports, simply kicking a ball around built relationships that make my day-to-day routine flow in an enjoyable manner.

PHYSICAL

Over everything, competitive sports’ benefit to the physique is the most evident. Whether its strength, endurance, or coordination, competitive sports allows students to continue living like an athlete.

The mentality behind always being prepared for competition encourages physical attributes to flourish and develop through sport. While having fun and developing relationships, sports such as soccer and basketball promote cardiovascular health.

Cardiovascular health is vital in many day-to-day aspects including energy reservation and energy use. The better your cardiovascular health is, the easier the long walk from one class to another becomes.

Many studies have highlighted competitive sports’ ability to help maintain fitness in participants. The motivation to exercise is unconscious as the motivation to win and have fun prevail. This makes exercise effortless while maximize physical attributes.

Competitive sports provide students with a wonderful opportunity to thrive academically, network with peers and maintain fitness. University Recreation offers a variety of intramural and club sports for the Wolfpack to take advantage of these potential benefits.

To get more information on intramural and club sports, check out the links attached in this sentence. We can’t wait to see you at our courts and fields this year. Plus, we give away really cool shirts to champions!

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Think and DOminate,

Cherif Gueye