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.


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:


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.”


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 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.­


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.


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.


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

Think and DOminate,


Insight on the 2015 Monster Dash


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.


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.


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.


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.

Fall Preview

Welcome back Wolfpack! We hope that everyone had a great summer and was able to stay active… and also found time to relax! As the school year begins, we know that you might get overwhelmed by classes, school work, clubs and other activities, but we hope that even in the midst of it all, you will be able to make time to visit us here at NC State University Recreation because this semester is jam packed with new programs, group fitness classes, intramural sports and special events!

Intramural Sports

Over the course of the year, we offer many Intramural Sports, some individual and some team-oriented. If you are looking to meet some new people or maybe sharpen your competitive edge, sign up! You can find all the steps you will need to follow in order to sign up on our website.

Want to be a part of a team? We have seven intramural team sports this fall, those being: flag football, wiffleball, outdoor and indoor soccer, volleyball, basketball and dodgeball. Remember that even if you want to play a team sport but don’t have enough people to make a team, you can sign up as free agent and get picked up by a team who may be lacking a few players. If you’re ever looking for a good laugh, come check me out on the flag football field.

Want to play an individual sport? You can choose between badminton, college bowl pick’em and tennis this fall. In addition, this semester we will have two Intramural Sports that will be considered special events, meaning they will only take place on one day, those being pool volleyball and pool battleship. Make sure to register for these early as they fill up quickly.

In order to sign up for an Intramural sport, you must have an account through IM Leagues; follow the link above for more information. Playing an (or multiple) intramural sport is a great way to get involved on-campus, along with staying active, so get your game face on and go register!

Flag Football3

Group Fitness

If you are looking for a way to get active in a fun and pumped up environment, look no further! This semester at University Recreation, we are offering more than 150 group fitness classes per week. Classes range anywhere from Yoga to Cardio Dance to Cycling and more!

New for this year is the Small Group Training program. This format allows the participants to combine the individualized feel of personal training and the pumped up dynamic of group fitness at a very affordable rate. Classes a part of this program are: 24/7 Fitness, Barre Burn, Indo Board Yoga, Wolfpack WOD and Premier Boxing. For more information about Small Group Training or to access the regular group fitness schedule, click here.

Small Group Training

Challenge Course

The Challenge Course at University Recreation is located 6 miles off campus in Schneck Forest. If you are looking for a great way to experience team building while also testing your individual limits, this year the Challenge Course will be hosting a new program called High Fridays. This allows faculty, staff and students to let off some steam from their work/school week while climbing more than 35 feet above ground.

The first High Friday will be held on August 29 from 2 – 6 p.m. The cost is $25 per person. If you are interested please register in the Member Services suite at Carmichael Gym, Room 1000. For more information, click here.

Challenge Course

Outdoor Adventures

During the fall semester, Outdoor Adventures will be hosting many trips and clinics. These usually come at an extra rate to the participant, based on the travel and equipment involved.

You could backpack over fall break or even learn how to successfully roll your kayak by attending the trips and clinics we are offering this semester. Most all of the clinics are held on-campus at Carmichael Gym, while most all of the trips involve leaving Raleigh, with the exception of a few. Please check out all of the trips and clinics offered through Outdoor Adventures at University Recreation here.

OA Trips - 3

Student Employment

Looking for a job on campus? University Recreation is the largest student employer on campus as we hire more than 700 students per year…you could be next! University Recreation is a great place to work because we are able to work your shifts around your class schedule… academics come first! As a student employee here, I can attest to the fact that University Recreation is an amazing place to work. The opportunities here are endless and the professional staff (your future bosses) are helpful, knowledgeable, and most importantly NICE!

If you are interested in becoming apart of our team, there are three steps you need to follow. First you must attend a University Recreation Recruitment Session, where you will learn all about who is hiring in what departments. Next, you need to print out an application from our website, fill it out, attach your resume and class schedule and turn it it to the Member Services Suite at Carmichael Gym, Room 1000. Lastly, if you are chosen for an interview, you will to set up a time and date to do so. For more information on student employment, click here.

Health and Water Safety

University Recreation Guidebook

Looking for a way to keep all of this information straight? University Recreation recently launched a Guidebook which includes all the important dates around the gym, what is happening from day to day, the ability to access our website and more! You can download our guide by first downloading NC State University Guides from your App Store and then searching “Rec Guide”.

NCSU Guides Icon

We hope everyone is as excited as we are for the upcoming semester and that we see you at University Recreation whether you are taking a group fitness class, attending an Outdoor Adventures clinic, playing an Intramural Sport, or doing one of the many other things we have to offer.

Shout out for dear old NC State!