Your Campus as Your Gym: Part 1

As we all know, there are many important aspects and types of health.  We need food, water, sleep, to survive.  We need social health, financial health, spiritual health, mental health, and many other types in order to be a well-functioning, self-fulfilled human being (yes, we’re talking about Maslow’s pyramid in my psychology class).  One part of health that I find to be underrated by some is physical exercise.  Not only do we need it to be physically fit, but it has so many other purposes.  For me, working out is a huge part of mental health; after I run or play a sport I feel much more in control and much less stressed.  This is partly due to release of endorphins and other biological reasons, and also partly just psychological!  Regardless, starting my day off with a run and a hot shower is all I could ask for and I’m always proud of myself afterwards.

However, an effective workout depends on many things, the most important of which is the venue and type of exercise.  Where should you exercise at Notre Dame?  Luckily for us, there is a wealth of options for any day, time, or weather.

Something important that I must stipulate before going on is taking care of your body, especially as it does get colder.  Don’t push yourself too hard; if you’re not a runner, then start with one lake and if you like it, increase to running both or even more. Additionally, make sure to take care of any sore muscles or joints by stretching and getting the proper nutrients!  Something I rely on to calm inflammation in my knees and hips is CuraMed products, which focus on cellular protection to promote healthy aging.

Before launching into a list of the different gyms on campus, I would like to point out my absolute favorite workout: running the lakes.  The St. Elizabeth and St. Mary’s lakes are absolutely gorgeous, and running around them once or twice is almost a spiritual experience.  They are behind South Quad and the (appropriately named) Lake Lot, and the course takes you around the back of the Dome, the Grotto, and to Carroll Hall.  In total, running one lap around each lake is a little over two miles.  If you aren’t a runner then I totally understand if you completely disregard my suggestion, but if you’d like to try, then I highly recommend that you get out there before it gets too cold!  I know that I’ve worked out far more times this semester than I had previously planned to solely because whenever I’m deciding whether I should or not, I tell myself that I need to take advantage of the lakes now before they’re covered in ice.

I live in McGlinn, so running to, from, and around the lakes is very convenient for me.  However, if you live on the other side of campus, then I know many people who simply make their own route around campus.  With all of our devices, between phones, apple watches, Fitbits, and more, it’s so easy to track distance and calories that you never have to feel like you’re running without some measure of accomplishment.  A run around campus after class can be a calming and gratifying way to gain appreciation for our beautiful school and the many opportunities we have here (AKA a distraction from the amount of stress it sometimes causes us!).

These two workout options conclude my first part of a guide to working out on campus.   Go Irish, beat stress and Freshman 15!

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