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Five Ways to Cultivate the Habits of an Active Terp

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
By: 
Kate Maloney

By: Kate Maloney, University Recreation & Wellness

Are you worried that when you talk to your student on the phone, they seem to be doing anything but studying? Or conversely, do they seem to be studying all the time? The truth is students can’t and shouldn’t work and study every chance they get. Taking time to recharge is essential. However, we know that downtime can often lead to procrastination. But, what if your student could learn to procrastinate productively?

Yes, you read that right. There is such a thing as procrastinating productively. We’re not talking about the kind of wasting time that results in frenzied work happening in a state of deadline-induced panic. We’re talking about using time wisely by choosing to be active in order to perform at one’s best in and out of the classroom. When a student puts off working on a project or studying for an exam and chooses to spend that time being active, they work more efficiently and effectively when they start their work. Physical activity gets blood flowing to the brain which helps students learn new material, think creatively, and solve problems. Moving our bodies primes our state of mind and makes us more prepared to learn. We feel less fidgety and tense and more focused and alert.

At University Recreation & Wellness (RecWell), we believe being an ACTIVE TERP is essential to succeeding academically and thriving as a college student.

Benefits of being active for your student include:

  • Better sleep. Being active during the day promotes sound and restorative sleep at night.

  • Boosted mood and self-esteem. Being active is a great way to lift their mood, manage stress, and even manage the symptoms of anxiety and depression.

  • Stronger immune system. A stronger immune system means fewer missed classes.

  • Social connection. Being active in a social setting is a great opportunity to meet new people and make friends through shared experience.

  • More energy. Expending energy actually gives them more energy to do all the things they love to do and make the most of everything Maryland has to offer.

How can YOU help your Terp be an Active Terp?

  1. Offer praise and encouragement when they share they’ve done something active. Ask them how they felt afterwards and share with them the benefits of being active.

  2. Be proactive and suggest they take an active study break. If they feel like they can’t get away from their studies for an extended period of time, even getting up to move for just 5-10 minutes every hour will clear their mind and help them focus.

  3. Plan something active, like a walk in a local park or a game of tennis, for the next time they visit home for the weekend. Find something active you can enjoy doing as a family.

  4. Be active when you visit. Ask them to sponsor you as a guest at University Recreation & Wellness when you visit campus. Guest passes can be purchased for $7/day at the Member Services Desk in Eppley Recreation Center and include access to group fitness classes, the swimming pools, and the climbing wall in addition to gym facilities.

  5. Stay in the know with what’s happening at RecWell and recommend our programs and services to your student. Bookmark our webpage, follow us on Facebook, sign up for our monthly e-newsletter, Get Moving @ Maryland,  and read the Student Advocate edition of Maryland’s Student Health 101, a free digital magazine available to all Terps.

If your student doesn’t have a go-to physical activity they already enjoy doing, you can also help by broadening their perspective on the many activities available to them. Students can take part in over 100 group fitness classes offered each week, play in intramural sports leagues and tournaments, join any of our 45+ student-led sport clubs, and explore the great outdoors with our adventure program. If your student would benefit from extra motivation and a tailored workout plan, they may also consider personal training packages, offered at a 20% discount for students.

Whether your student is active in our facilities or programs or out in the community, we hope you’ll encourage your student to be an ACTIVE TERP to build their capacity for success here at UMD.