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MIT student blogger Veronica M. '22

Here’s a Plan by Veronica M. '22

let's burn off the pi(e)

Pi day is almost here, when all the hard work from both applicants and the admissions office comes to fruition. Breathing is hard right about now, right? How about forcefully regulating your heart rate by hitting the gym? Besides, after this humongous pie I’d say it’s time for a little workout.

Stress-exercising is a coping mechanism for me and one that I highly recommend for its numerous benefits, such as the fact that since you’re physically exhausted, you can’t mentally exhaust yourself by overthinking. You end up having to sleep due to fatigue and most likely will wake up with a clear mind and higher spirits, ready to face the day. I stress-exercised a lot before decisions mostly because I wasn’t about to verbally express my nervousness to anyone around me since they were probably twice as anxious as I was. Now before this, I had an aversion to physical activity and had probably never ran more than a mile in my life. Imagine how shocked everyone was when I signed up at the local gym and began faithfully attending workouts four or five days a week.

Allow me to draw up a workout schedule for the remainder of your week, to take advantage of the adrenaline surging in your system and keep your head above the rising waters!

If the weather is conducive for an outside jog, I highly recommend morning runs in solitude between 6 am and 8 am. Halfway through your run, take a moment to enjoy the sunrise. Stick a colorful flower in your hair. Say hi to the neighbors. You know, the little things. Aim for four miles every morning- but take it at your pace. I’d ideally do yoga after my morning jog as a stretching mechanism, along with mindfulness meditation.

I recommend signing up for a class because then you’re obligated to attend sessions and doing stuff in a group (with strangers who don’t know you’re a ticking time bomb counting down to decisions) is very engaging. Social interaction reduces the amount of time you have to think yourself into misery. I joined a floor aerobics class that was super fun and intense.

You could do the typical one hour on a treadmill switching between sprinting and power walking. Other options include a rowing or biking machine.

Core training. Five sets of six core exercises- there’s a variety of these; push-ups, side planks, sit ups, crunches, leg lifts, flutter kicks, and my personal favorite, Russian twists. Begin and end session with a one/two minute plank.

Leg training. Five sets of either lunges, front squats, reverse squats, deadlifts, Swiss Ball leg curl, wall squats (deadly ones, these), or honestly, any other patterned motions you can come up with that bring you joy.

Swimming is fun and this is the perfect time to learn how to or to sharpen your skills! Personal favorites are backstroke and butterfly, but you know, different strokes for different folks (ha, ha).

Key takeaways: breathe. This, too, shall pass (but your workout stamina shouldn’t).