WT’s Virgil Henson Activities Center is a stress relieving hub for students

One of the biggest issues for students at a university is stress. Stress comes in all shapes and forms. From studying for midterms, to making deadlines and paying for tuition. All while trying to have a social life at college, it could be hard on a student. West Texas A&M University has the answer: the Virgil Henson Activities Center.

“A lot of people come here to go to the game room or go to work out or play basketball, so it does relieve stress for a lot of people and they have a lot of fun,” front desk staff at the AC, Regan Riddle, a junior majoring in digital communication and media.

A study from the Mayo Clinic organization shows that students who workout or do some form of activity at least three times a week have better moods and decreased amounts of stress than those who did not. Students that did workouts and activities had improved moods, stress and relief from tension with classes and studies.

“For me, it definitely is, I know for a lot of guys on the team it’s one of those things where they can come down and practice and take their minds off of other things as well,” said president of the WT bowling team, Preston Downer a senior majoring in entrepreneurship and small business.

The AC offers many different activities from lifting weights, playing basketball, bowling, swimming, racket ball, running on a track or even rock climbing. There’s even a game room for students that don’t necessarily want to break a sweat. Students can shoot some pool or play on some gaming consoles.

“Lift as many weights as I possibly can,” said Kyle Harberson, a senior majoring in political science. “You’re clearing your mind basically and all your problems leave and you’re just focused on one thing and one thing only, that’s it.”

Harberson likes to lift weights six days a week not only to stay in shape but because he likes that he can just think about the weights.

Exercise and activity allow students to release endorphins into the brain that relieve stress and give you feel-good thoughts and a better mood. Stress has negative effects on your body, doing activities will help counter those negative effects with positive ones, helping your cardiovascular, digestive and immune systems.

“When you’re playing basketball you’re not focused or worried about anything else and it’s the only time you get your mind off of real world stuff,” said Jacob Reyes, a freshman majoring in electrical engineering. Reyes relieves stress by, “Working out in the weight room or just playing basketball and shooting around.”

The AC is the place to go for anyone looking to have a fun time and not worry about the stresses of the world. Students can break a sweat and get those feel-good endorphins pumping in their bodies. Students can take 30 minutes to an hour to work on their mental and physical health.

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