The workout areas at the Student Life Center, Wednesday January 13, 2016.

If the end-of-the-semester pressure is burning you out, give your mind a break and stop by the Student Life Center for “Sweat the Stress,” three days of free fitness classes during finals week.

Cairistiona Flatley, a fitness program manager at the center, thinks exercise helps balance the mental demands of studying.

“We offer free fitness classes to students during finals week so they have an opportunity to work out their brain and body,” Flatley said.

The classes, offered May 2 to May 4, include yoga, zumba, cycling and other guided workouts. The center’s normal facilities, such as the running track, weight room, swimming pool and climbing wall, will still be available to students during finals.

Flatley said the classes have been a tradition during finals week for about two years and are growing in popularity.

“Any time we offer free classes it’s popular,” Flatley said. “Students, faculty and staff participate and they all enjoy it.”

To cope with the stress, the U’s Center for Student Wellness recommends setting realistic goals, finding a relaxation method, asking for help when you need it, eating well and staying active. Jerika Larson, a sophomore in business, said sleep is the most helpful thing for her during finals, though she’ll consider attending the fitness classes.

“You need a balance of rest and activity,” Larson said. “It’s really easy for me to get overwhelmed, so I just have to make sure I’m doing the important things first, getting my work done, but also taking care of myself.”

Students still have to choose whether to deal with stress in the healthy way or the comforting way. Anders Peterson, a junior in biology, has no plans to attend any fitness classes or to do anything physically taxing at all.

“I’m going to eat trash all week,” Peterson said. “Probably pizza, cookies, caffeine and just a bunch of snacks. If I have to be studying all day, my body is going to take it easy.”

ASUU’s Geek Week at the Marriott Library will give students a chance to indulge a bit while studying from April 25 to 28. Free pizza will be available each evening at 7 p.m., and volunteers will give out 200 donuts on the morning of May 2. ASUU will also have tables at the library, giving out snacks and study supplies, and therapy dogs will be in the lobby on the evenings of April 27 and 28.

The Student Life Center will have another free fitness week May 16 to 22 so students can sample the offerings for summer workout classes.

No registration is required for the free classes. There will be one class each day at noon and two other classes later in the afternoon and evening. A full schedule and more information on the classes and other recreation services can be found online at campusrec.utah.edu.

m.bateman@dailyutahchronicle.com

@mbatman72

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