Fitness helps rid faculty of stress

Between classes, conducting office hours and maintaining personal lives, professors at California Baptist University find the time to exercise and maintain  mental and physical health.

Amy Miller, assistant professor of kinesiology, said she exercises five days a week. Her exercise regimen consists of running, hiking, cycling and swimming, as well as resistance training and playing tennis. She said she prefers playing tennis and running more than cycling and resistance training.

Miller said setting a goal for herself helps motivate her to stay on track with exercise. She is currently training for a HITS Triathlon Series race in Palm Springs in December.

“I make time to exercise,” Miller said. “In a normal work week, if you work 40 hours and sleep 40 hours, you have 40 hours left. It isn’t hard to set aside five of those hours for exercise.”

Miller said she exercises for the health benefit. She also said she believes she needs to live out what she teaches as a kinesiology professor and  a Kaiser Permanente lifestyle health educator.

However, Miller said her reason for exercising is greater than just feeling better and being healthier.

“If I am able to take care of my body now, I can continue to use it later for the glory of God,” Miller said.

Although balancing family life with a newborn baby and teaching duties may be difficult, Dr. Nathanael Heyman, assistant professor of biology, said finding time to exercise is worth the benefits he personally gains from exercise, such as being able to refresh his mind.

“I get a little irritable if I go a couple days without exercise,” Heyman said.

Mountain biking, running, bouldering and skiing are a few of the outdoor activities for which Heyman sets aside time.

“Sometimes, mostly during the summertime, I will work on creating my own bouldering routes and mountain bike trails because I live in the mountains and there aren’t very many mountain bike trails near me,” Heyman said.

Dr. Jeffrey Barnes, dean of Academic Services and professor of history, said he also sets aside time to exercise.

“There was a time after I had a surgery in which I was not allowed to exercise, and I use that time as motivation now because there was there was a time I couldn’t exercise,” Barnes said.

CBU’s Recreation Center gives students and faculty a place where they can exercise on campus. Barnes said he can push himself on the treadmills in the Rec Center, and has the option to lift weights in the same area.

Barnes said he enjoys power walking outside on cool mornings, even though he said Riverside does not have a lot of cool mornings.

“I really value that I have the choice to exercise because it allows me to be the boss of myself, and I get to make the choice to exercise,” Barnes said.

Making some time in one’s schedule for exercise can help alleviate the stresses of school and work.

Professors use it as a way to take a break from the monotony of classes and to help preserve their sanity as finals approach.

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