As we approach the midway point of April, spring is really beginning to take hold. The weather’s getting warmer, flowers are blooming, and everything is slowly turning from drab brown into glorious green. It’s truly one of the best times of the year.
Unless, that is, you’re a student. It may be nice and warm outside, but how would you know? With finals looming on the horizon, you’re probably stuck in your room or at the library, stressed out and mentally exhausted as you prepare the big exam.
Finals are stressful. There’s no getting around that. But luckily there are ways to reduce that stress and perform your best come test time. I’m talking, of course, about exercise.
(Insert collective moan.)
Now, before you jump all over me about how you hate to exercise or that you just don’t have the time…let me explain.
First of all, with dozens of 15-minute workouts out on the Internet (just Google it), you actually do have the time, no matter how busy you are. And secondly, if you want to make sure you ace your finals in the coming weeks, you really can’t afford not to exercise. Besides the obvious benefits — feeling good, looking good, being healthy — exercise is also great for your overall mental well-being, too.
Exercise Reduces Stress
Have you noticed you’ve been eating a lot of junk lately? Are you constantly gnawing at your fingernails? Are you having trouble sleeping? Chances are, you’re stressed out. And that’s completely natural. After all, you’ve got a lot on your mind, including that big Calc final that could make or break your grade. Work it out. Literally. Studies have shown that exercise — even a brisk walk — can help lower your stress and keep it at a manageable level.
Exercise Makes You Smarter
Really. It’s true. Studies have shown that even a modest amount of cardiovascular exercise can actually create new brain cells and improve your ability to think. Better yet, the harder you work out, the more efficient your brain becomes at thinking and learning. So go ahead, take a jog around town or — if you’re up for it — jump on the CrossFit craze and watch your brain grow along with your biceps.
Exercise Boosts Your Memory
Can’t remember where you left your glasses? (Tip: Check your head.) How do you expect to remember all those dates and events for your History final? Studies have shown that regular exercise can actually improve your memory. So if you want your brain to become a remembering machine (i.e., your smartphone), don’t forget (ha!) to incorporate some physical activity into your daily routine.
No more excuses. Start making exercise — even a little bit — part of your normal, everyday routine. Your brain (and your grades) will thank you for it. ~
Source: 13 Unexpected Benefits of Exercise, by Sophia Breene, Oct. 7, 2013, greatist.com