Stay active to keep your mind sharp
Hitting the gym during exam time is crucial for your sanity
Exams have a funny way of sucking the life out of us, but you certainly don’t have to let it get the best of you. Our bodies need more energy when we are experiencing high levels of stress — more so than they do regularly. Exercise is key in order to enhance your concentration levels and keep you motivated through times of stress.
Mount Royal University fitness assistant, Samantha Fryer, emphasizes that despite what students think, getting proper exercise during crunch time isn’t all that difficult, and it really does
go a long way.
“There has been studies that show if you do some sort of physical activity before an exam it helps you relax and mentally
We all know that getting up and heading to the gym is often pushed to the bottom of our agendas when our schedules are already crammed. Although cardio is ideal, Fryer provides a list of activities that get muscles moving and increase the level of endorphins in our bodies. Some of these activities can be done in your own seat while taking a break from studying. So really, you have no excuse not to do them!
When you wake up, aim to get some stretches in. Stretching your body first thing in the morning is essential in getting your muscles moving and blood flowing.
This routine will leave you feeling rejuvenated and can be done almost anywhere: start by circling the neck. Then bring the left ear to the right shoulder, and then the right ear to the left shoulder. Finish by stretching your left arm over your right shoulder, and then right arm over your left shoulder. These stretches should take around 10 minutes and can easily be repeated
throughout the day.
For a quick 20-minute redeem, yoga is ideal because it gets your muscles moving and blood flowing. The best part is, you do not have to go out to a studio to do it. There are many resources available that provide you with at-home yoga routines, or you could try an on-campus option, such as one of the yoga classes offered through Recreation. You can also try downloading an app that will give you yoga instruction if that suits you better.
Meditation is key in stimulating our brains. A basic and efficient method that can be done anywhere is closing your eyes and taking deep breaths. This will help with your concentration
and relieve stress.
Get that blood pumping! It could be as simple as going for a short 20-minute run around the track at Recreation, or a short game of squash with a friend. But if that’s still too tough to squeeze in between your cram-sessions, try this quick 10-minute routine that can be done with little-to-no equipment:
- Squat jumps (2 minutes)
- Push-ups (2 minutes)
- Lateral lunge with torso twist (2 minutes)
- Mountain climbers or burpees (2 minutes)
- Plank (2 minutes)
These exercises will at least get you moving a little bit, and while 10 minutes is no real substitute for a proper workout, it can really help to break up that sedentary study-time.