This post was written by an external contributor. Jacob Phillips highlights the benefits of being physically active during exam periods.
It’s safe to say that exam season can often be an incredibly stressful time for students. Contact hours disappear, there’s very little advice on what revision you should do and in order to get a space in the library you have to get up at an unrealistically early hour.
However, while it may seem that spending as much time as possible revising will lead to a boost to your grades, this can prove to be counterproductive. Spending time away from revision or having a non-academic focus can help balance the workload of exam seasons and prevent you from falling into a constant state of procrastination.
One way to do this is through exercising – or through similar methods such as mindfulness. Here are just a few reasons why you should exercise more than usual while revising.
You have the time
Although losing contact hours can seem daunting, it can also be a fantastic opportunity as you are able to conduct when you get to study. With many exams taking place in late spring or early summer, the days are nice and long and this provides a greater opportunity to get out and exercise.
Spent lots of your time at the library? Why not end your day by going for a run in the evening sun, or alternatively why not use exercise as motivation to get up early? If you’ve already exercised before lunch time then you still have the rest of the day to study.
Exercising relieves stress
Exams can be incredibly stressful. Often tight deadlines can lead to long days and may leave you feeling as if you have achieved very little. Exercise can be the answer to this. Not only does it naturally relax you, but it will also leave you with a sense of achievement and progress.
In addition, having a non-academic goal alongside your studies means that you can have something to distract yourself from revision when you’re away from the library.
It makes you organised
Regularly exercising also may provide your day with structure. Rather than remain in the library all day, why not break up your time with some exercise? This may help to break things up into much more manageable chunks and help tackle the constant pressure of revision.
By using exercise to help you maintain a balanced lifestyle, you may find that you’ll be able to get an unexpected amount of work done throughout the day
It gives you a productive way to procrastinate
If you’re not a superhero and, like me, find yourself distracted by your phone, what someone’s chatting about in the library or what that squirrel is upto outside the window (sadly a real revision pastime of mine) why not be productive with your procrastination and exercise?
By going to the gym for an hour or going for a quick run or stretch you may find yourself re-energised. You’ll be able to give your mind a well earned rest, and it may even give you something to look forward to while revising.
You’ll sleep better
Unsurprisingly exercise often tires you out. Not only will it have the benefit of taking you to bed slightly earlier than normal, but it will also improve your nights sleep. Having a good long rest will mean that you will wake up fresh and well recovered, ready to start the next day’s revision.
Going to bed earlier will also often wake you up slightly earlier, which in turn will make it that little bit easier to clinch that all important library seat.