Picture this scenario: It’s the night before a big test. You need to have a productive study session in order to feel ready for the exam. You lay out your notes, textbooks, flashcards and study guide on the table. You flip open your notes.
Then it hits you: the Tired Bug.
How do you shake it? How do you find the energy you need to have a successful study session? Tea? Coffee? Energy drinks?
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Try push-ups. Try pull-ups. Try a quick jog.
While it may seem counterproductive to exercise when you have to study, studies actually show significant benefits of exercise for students. Consider these three study-boosting benefits students can expect from exercise:
Benefits of exercise for students #1: increases your energy levels.
If you need proof, check out this article from WebMD. Try putting down all those bottles and cans that promise to “give you wings” (or whatever) and lace up your tennis shoes for 15-20 minutes. It may seem counterproductive, but expending some energy in exercise can actually give you a boost.
Benefits of exercise for students #2: kick start brain function.
Exercise not only energizes your body, but it also kick starts your brain. Research shows that physical exercise releases proteins in the brain that can actually help improve your memory and increase your cognitive performance. That’s right. Exercise benefits the brain as much as the body, and that’s always a good deal for students. Check out this article for more info.
Benefits of exercise for students #3: level your emotional state.
If the physical and mental benefits of exercise are enough, how about the emotional benefits? Exercise releases endorphins which reduce stress levels and make you happier, among other things. So, not only is your workout giving you more energy and jumpstarting your brain for a good study session, it is reducing the stress you are feeling about that upcoming test.
The key to a healthy brain and a good study session isn’t just hours of Sudoku or crossword puzzles. You don’t have to read the dictionary (does anyone actually do that?) or watch Jeopardy.
Instead, hit the gym. Go for a jog. Play basketball or ultimate Frisbee. And in the meantime, answer a question for us in the comments: what benefits of exercise for students have you seen?