Answer: NO IT CAN’T WAIT!
As we’ve already learned, exercise doesn’t have to wait. It can easily be fit in with evenings of study and simply needs to be made part of your routine. Not only will this help with your physical wellbeing, exercise has also been proven to help those studying for exams.
3 reasons why exercise helps in study and CANNOT wait ‘til after the exams…
- So you can go from this…
We all know how it feels. You’ve been sitting at the desk for over an hour now and the backs of your eyelids seem a lot more interesting than the Modh Coinníollach. You have no energy, you’re bored and you want to go to sleep. A short spurt of exercise will wake you right up and have you ready to Harlem Shake and more importantly (debatable) study.
When you exercise, the heart pumps faster, you breathe faster and more oxygen is pumped around the body. Because more blood reaches your brain, you become far more alert. Also, when you exercise, the body releases a hormone called epinephrine which also increases your awareness. Because you’re more alert and aware after even a short bit of exercise, your ability to concentrate increases. A protein called BDNF is also released during exercise and that can help to improve your memory (you can read more about that here: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/30/how-exercise-benefits-the-brain/ ) You’ll be able to explain cad a dhéanfá dá mbuafá an crannchur náisiúnta in no time!!
- Girl, you need a break.
You may feel as though you’re a prisoner in your own room as you sit for hours at the same desk and sitting there all day every day may make you feel almost as crazy as this monkey! It’s certainly not healthy for you to be in the same environment all day sometimes for hours at a time. You need to take a break every now and again. What better way to spend these breaks than with a little exercise? Research shows that a teenager’s average attention span is no more than 40 minutes. So really, you should be taking a little break at least every hour because your brain simply won’t take in any excess material. See below for some more short simple exercises you can do at your desk or in your room that will get the blood flowing and have you feeling reenergised like this slightly happier, more studious monkey…
- Don’t worry, be happy
Studying and thinking about exams don’t make anybody happy. But exercise can!
***SPOILER*** – big words coming up!!
When we exercise, different endocrine glands around the body excrete hormones. These hormones, particularly dopamine, norepinephrine, GABA and serotonin give a person a feelgood factor along with endorphins that are also released by the body. So after a workout, people feel happier in general. This is something that is very important as you study as it can, of course, be quite a dull, dreary, stressful time.
To enjoy your workout even more, you could exercise with friends. This can help to motivate you to exercise and also may contribute to your enjoyment of exercising…making you extra happy.
In the meantime, for a happy buzz…take a look at this pig…
So no, exercise can’t wait until after the exams. Studying is not a reason for you not to exercise, it’s a reason why you should. It will make you more alert and aware, help you spend your study breaks wisely instead of trawling through your news feed waiting for something to happen and will also chase away the study blues.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear”
Here are some quick exercises you can do during your short study breaks…all you need is two water bottles…who needs weights? Fill the water bottles more as you progress in order to challenge yourself a little more.
- Chest push
- Bicycle exercise
- Lateral raise
- Lift rotation
All of these exercises can be done within five minutes. The number of reps you do is completely up to yourself but try to challenge yourself somewhat…and remember to set goals. If you do 10 lateral raises every day this week, try to do 12 next week.
Some exercises can even be done as you study…
Leg raises – Start with feet flat on floor. Sit tall at your desk. Extend one leg until it is level with your hip. Hold for ten seconds. Slowly lower leg. Repeat 15 times. Change legs.
Chair squats – Stand tall. Keep back straight. Lower to one inch of chair, pretending you are sitting down. Hold for ten seconds. Lift back up to standing position.
Leg toning: With legs straight, cross one on top of the other. Raise them off the floor. Press top leg down and resist with bottom leg. Do until muscles are tired. Repeat with opposite legs top and bottom.
Also, here is a quick interview with Maria Walsh who is currently playing with the Cork Senior Camogie team. She has won medals at all grades and across all divisions which include an All-Ireland medal with her school, her club and her county. It’s clear from the interview that she really values exercise and believes that it can leave you refreshed and energised in order to study more effectively.