When you can squeeze in exercise during finals


We don’t need to tell you by now that exercise is a vital part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. So if you tend to get exceptionally stressed around exam season, then we strongly recommend making sure you are exercising to release the unwanted anxieties.

It’s easy to use the excuse that you don’t have enough time in your busy schedule to get down the gym, especially during finals. We get it. It’s hard to make time for a workout when you feel you should be spending all your time in the library. But behold. There is a way forward.

Here are some reasons as to why you should always find the time to exercise during exam season and some ideas as to how you can find the time to do so.

Photo: BURST

What are the benefits of exam-time exercising?

First of all, exercise ensures your body is regulating the neurotransmitters and hormones you need to be at your best. You will function mentally a lot better – your cognitive ability will improve, you will focus a lot more, and your memory retention will improve.

Serotonin will improve your sleep cycle and boost your mood. Dopamine increases your attention span and concentration levels. Norepinephrine will make you highly motivated and positively stimulate your brain.

Exercise is also a great way for you to let off that exam period stress building up inside you. Don’t reach for the bottle or the food ordering app to relieve your stress, get down the gym instead! If you have been sitting inside the library all day, exercise will allow your body to radically alter its mental and physical state, rebooting and refreshing your mindset ready for the next day.

Although it may not immediately feel like it after you’ve just finished a 5k run, but exercise actually boosts your energy. Slumping in a chair in front of a screen all day can make you feel sluggish, so do some physical activity and energize your body. Taking a break by moving about will make you think clearer.

Photo: BURST

How can I fit exercise in my busy schedule?

So here comes the tricky bit – how am I supposed to fit exercise into my already crammed studying schedule? Well, the honest answer to that question is stop fooling yourself…you can find the time if you really want to. Just organize your timetable to fit around it.

Make sure your schedule is flexible. A workout at the gym doesn’t have to last hours. In fact, a quick 15 minute HIIT session in the morning and afternoon can work perfectly.

A morning workout can give you the best start to the day. Grab a quick pre-workout breakfast and head straight down the gym. Plus, having gotten it out the way is always a good feeling when you’ve reached the end of the day.

An evening workout could also be a great way to destress at the end of a difficult day. Let off some steam by working out all the tension in your body, ready for a great night’s sleep in a nice warm bed.

If a tough strenuous workout doesn’t sound achievable, you can always take regular short and quick breaks throughout the day that add up to a substantial amount of physical activity. We’re talking about going for a quick walk or cycle around campus, or even doing a relaxing yoga session to stretch out any muscle tensions.