By Alina Buzgar, Staff Writer
Finals week is looming with its tight deadlines, last minute study sessions, frantic group meetings and lots of stress. You have been looking for ways to get more time and energy to study and hand-in those deliverables on time. You are sleeping less and not exercising at all. Can science help?
Thunderbirds are truly active. We practice several sports and play lots of games on campus. We exercise more than the average American. Yet as soon as the deadlines are looming and the exams are knocking at our door, we postpone almost all physical activity.
Science says: go out and play!
According to several recent studies published in the British Medical Journal and conducted Princeton University, we have reasons to celebrate. Here’s why:
- Even 7 minutes of exercise a day carry significant beneficial effects on overall health and brain activity. In fact, a study showed 5th graders who ran around before their test scored higher than those who didn’t.
- Exercise promotes the growth of neurons in the area that regulates anxiety! Long story short, when you have these young neurons your body doesn’t stress as much.
- Genes can be to blame if you don’t like to exercise. So don’t feel guilty! Not everybody likes working out.
Whether it is the increased blood flow to your brain, the surge of endorphins and GABA (amino acid that inhibits hormone or just having fun, physical activity has plenty of benefits for your overall heath including the body and the brain.
The diverse sport clubs on campus we prove we are aware of the need for regular exercise, yet we seem to forget all about it when we need it most. Taking the precious minutes “away” from studying in order to exercise is a tall order during finals week.
Here are some ideas on how to find time and keep active:
- Get out there! Go and play a game or take a short run around campus. Remember just 7 minutes of exercise is proven to have a real effect.
- Exercise with a buddy or join a club. Getting your daily dose of exercise with friends is fun, and it keeps you accountable.
- Keep it short and sweet. Exercising for short amounts of time daily or almost daily is better than one long practice session per week or month.
- Don’t overthink it! Planning and preparation is not very important here. Just grab your sport shoes and go.
Everyone knows exercise is good for your health; new studies show it does more than flatten those abs — it physically alters your brain to better handle stress and increase learning capacity.