Run Through Your Exam Stress

Young man having trouble studying, on white background

Are your exams and assignments weighing you down?

‘Student Minds’, The UK’s Student Mental Health Charity, recommends planning regular free time for yourself and insists that exercise provides one of the fastest and most effective ways to reduce stress. Getting out of the house and into the fresh air will help to boost your mood and make you mindful of life outside of your revision schedule.

Morning runs are a great way to ensure you wake up on the right side of the bed and start your study day with an energized, proactive attitude. Running is one of the few sports that elevates levels of endorphins, causing a ‘runner’s high’ of happiness that will relieve anxiety and motivate you for hours after.

Exercising before studying could also help boost brain activity, helping you learn better and retain more information. Studies show that after strenuous exercise your brain produces high levels of certain proteins that improve cognitive functioning, particularly in memory and recall.

Is revision eating up your time? Perhaps short intensive running sessions are best to use your time more efficiently. Try some short running workouts such as: a 10-min warm up, 10-min fast run, and then a 10-min cool down and stretch; or hill training with 8 repetitions of a 5-30 second hill duration.

Don’t worry too much though about taking a bit of time off for exercise. Studies on the effects of physical exercise on work productivity show that reduced hours and regular exercise can increase the quality and quantity of work you do.

While some people plan to revise with friends or brainstorm ideas together, the sad truth is that the majority of successful revision is often done through independent hard work with your eyes glued to a book or computer screen. Spending endless nights at the library or shut away in your bedroom can feel like an uphill battle, and without your comrades it’s hard to get through. Socialising through club training, gymming with a buddy, or going on outdoor walks/runs with a friend could be the down-time you need. Using exercise to socialise is a productive use of the little time you may have and it can be fun too!

You might not realise it until you are venting your annoyances and worries to each other, but getting yourself out of your head for a few hours can really help.

Photo Credit: Edson Hong

If the stress feels like it’s getting too much, check out the checklist of stress signs and NHS services that may help near you here.

 (All images shown are subject to the following license).


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About Lucy Patchett 8 Articles
Student at Roehampton University studying Creative Writing & Journalism.