The key to exam success: 20 minutes of exercise

Thursday 20 November 2014
  • Group fitness class

Exercise boosts brain power.

In the lead up to exams, this statement could be your secret weapon for effective revision and the key to exam success.

Don’t believe us?

Well according to Harvard psychiatrist and author of the bestseller Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, Dr John Ratey, it could be the key to exam success:

“Doing about 20 minutes of exercise just before taking a test or giving a speech can improve performance.”

Still don’t believe us? What if we told you that it’s been scientifically proven?

The science to exam success

Researchers have found that a single bit of exercise such as a brisk walk increases brain activity.

An analysis published in British Medical Journal, reviewed 19 studies involving over 500 kids, teens, and young adults. The findings were incredible. Just by doing a 10 to 40 minute burst of exercise, you can immediately boost your concentration and improve mental focus. In other words, simply walking or cycling to uni can set you up to mentally perform better throughout the day.

So, even if it’s just for 20 minutes a day, it’s important to remember that staying active during your exam period will help improve concentration and make your revision sessions A LOT more effective.

Here’s five ideas of how you can get that 20 minutes of exercise as you prepare for exams:

  1. Only have 45 minutes in between your lectures? No problem, we’ve got several 30 minute group fitness classes such as Group Core and Group Blast.

  2. Have a hit of tennis with your revision buddy. Remember to take the time to chill out, have fun and try to stress less during this hectic time.

  3. Having a group study session? Take it outside and have a bounce during the breaks.

  4. If you’re really struggling to find the time, try hiring a PT to help you prepare an exercise plan alongside your revision schedule.

  5. On the day of the exam do some light exercise in the morning to boost the blood flow to your brain.

Of course, study comes first.

But now you can think of taking a break from your revision to exercise as actually being a productive way to prepare for exam time.

It may even be the key to unlocking your exam success.

Best of luck!

Amy Cox

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
AMY COX
Amy is UQ Sport’s resident blogger. She’s a peanut-butter loving Brit, who exercises to eat whatever she wants. You’ll find Amy either in the gym, playing badminton or doing the wrong moves in group fitness classes.