Exercise boosts concentration while studying

As a college student, the value of time management becomes extremely important when trying to juggle combinations of class and lab work, internships or part-time jobs, and managing a social life in between. When is there time to exercise and stay healthy? Luckily there is some good news for many collegiate students. Getting even a little bit of light physical activity during the week can help boost your mood and energy levels to inspire increased memory retention and better study time.

Is it better to exercise before you learn something new? What about during? Should the exercise be vigorous or gentle? Research published in The New York Times has determined that light-intensity exercise helps to prepare the brain for the consumption and retention of new information. In 2006 The Journal of Neuroscience highlighted a study with mice as subjects. The study’s findings suggested that exercise can help overcome memory declines associated with aging.

So let’s get down to it! Thirty minutes of light cardiovascular exercise 4-5 days a week, prior to sitting down with your books, combined with some total-body exercises targeting major muscle groups, can help improve your memory and concentration while studying. This will help you navigate even the most strenuous times during the semester.

Plank

  • Get into a pushup position on the floor.
  • Bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms directly beneath your shoulders.
  • Brace your core by contracting your abs and keep your body in a straight line.
  • Hold this position while breathing deeply.

Side Plank

  • Lie on your left side with your knees straight.
  • Prop your upper body up on your left elbow and forearm.
  • Brace your core by contracting your abs and raise your hips until your body forms a straight line.
  • Hold this position while breathing deeply.
  • Turn around and repeat on the right side.

Bridge

  • Lie flat on your back with your hands by your side and your knees bent. Place feet around shoulder-width apart.
  • Pushing mainly with your heels, lift your hips off the floor while keeping your back straight.
  • Breathe out as you push up and hold at the top for a second.
  • Slowly go back to the starting position as you breathe in.
  • Repeat ten times.

Chair Squat

  • Stand in front of a chair with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Slowly lower yourself toward the chair without actually sitting down. Keep your knees over your ankles and your weight in your heels.
  • Straighten your body upright and repeat.

Shoulder Blade Squeezes

  • Bend your arms and raise them to your sides at hip height.
  • Keep your shoulders down and squeeze your shoulder blades together behind you.
  • Hold this position for 2-3 counts.
  • Slowly release this position and repeat.

For more information on stress management and exercise, contact us at info@sptny.com.