All work and no play

...makes Jack a dull boy. This age-old proverb that we’ve all heard has an important lesson — regular physical activity boosts mental wellbeing. This has significance when an exam is approaching because we all tend to cut out physical activity and bury ourselves in our books.

“The gym is not for me”

We commonly picture exercise to be some rigorous physical activity at the end of which a person is left sweaty and exhausted. While one may choose to fatigue themselves this way, exercise doesn’t have to be this. In order to keep fit you could swim, cycle, or go for regular walks. If you find these boring, you could learn a new activity like dance or a sport. A few ways to keep yourself active on a regular day are:

  • Walk or cycle when you have to travel medium distances

  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator

  • Devote some time on your weekends for an outdoor activity

“But I have to study. I don’t have the time.”

Time is at a premium during exams and understandably so. However, setting aside some time for physical activity may actually help you use your time better. Exercise refreshes and energises you and so helps you be more productive and efficient. It also helps you stay calm and handle stress better. Some exercise in the morning will make you feel more energetic through the day.

“My parents want me to stay home and study.”

Parents can get anxious during exam time too! Some parents may want to limit all distractions during exams. Ask them to join you for a brisk walk or light jog. This way they will feel reassured that you are not whiling away your time. Offer to pick up your mother’s groceries list and jog to the market. It might help to talk to them about the benefits of exercise and how it helps increase focus. Plan your day so that you can put away some time for physical activity.