Hitting The Gym During Finals Week Could Be Your Key To Success

Finals week is kind of like the hunger games of the semester. Everyone around you is dying, you’re eating whatever you can get your hands on, and you feel like you’re fighting for your life. You have no time to take a break, let alone brush your hair or grab breakfast. You practically sleep in the library.

In my four years of college, I’ve noticed that my favorite time to hit the gym is during finals week, because absolutely nobody is there. Everybody else is in the library, taking exams, or lighting themselves on fire. But, I never understood why. After all, hitting the gym sounds like the perfect study break.

Sure, after spending nine hours in the library trying to make sense of chemistry, jogging on a treadmill might sound like the last thing you want to do. You’d rather curl up in your bed with a king size Snickers bar and have your way. Or maybe you don’t have time for a nap, you simply don’t have time for anything!

But seriously, think about the last time you said you were going to study “all day.” Did you really spend every minute of that 24 hours studying? You probably took a break every few minutes to check Instagram, ate lunch while watching the latest episode of Scream Queens, and spent another thirty minutes scrolling through Nastygal’s latest arrivals deciding what dress to order for New Years.

If you really timed yourself throughout the day of how long you actually spent studying, you’ll likely find that you spend a lot more of that time taking “breaks,” or at least checking social media.

Going to the gym for 20-30 minutes during finals week won’t kill you. In fact, it’ll actually help you ace your finals.

First off, exercise will boost your energy. Although you may think that you’re too tired to workout, a quick cardio session will actually give you the energy you need to power through the rest of your Psych notes. Working out also increases your productivity. It was found that after you workout, your brain is hyper-focused for the next 2-3 hours after your sweat session. If you have a final presentation or need to do some serious cramming, hit the elliptical right before and work some magic.

If you’ve ever been curious about those “weirdos” who bring their books to the gym and study while biking or using another machine, they might have caught on to something. It was found that your brain actually manages to store more memories when the body is in action. In an experiment published by the American College of Sports Medicine, subjects were asked to memorize a string of letters, and were then assigned to lift weights, run, or sit quietly. The subjects who ran all managed to remember more numbers than the other two test groups.

Lastly, we all learned from Elle Woods that exercise brings you endorphins, which make you happy. If you run into somebody who’s smiling brightly during finals week, they’re either on drugs or they’ve been exercising. Everyone gets into a bit of a funk during finals week, and a quick trip to the gym might sort it out of you.

It’s easy to push exercise down your list of priorities, but with better time management you can absolutely make time for it. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through twitter to give your eyes a break from quadratic formulas, jog around campus instead. Your body, brain, and your exam grades will thank you.

Photo via Gainesville Scene

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