Exercise to Stress Less During Finals


Between the late night study sessions and arduous group projects, working out is the last thing anyone wants to do during finals. Stress and a packed schedule leave little free time for exercise. However, working out during this stressful time of year proves to have many benefits.


Combating stress is one of the many great perks of exercising during finals. According to U.S. News, exercising for just half an hour can release feel good hormones such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. In addition to boosting these hormones, it lowers cortisol, a stress-causing hormone, levels (Mind, Memory and Mood Academic Journal). “Going for a short run or hitting the elliptical can clear your head and make the day more tolerable,” says Michael K., a New York City based fitness trainer.


Spiked energy levels is another result of exercising. Doing Pilates or kickboxing for 45 minutes may provide just the energy boost you need to write a 20-page research paper. “I just feel so refreshed and energetic after working out,” says Kendra, a junior at Baruch College who is an avid rock climber. “That’s why I work out in the evening, so I have some energy to study at night.”


Another reason to stay fit during finals is to increase the capabilities of your brain. Regularly exercising during finals may boost your ability to grasp, process and remember information. Working out causes your brain to create new cells. The development of new neurons and neuronal networks improves information processing within the brain, helps keep brain cells responsive to new information, and is associated with less age-related brain atrophy, better cognitive functioning, and improved memory and decision-making.” (Mind, Memory and Mood Academic Journal). Taking a study break to hit the gym can help you retain all of terms you need to remember for your final exam.


Finals can be a depressing time of year. Leaving friends for an extended period of time and freaking out about tests can leave you feeling bummed out. “Vigorous exercise boosts levels of mood enhancing brain chemicals such as endorphins, dopamine, adrenaline, and serotonin, and may improve mood for as long as 12 hours after a 20-minute workout.” (Mind, Memory and Mood Academic Journal). Fitness trainer Michael suggests blocking out an hour each day to devote to a fun exercise that will improve your mood and make finals more tolerable.


Working out during finals can reduce stress levels, improve energy levels, help brain function and boost your mood. It may be hard to find time in your day between exams and studying, but exercising will make finals much more tolerable.

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Categories: Home, Sections, Your Fitness

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