GFGL TRAVEL FIT BLOG: Reduce Finals Stress – Work out AND Study

In this article, Paul Leavis, PhD, associate professor of physiology at Tufts University School of Medicine and senior scientist at Boston Biomedical Research Institute, said exercising increases blood to the brain. Exercising also changes the blood chemistry to make nutrients more available to the brain, which is needed to needed to produce “fruitful study sessions,” says Leavis.

“After exercise stops, blood pressure decreases and remains depressed for up to 12 hours, helping to control the temporary increase in blood pressure that finals period may cause,” the article added.

Dr. Leavis also said multiple hormonal changes occur during exercise that helps alleviate stress.

The study part of my study abroad semester is catching up to me and the rest of my classmates. While I can manage to squeeze in a short run, I now need to find ways to squeeze in more of a workout, but without sacrificing study time. Here are some things that I’ve been doing while studying so I don’t have to sacrifice exercise or study time:


  • For each card you get wrong, 10 push ups.
  • Sit-ups: Hold your cards out in front of you. At the top of your sit-up, read the card. As you descend, repeat the answer. Holding your hands out in front of you will increase the difficulty of the sit-up as well.
  • Plank: You can’t stop planking until you’ve memorized ALL of your cards (for that chapter, test, etc).
  • Squat: 1 squat=1 card


  • Plank: Read a chapter (start reading in your head to maintain proper breathing) while in plank position.
  • Plank: Every time you change paragraphs, pages, change up your plank position.
  • Plank: Make your chapter into a story. Hold your plank until you finish telling your story.
  • Cardio: I can’t personally do this, but I’ve seen people bring books and study guides to the gym and study while on cardio machines.
  • Cardio: Instead, record yourself repeating the material and put the recording on your iPod.

Partner Studying:

  • Quiz each other with any workout.

Break Time: Get the blood flowing again to regain focus.

  • 10 jumping jacks
  • 10 mountain climbers
  • 10 minutes of stretching

REMEMBER: Get a lot of sleep and drink a lot of water. Sleep is easier said than done during finals week when we all decide to cram, but it’s the best way to remember and stay healthy during the most important week of the semester.

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