Studying? Do Less Cramming and More Exercise
Vegging out on the internet. Taking a nap. Staring at a wall. Fixing a snack. These are some of the ways in which we take a break from studying before we dive back into that textbook. But a new study says that if you are really looking for a good way to retain all that knowledge you’re trying to cram into your brain, exercise may be your best bet.
For the study, three groups of students watched a 50-minute online lecture. One group took three five-minute breaks to do some light calisthenic exercises. Another group also took breaks but spent them playing video games. The third group didn’t take breaks.
Pretty simple, right? And the results were pretty basic as well, according to the same article:
The results showed that the exercise group had a distinct advantage…their attention was more focused throughout the lecture and they retained more information, not only immediately afterward but also 48 hours later.
The exercise group did better and they felt like they did better, as though their brains were able to process the information and hold onto it.
And, of course, they got to feel a little bit better due to the exercise.
This exercise effect could be due to increased blood flow or some other trick that exercise performs to make sure our brains are more finely-tuned, but whatever it is, if your head has hit a brick wall and all the text is starting to melt together… just get up and sweat a little. You’ll probably feel and perform much better.