Does Exercise Improve Your Concentration?

There is much debate as to whether exercise can improve your concentration levels. Two reasons are often given as to why this is:

  1. Regular exercise keeps you fit and healthy in many ways and not just physically, but emotionally as well, as it increases your energy levels and promotes happy feelings. All this contributes to a healthy mind, something that is highly recommended to help get you through those exams!
  2. More specifically though, exercise is known to stimulate particular regions of the brain, causing them to release certain chemicals that boost your memory capacities. This is why many sources suggest that if you are struggling with your study sessions, you should take a break and go for a walk.

As you all know, I am willing to try any new study method once, so as to determine it’s effectiveness for myself. Therefore, in preparation for the exam I had today, I included short exercise breaks into my study schedule. I followed my normal study routine; I started my preparation two weeks ago, made sure to use that dead time between classes to study little fragments of the material and then spent the last week in, what I like to call, my intense study phase. The only change I made to it was to my weekend study sessions, as these are generally longer. I made sure to insert a fifteen minute exercise break after every two hours of study. In this time I didn’t do anything complex, I simply went for a walk or did a quick, mini work-out in my living room.

The results, I would say, were quite dramatic. The main difference I noticed was that on returning from my exercise break I felt extremely motivated and ready to work. This I know would have had a big effect on my productivity. I did, however, also notice that I didn’t struggle as much with the material from the practical classes (which consists in memorising the scientific names and characteristics of the plants we studied in said classes) as I thought I would.

In conclusion, I would have to approve this study method and say that it worked very well for me, not to mention it was nice to have an excuse to get away from my desk for a bit!