It may sound strange, but can you really get better results in your studies by doing some exercise? You know that your mind and your body are connected, but can you improve one by giving the other a work-out?
While it may not be possible to study simply by lifting weights or running, it has been shown that a moderate amount of exercise can actually improve your capacity to learn.
A study conducted in Germany has shown that people who performed some light exercise while learning performed better than those who simply sat and read. The participants were split into groups, with some sat down to read, while others rode exercise bicycles at a moderate speed while reading. Interestingly, those who performed the activity while cycling were found to have a better recall than those who didn’t.
It has been stressed that the participants only cycled at a moderate pace, and elsewhere, another study found that exercising too strenuously had no impact on learning. This all means that some exercise while learning is better than too much, or none at all.
Of course, this may be great news for gym owners and audiobook sales, but it may not be practical to combine exercise and learning all the time. Jogging around the classroom or going for a swim with your textbooks is definitely taking things too far.
However, even if you don’t combine going to the gym with your studies, exercise can still be beneficial to your learning.
Exercise can be used to get you ready to study. If you feel fidgety and like you can’t settle to do your studies then you may need to go and blow off some steam. Going for a run or a swim, or even playing a sport regularly will help you use up some of this physical energy, allowing you to settle better to your studies.
You might even want to quickly look over what studying you have got to do before you go out for that run. Not only will this let you work out how much time you will need for your studies later, but it will give you a subconscious head-start. While you are out, your mind can already be working through ideas and information. It is what creates inspiration in those authors, film-makers, musicians, and artists who say an idea just came to them.
Even if you don’t like exercise, even a small amount can be good. You mind can only take in a certain amount of information before it gets tired, so you need to take regular breaks – especially while doing heavy tasks like revision. During this time you may want to take a walk to clear your head. Not only will the time away help you reset your brain ready for the next wave of information, it has the added bonus that it will do your body good too.
Physical exercise and study are not two opposites, but can actually work together. Just like you can train better if you use your mind to work out a plan, so it seems you can learn better if you exercise too!