An Investment for Exams 2.0: A Gym Membership
With a strict revision timetable and occasional coffee breaks filling one's time, it is hardly shocking that exercise is not on students' minds. Indeed, with 56% of the students surveyed answering that they have little to no time to go grocery shopping and instead turn to fast foods and take aways, it comes as no surprise that going to the gym is not a high priority. However, perhaps we are wrong in thinking that exercise will take away key revision time. Instead, it might actually be a way to increase revision efficiency.
It has been drilled into our minds that exercise is good for us. From PE classes in secondary school to movies such as Wall-E showing the devastating consequences of lack of exercise, we are all surrounded by one strong message: exercise is healthy. Nevertheless, exercise is probably one of the first things we cut out when we realise that time is of the essence. Term 3 is the time where Warwick students really buckle down to study. The library is full, all the books have been taken out, and the clubs are practical deserted (or filled with the Coventry locals...). I have come to observe people arriving at 8am to get a prime seat in the library and leave at 10pm at night. However, as you may have guessed, they don't spend all their time revising. In fact, many are quite unproductive, and do not even earn the right to say that they've been 'working all day at the library'. Instead, you might see them go take a break in LibCaf to get a pancake, outside of the building smoking, or catching up with friends. The students leave their desks so often that the library has come up with the TEXT A HOG scheme, which enables other students to send a text to a librarian when they see a person 'hogging' a space in the library. It is not only sad, but also extremely disappointing that this has to happen and that students are spending their time procrastinating rather than revising at this crucial time.
This is why it is important to spend your time wisely. There is no use in keeping a strict back to back revision timetable if you're not going to stick to it. As I have previously mentioned in my other blog posts, revision should be done in little chunks with regular breaks in between. Whether it be a quick walk around or getting a drink, it is good to get up out of your chair and walk around. Why? Because moving your body not only improves cardiovascular health, it improves cerebrovascular health. A wide range of recent studies have found that exercise improves brain function, structure, and connectivity. These brain improvements are directly linked to improved learning, memory, and cognitive function. Whilst walking around helps, what is even more beneficial is going to the gym. 'BUT I DON'T HAVE TIME?!' I hear you scream. Well, in response, I would say that if you have time to mindlessly scroll through Facebook for an hour, you have time to go to the gym. By changing activity and doing some physical activity rather than mental activity, it will enable you to recharge yourself and study more efficiently when you get back to the library.
And so, I believe that a gym membership is a great investment, not just for exam period, but all year around. I know that for exam period, the Warwick Campus Gym has a 30 day pass offer which costs as little as £25 and gives you access to the gym, sauna and swimming pool. At this cheap price, you might as well put on some trainers and work the stress away.