Easy ways to manage stress through exercise this exam period

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by deadline pressure, look no further

Although University can be seen as the best years of our lives, there is undoubtedly a huge amount of anxiety and stress that comes along with the experience. This stressful side of University often has the power to take over our minds, and can become particularly intense during exam periods. One of the best ways to help overcome this stress is through the wonderful activity of exercising. The effects of fitness on young people's mental health cannot be emphasised enough. Whether it be swimming, running, a team sport or a walk in the park, fitness and exercise are hugely beneficial to managing stress and pressure throughout this coming exam period.

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Friends who run together, stay together

The amazing thing about exercise is that it has the ability to take our minds away from the stressful buzz of revision and channel our energy into something physical, rather than sitting in a library chair for hours. It puts our mind's focus into completing a fitness goal, giving it a break from being crammed with information. Exercising for just half an hour a day can have huge benefits for both our mental and physical state.

We spoke to GUSA Welfare Convenor, Phoebe Reilly, about this important issue. She said 'Strong evidence exists which shows a 20-30% reduction in depression in adults who participate in exercise daily. It releases endorphins which chemically make you feel better- so a win all round!'

The thought of exercise may be very daunting and some days, you just might not find the time, but here are some small steps you could take to include exercise in your daily life this exam period:

1. Take the stairs rather than the lift

2. Take the longer route home from the library so you get a little more exercise and fresh air!

3. Walk to Kelvingrove park, or the Botanics for your lunch break, rather than eating in the library cafe or Fraser Building

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Lunch in the botanics

4. Try getting up a little earlier and go for a light jog before starting revision

5. Sign up to the GUSA gym buddy system so you can exercise with someone else

6. Sign up to a gym class with friends- this could be an evening activity after a long day of revision and can be made fun!

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Gym classes made better with friends

Treat yourself with exercise this exam period and use it as time to de stress- you'll be surprised by how much better you feel. Happy body = happy mind!