Staying Healthy and Fit During University Exams

Staying healthy in university can be hard during stressful exams, but sleeping well, eating healthy, and getting regular exercise are the key to success!

Staying healthy and fit can be so hard during the final month of class when university students are busy with exams, essays, and take-home exams, not to mention their extra-curricular, jobs, volunteer work, personal lives, and other commitments. However, getting plenty of sleep, eating a balanced and healthy diet, staying fit, getting business homework help, and managing stress are important for performing your best on your year-end tests, as well as ensuring that you don’t get sick. If you feel exhausted, overwhelmed, overworked, or just plain unhealthy, read on to find out what you can do.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is probably the most important part of staying healthy. Without sleep, your body cannot undergo crucial repairing processes that help you function while you are awake. Sleep helps the brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation. In studies, people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later. This means that it is important to get enough sleep to perform well on an exam the next day; staying up late and getting up early to study will have a negative impact over time. If you need help falling asleep or making time to sleep, read on.

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Minimize computer use

Sleep experts frequently recommend trying to minimize computer use an hour before you sleep. This is fairly impractical advice for university students, who often need to work on computers to complete essays and take-home exams. However, if you can avoid the computer in the last hour before you sleep, this would be wise, as it will help you get to sleep earlier.

Sleep in a dark, quiet space

Don’t pass out at your desk! Consider wearing a sleep mask if you are having difficulty falling asleep.

Have a snack

Sometimes, having a light, protein-rich snack (like a glass of low-fat milk) before sleep can help you fall asleep.

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Make a plan

Rather than lying awake worrying about all the things you have to do the next day, make a list of what needs to be done before you go to sleep. If your mind starts running through all your tasks, remind yourself that you have a plan and that staying up late worrying won’t help you.

Manage your time

By planning out what you have to do and when you will do it ahead of time (and sticking to that schedule!), you will make it much easier to accomplish your work, which will minimize the need to stay up late working on assignments.

Eat a Healthy Diet

This can be tough – you’ve worked hard all day, and when you get home, the last thing you feel like doing is making food for yourself. You’ve worked so hard that you’ve earned that pizza, right? Think again. While it’s tempting to reward yourself with junk food or reach for it out of convenience, it’s going to do you more harm than good. However, on the other end of the spectrum, it’s also important to ensure you are eating enough food, especially foods that are high in necessary nutrients, so don’t just subsist off of Ramen noodles and coffee. Here are some tips to make eating healthier easier during stressful times:

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Plan ahead

Make a trip to the grocery store a few days before your busy time sets in and make sure to pick up items that will be easy to take to the library for an all-day study session. Some great picks include whole-wheat bread, salad greens (romaine lettuce or spinach), hummus, peanut butter, low-fat yogurt, low-fat cheese strings, oats, granola/snack bars, nuts, eggs, fruit such as apples or bananas, and vegetables like peppers, baby carrots, cucumbers, and celery.

Pack ahead

Now that you’ve got all that food, make sure you eat it. The night before, pack a lunch (it can be a simple one, like a sandwich, an orange, and cut-up veggies), and two snacks (try to have a combination of protein, fats, and carbs. Good sample snacks include a hard-boiled egg and an apple, or celery sticks and a serving of peanut butter) so that you don’t have to resort to the vending machine when hunger strikes. You’ll save money, and be healthy!

Eat breakfast!

So many university students (and adults of all ages) skip breakfast, but this is the last thing you want to do during a stressful time. Eating a fast, healthy breakfast will power you through the morning and make it easier to study. Some sample breakfasts provided by the essay writer website could be peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole-wheat bread, oatmeal with fruit and milk, cold cereal with fruit (pick high-fiber, low sugar kinds like Kashi, Shredded Wheat, Fibre1, or All-Bran), or a homemade fruit smoothie.

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Stay hydrated

Pack your water bottle, so that you don’t have to spend money on bottled water or contribute to environmental waste. Water is the only beverage you need – stay away from sugary soft drinks, which won’t aid you in your studying.

Make Time for Exercise!

Again, this can be a hard one. After you’ve worked hard all day, you are usually exhausted and don’t feel like you have the time or energy to exercise. However, if it is possible, you really should

Make it count

If you are short on time, make sure that your exercise counts! Instead of spending an hour on the elliptical machine at a moderate pace, go for a fast sprint on the treadmill or try an interval workout to make the most of your time.

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Go with a friend

Combine your socialization with your exercise! Arrange to meet a friend at the gym for a weight-lifting session, spin class, or whatever else appeals to you. Not only will you be able to catch up and chat, making plans with another person helps keep you accountable and ensures that you follow through on the plans.

Try low-impact exercise

If you feel simply too exhausted to go for a run, try a yoga or Pilates class. They provide a good stretch, some muscle conditioning (depending on the style and speed), and often help you deal with stress.

General Tips to Reduce Stress

Don’t beat yourself up!

If you can’t make a workout, eat pizza, or have to stay up late, there is no point in freaking out and getting upset – that will only cause you more stress. Instead, recognize that you are going through a busy, stressful time and that your primary goal is to ensure that you do well in school. You are already doing a great job trying to stay healthy if these sorts of things upset you, and remember that being healthy is a lifestyle, not one individual choice.

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Try to have some fun!

It can be difficult to take some time for fun or relaxation when you have so much work, but see if you can try to fit some in. Even if it is as simple as taking a 10-15-minute break to watch some silly YouTube videos, or taking a short break to catch up with a friend, laughing and relaxing will help you return to your work with greater focus.