With exam season in full swing, a personal trainer has offered students his top tips to combat revision stress and get through their GCSEs, ace their A-Levels and unwind while preparing for their university exams.
“The right nutrition and exercise plans can energise your mind and body to sustain you through the long revision hours - sharpen your memory, improve concentration and boost confidence,” Personal Trainer, George D. Choy said.
However, the wrong dietary choices can potentially put you at a disadvantage.
George added: “Food and drink can have a huge effect on your body and mind, choose the wrong meals and you can become sluggish and tired, but if you give your brain the right nutrients, you will be able to think quicker, have a better memory, be better coordinated and have improved concentration.”
George shared his top five tips to improve memory, concentration, and reduce exam stress—these are also useful for working parents.
Get 8-9 hours of natural sleep
Cramming a week’s worth of revision into one night is never a good idea. Staying up late can reduce response times and accuracy – equivalent to being drunk on alcohol – which is not optimum for your exams.
Spend time gently winding down after studying, to get some good quality sleep, George advises.
Avoid caffeine six hours before your usual bedtime
Drinking caffeinated coffee, or energy drinks can make you feel more alert for a short time.
But consuming caffeine six hours before bedtime will disrupt your sleep—both taking longer to fall asleep, and potentially cutting your sleep short by an hour or more.
Exercise can boost energy levels, clear the mind and relieve stress.
You don’t even have to join a gym – there are a number of great bodyweight exercises you can do, such as squats, lunges, glute bridges and push-ups.
Avoid snacking on sugary foods
A lot of students will make this mistake because they feel they need the energy to concentrate, but these quick fixes are just short cuts to failure. A study by the University of Southern California found that excess sugar consumption led to memory problems, and brain inflammation.
Improve Your optimism by being grateful
In a ten-week study conducted on undergraduate university students, those participants who listed five things in their life that they were grateful or thankful for felt better about their lives as a whole, and were more optimistic about their expectations for the upcoming week.