Don’t sweat it...top tips for staying fit and healthy during exam season

Medic and fitness blogger Hazel Wallace says concentrate on your body and your mind will thank you

Hazel Wallace: it’s important to have some social time to spend with friends.

Hazel Wallace: it’s important to have some social time to spend with friends.

 

No exam is stress-free. Even the word “exam” instantly causes most of us to sweat. As revision slowly takes over, we often find ourselves neglecting our health; we pull all nighters, we survive on coffee, and a trip to the local takeaway becomes a daily occurrence.

The effort of thinking about going to the gym or even getting outside is often too much for some of us. However, by neglecting our health in this way we are actually putting far more stress on the mind and the body.

There are a few simple habits we can adopt to help maintain a healthy lifestyle during stressful times, such as exam season. Not only will staying active help you avoid piling on the pounds, but it may actually improve the overall quality of your revision and even your exam performance.

Sweat it out

Kickstarting your day with a short run or a power walk will help to wake you up and feel more energised – maybe listen to a motivational speech or song to fire you up even more.

If you think you don’t have time, turn off the TV – you can reclaim many hours this way! If you find you are struggling to find time to exercise, schedule in your work-outs like you would any appointment. Invest in a good diary and plan your work-outs around your study schedule.

Buddy up

Go tee total

Brain food

These healthy fats make up an essential component of the membrane of nerve cells and actually make up 20 per cent of the brain’s dry weight. Load up on nuts, seeds and oily fish such as salmon and mackerel for the richest sources of these brain-boosting fats.

For your snacks, choose fruit, raw vegetables, hummus, natural popcorn and nuts. These foods are nutrient dense. Avoid processed “healthy” snacks such as cereal bars or flapjacks as these foods are surprisingly high in sugar and fat, and very calorie dense.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Refrigerate what you need for the next two to three days and freeze the rest, taking it out as and when you need it.

Cut the caffeine

Chill out

Become a yogi

Food and fitness blogger Hazel Wallace is the girl behind The Food Medic. From Dublin, she is a full-time medical student in Cardiff and is due to finish her graduate degree in medicine (MBBcH) in July. Instagram/Twitter/Snapchat : @thefoodmedic Facebook : The Food Medic Website: hazelwallace.co.uk Mindful students: Education

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