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Try This HIIT Workout When You Need A Study Break

By May 3, 2017Workouts

Because you know you need one.

Whether it’s midterms, finals, or somewhere in between, there’s always some sort of studying to be done. And if it’s not studying, it’s writing a paper. And if it’s not writing a paper, it’s meeting up with your group to prepare for your presentation. Does it ever stop?!

All of these projects, papers, presentations, and exams can get stressful. Good news is, exercise is a great way to relieve stress and up your chances of doing well on your upcoming test.

Don’t believe me? Let’s take it to science…

A study conducted at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behavior at Radboud University in the Netherlands and the University of Edinburgh (*takes gulp of air*) looked at the connection between exercise and the brain.

Here’s what happened…        

72 adult men and women were given a 40 minute visual test. They were asked to remember the locations of different pictures on the screen. (Does this bring back memories of map quizzes from geography in high school?? No? Just me? K.)

Then, they watched a nature documentary. The study didn’t say which one so let’s pretend is was about baby pandas 

hiit workout

⅔ of the crew worked out after it was over, while the other ⅓ just chilled: half of the group that exercised did a 35 minute interval workout immediately after the documentary (more on interval workouts later), the other half did the same workout four hours after the doc.

Two days later, everyone came back to the lab and took the same test they did when they started. It’s like you having to come back and retake your calc exam. Could be a good thing, I guess….

Here’s what they found…

The group that worked out 4h post-doc did best on the test and displayed brain activity that reflected such. Though tbh, they’re still not exactly sure why that happened.

So what does all this mean for you?

It means you should do your studying, wait a few hours, then get in a short workout. And I know, it seems like when you’re studying there is absolutely no time for a workout. But I have a solution for you. It’s called “HIIT”. HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training is a great tool for improving your cardio as well as your muscular #gainz at the same time, and is the perfect workout for when you’re in a time crunch since it’s done quickly…but intensely. You can literally get it done in 20 minutes. Give this one a shot.

The workout (18 minutes 30 seconds):

Directions: Complete exercise 1 for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds. Complete exercise 1 for 30s, exercise 2 for 30s, rest for 30s. Complete exercise 1 for 30s, exercise 2 for 30s, exercise 3 for 30s…you get the idea.

  1. Alternating lunges
  2. Jump squats (modification: air squats)
  3. Reverse lunges
  4. Plank
  5. Push ups
  6. Burpees
  7. High knees

Stretch and hydrate after, then get back to [school] work. You may find you can focus a bit better now. Happy finals!

Check out these articles too:

Namastay in the library: how yoga helps me survive finals week
Why your workout is the best way to manage stress
How to finish the semester like a boss
Hop into spring with this 30 minute workout

Author Sarah Gaines

Sarah Gaines in the founder Fit University. Her favorite things include weight lifting, yoga, cooking, social media, traveling & ice cream. Personal motivation: changing the college fitness game.

More posts by Sarah Gaines