Need A Study Break?


| 5 Comments

It's the most wonderful time of the year... and the most stressful. It's finals time. A time when students' stress levels fly through the roof, we start skipping meals, and our days (and nights) are spent in the library.

Consequently, this is the when our immune systems are weakened due to anxiety and sleep deprivation. In the next three weeks, more than any time in the year, we need  take care of our bodies by finding a way to relieve tension.

There are many ways to go about this, from the puppies outside UHS to spontaneous crying, but one of the most effective is yoga. We've all heard of yoga's benefits. When practiced, it can provide:

·         a sunnier outlook

·         improved respiration, energy and vitality

·         balance metabolism ­­­­­­­­­­

·         balance/muscle/sleep/flexibility  improvement

·         decrease in chronic pain

·         weight reduction

·         improved athletic performance

·         protection from injury

Also, it may have an impact on memory, mood, learning efficiency, attention, concentration, and anxiety levels. And who doesn't need memory improvement when we go to put that pencil to paper?

But most importantly during finals season, it reduces the stress that causes sickness.

In a 2011 Aravind Gopal  conducted a study consisting of 60 first-year MBBS students around finals time. Students were randomly allocated to two groups- a yoga group (who underwent integrated yoga practices for 35 minutes daily in the presence of trained yoga teacher for 12 weeks) and a control group (who did not undergo any kind of yoga practice or stress management.)

The results were as followed, "In the yoga group, no significant difference was observed in physiological parameters during the examination stress, whereas in the control group, a significant increase was observed." Meaning yoga prevents and helps control stress.  Normally, I'd question if third variables could have played a factor in maintaining low stress levels during finals week; however, there are numerous studies replicating these results.

Additionally, yoga can increase your memory. In a 2009 study by Pailoor Subramanya and Shirley Telles, fifty-seven male volunteers (ages 18-40) were assessed before and after two separate types of yoga: cyclic meditation and supine rest mediation. "Sections of the Wechsler memory scale (WMS) were used to assess  attention and concentration and associate learning. State anxiety wasassessed using Spielberger's State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI)."

In every category, CM proved effective in increasing memory, attention, and concentration- comparatively more so than supine rest.

However, participants of this study were residing in the yoga center- the results on memory could be different for those coping with other factors of the outside world. Additionally, the participants had access to previous studies, which may have influenced their performance. Hence the outcome.

Regardless, the benefits of yoga are numerous. I believe their effects on reducing stress alone could help students cope with the pressure finals, and influence their scores. Want to give it a try? Click here!

Sources:

http://www.abc-of-yoga.com/beginnersguide/yogabenefits.asp

http://www.osteopathic.org/osteopathic-health/about-your-health/health-conditions-library/general-health/Pages/yoga.aspx

http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1751-0759-3-8.pdf

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3099098/

5 Comments

Totally love all these tips! It's true that this is going to be the most stressful time of the year and taking care of ourselves will only help how well we do during finals. I definitely think I'm going to try this out. It's known that many celebrities and athletes prefer over traditional workouts because it is more relaxing and beneficial to the body. I decided that I am going to give this a try during the next couple of weeks. However, upon my research I found that not all yoga poses are equal. There are particular poses that a specifically beneficial to releasing stress and calming the mind.

This was very interesting. I've read that taking an hour break between 2 hours of studying is the best way to remember the information in the long run. So it seems like trying to squeeze in an hour of yoga in one of those times might be the best thing to do with it.

I can't find the exact article that I saw this information in but several colleges recommend doing this when studying
http://academic.cuesta.edu/acasupp/as/701.htm
http://www.fullerton.edu/DSS/new_handbook/sec7/steps.htm

I thought your post was interesting because I myself practice Yoga, and find it to be very relaxing. I liked how you supported your blog using studies/ experiments that people have done. However, I found this empirical article or possibly a lit review on studies that have been done on the effects that yoga has on chronic diseases, it’s pretty interesting! All you have to do once you click on the live link is download the Pdf; it takes two seconds to upload. This will give you more knowledge as well about how yoga not only can impact stress but diseases as well!

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2007/521526/abs/

I thought your post was interesting because I myself practice Yoga, and find it to be very relaxing. I liked how you supported your blog using studies/ experiments that people have done. However, I found this empirical article or possibly a lit review on studies that have been done on the effects that yoga has on chronic diseases, it’s pretty interesting! All you have to do once you click on the live link is download the Pdf; it takes two seconds to upload. This will give you more knowledge as well about how yoga not only can impact stress but diseases as well!

http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2007/521526/abs/

This was an extremely insightful article that explained a lot of my curiosity on the subject. When studying for exams, I often times get to the point of exhaustion and feel like I cannot read another word again. When I get to this point, I know that its time for me to go to the gym. I notice that if I take a break from studying and participate in some type of physical activity, my mood gets better and my focus returns. As you explained earlier, Yoga can improve your energy. I think in my case, focusing on something that does not require too much thinking reenergizes me. It also comes to my attention that you explained that Yoga can increase memory. Maybe mixing in an occasional Yoga session into my workout will help me finally remember the difference between debits and credits in my accounting class.

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