4 Tips to Staying Healthy During Midterms and Finals

by Amna Elsayed

During exam season – whether for finals or midterms  – personal health drops to the bottom of the priority list when it should skyrocket to the top. A healthy body is key to increasing our brainpower and studying more effectively and these four tips will help any college student achieve that.

1. Do not skip breakfast

The key to a productive day of studying is breakfast. After a full night without food, your body is in need of glucose to make it through the day. Contrary to popular belief, coffee and a bagel do not qualify as a healthy breakfast.

A good breakfast includes some proteins, carbohydrates, and fibers. An example of a healthy breakfast includes toast with a glass of milk or cereal with milk and an apple.

Although it may seem time consuming, taking a few extra minutes to choose a meal that includes all of these groups will keep you full for a longer time than coffee ever will.

2. Snack, the smart way

The type of snack that you eat for those late nights in the library does have an effect on how much information you retain. A smart snack will keep you full until your next meal, while an unhealthy snack will not have the same effect.

A bag of M&Ms will increase your glucose levels and make you feel full at the moment but you will feel hungry a little while afterwards.  Apples with peanut butter, on the other hand, will keep you full enough until your next meal.

The trick to picking a smart snack is to steer away from sugars and to look for food that includes fibers and combine them with proteins.

3. Stay hydrated

Hydration is important because our body is mostly comprised of water, and the proper balance between water and electrolytes in our bodies determines how our systems work. So staying hydrated not only nourishes your body but it increases your ability to think.

Drinking water is not the only way to stay hydrated. Other drinks such as vegetable or fruit juices will also keep you hydrated. Coffee and other caffeinated drinks, however, should be kept to a minimal.

Just because it’s so easy to become dehydrated during midterm and finals season, it is helpful to always keep a large water bottle with you while you are studying. 

4. Exercise

During finals, it is common for most students to study for hours at a time without getting up. This is very harmful and will cause your body to become more and more tense which will make you feel very tired.

It’s not necessary to go to the gym between studying, but simply getting up and walking around the room will do the trick. Even putting on some music and dancing will help you stay awake and stimulate your brain.

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