Staying Fit for Exams
‘Mens sana in corpore sano’
That’s Latin for: A healthy mind resides in a healthy body. With this prophetic Latin maxim in our minds, let’s discuss exam preparation and all the factors significant for it. Exams, especially the public and competitive exams, are as much a physical test as a mental test. Not only because we generally have a highly inactive lifestyle during this period but also because one goes through a galore of mental stresses as well. In such circumstances, it becomes essential for an aspirant to maintain his/her health at such a crucial stage of his life.
Know Your Limits
All hard work and months of toil can be undone if a person is of a fragile health composition. On the day of the exam and also in the close run-up to it, students are generally a bundle of tense nerves (even the top rankers are!). This level of mental weight cannot be carried by an aspirant if he isn’t of sound health. Thus, it’s imperative to be healthy during your preparation and especially when the exams are close.
Having seen many friends and aspirants, fall sick during this decider of a phase, let me tell you that falling sick in the days just before the test or even on the very day isn’t as uncommon. The foremost thing to staying fit, mentally as well as physically, is to be flexible and aware of one’s limits. This is the first mental hurdle to staying fit. In the burning zeal to score well in the exams (which, by the way, we highly appreciate), one stretches oneself too much. Know your limits and increase your stamina just bit by bit. Abrupt increase in study time or rigour will prove counter-productive and will provide no results that you crave for. And stress is something that an aspirant has to stay away from.
Sound Sleep is a Must
Another common fad that people adopt during preparation for an exam is sleeping less. NEVER sleep less than what your body requires. The requisite amount of sleep, generally between 6 to 8 hours, refreshes our mind and rejuvenates us, something that shouldn’t be taken for granted while preparing for any exam. Continuous nights without sufficient sleep can have heavy health repercussions. Let’s not take the adage ‘burn the midnight oil’ too seriously after all.
Next up is a no-brainer: Eat healthy and nutritious food. This is more of a generic advice, which should be followed irrespective of whether you have an exam round the corner. It’s not to say that avoid outside food completely. Being a foodie myself (high-five!), I’ll advise that. Rather, just limit the intake of junk food. Make your palate richer. Opt for whole grain and high protein meals. Eat fruits like pomegranates and blueberries on a regular basis. Incorporate a lot of dry fruits in your diet. They are known to be great brain boosters. You can have them especially during studying for idle ‘munching’ or during random study breaks.
Last but surely not the least, indulge in light physical activity on a daily basis. This is an important component of staying fit. Make a timetable which you are sure to follow. Allot specific amounts of time to physical exercise. Take up anything that interests you, anything at all. Be it a workout at the gym, callisthenics, soccer, evening walks, etc. Get out of your stuffy classroom and homes to get some fresh air. A word of caution here, though. I knowingly mentioned ‘light’ physical activity. It is important that you avoid injuries during such crucial times. It’s best if one indulges in these physical activities in moderation, lest one ends up doing more harm to oneself than benefit!
These are the basic thumb rules that one could follow in order to maintain one’s physical and mental fitness while preparing for an exam. I have gathered these titbits from my experience. As usual, these aren’t absolute tips. You’re the best judge of what’s best for yourself. The aforementioned points are just guidelines. So go on, explore your comfort level, ace the tests, but not without staying fit & healthy!
Here’s wishing all an all the best for their tests and a healthy lifestyle! I’ll be happy to answer any queries in the comments section 🙂