Want to Learn More? Study While You Work Out

With college back in session, for many students life has become abalancing act. When students are looking at what they can fit in totheir busy schedules sometimes the most important things fall by thewayside. We’ve all heard the myths and stories about the dreadedFreshman 15. Too often, however, students give up taking the time toexercise in favor of other activities. Exercise can also get ignoredduring midterms and finals when all focus is on studying.

Scientists in two separate studies may have found a way for studentsto not only fit in the exercise they need to stay healthy, but alsoremember what they study better. Their new research supports the claimthat studying while moderately exercising may help individuals retaininformation better. Looks like the people bringing textbooks and noteswith them to the gym were on the right track after all.

The studies support the idea that exercising can help students retainmaterial better than if they studied while just sitting at a desk. Itwas found that timing and intensity of the exercise have a majorimpact on the effectiveness of physical activity while studying.Vigorous exercise caused a detrimental effect on memory when theparticipants were tested on material they had read while activeimmediately after that activity stopped. They also remembered thematerial at the same level as those who studied while sitting stillwhen both groups were tested the next day.

What seemed to have a positive impact on memory was studying whiledoing light-intensity exercise. Participants rode a stationarybike at a low level while reading, and were found to remember what they had learnedbetter when tested two days later than those who sat quietly and thosewho studied after exercising. Those two groups remembered theinformation they studied at about the same level.

Exercise is a healthy activity for students who want to take a break andrelieve the stress of studying for a big test. What may be morebeneficial, however, is reading a couple chapters or going overflashcards while walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike onan easier level. Not will the chance that thematerial will be remembered later be increased, but students then have the opportunity to fitexercise into their busy schedules.


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Sofia D.
Sofia D3 years ago

thank you for sharing these interesting ideas!

JL A4 years ago

good to know

Julianna D.
Juliana D4 years ago


Donna Ferguson
Donna F4 years ago


Jess No Fwd Plz K.
Jessica K4 years ago

Interesting concept; never heard of it. Sounds like a great idea if you work out in a gym.

Fred Hoekstra
Fred Hoekstra4 years ago

Thank you Brandi, for Sharing this!

heather g.
heather g4 years ago

That practice works perfectly because the exercise is also pushing more blood flow to the brain.

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen4 years ago

Thank you :)

Dimitris Dallis
Past Member 4 years ago

Thank you very much for the article!

Robert O.
Robert O4 years ago

Sounds good though it might be challenging because some things require a person's complete, undivided attention. Thanks Brandi.