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Running outdoors can provide study break, improve productivity

Most of us know and despise that familiar feeling of dread that seems to permeate our lives as the middle of the quarter arrives, meaning only one thing: midterms. They’re not as bad as finals but almost as stressful. With grades at stake, some students put all their efforts into studying, leaving little-to-no downtime for them to simply relax.

Such extended periods of intense study can be overbearing and have negative effects on the average student, often leading to stress. This stress is unhealthy, and even though taking study breaks can be helpful, sometimes one of the best, foolproof ways to feel rejuvenated after a long period of studying is physical activity.

We have so many resources, such as the RPAC and the Jesse Owens centers, that it would be a shame not to go and burn off some stress. However, from personal experience, rather than exercising indoors, I would recommend one of my favorite activities, simply going on a run outdoors. Whether it be two miles or 10 miles, a run of any length will be effective in getting your adrenaline flowing, making you feel invigorated and most importantly, providing your mind with a break from the pressures of studying. I mean, what better way to multitask: you get to enjoy the spring weather and get in some physical activity simultaneously.

According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Bristol, “Employees who enjoyed a workout before going to work – or exercised during lunch breaks – were better equipped to handle whatever the day threw at them.”

This study even yielded some extremely impressive statistics. For example, “72 percent reported improvements in time management on exercise days compared to non-exercise days,” and “74 percent said they managed their workload better.”

These findings are remarkable, and if that many people can be affected in a work environment, a school-related environment should yield similar results. Time management is a key part of studying, and being able to manage that is vital to doing well on those dreaded midterms.

Basically, productivity increases, which is the main goal of most students. Furthermore, if you decide to make a habit out of this idea, you’re making an extremely healthy lifestyle choice that could potentially control stress for the rest of your life if well-maintained.

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