Exam Anxiety? Go for a Run

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January 4, 2024
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Patrick J. Karol,

Most of us suffer from a level of exam anxiety. For some, it can be paralyzing and result in a failing grade. I know, I’ve been there and, unfortunately, done that.

It’s the number two question we get from safety pros attending our workshops after, “How long does it take to prepare for the exam? ”There is no one right answer, but we can say it starts with preparation. Being well prepared reduces stress and exam anxiety, but what does it take to be “well prepared?” It starts with the right study habits. We have discussed several study techniques in previous blogs, but running or walking is one that gets overlooked.

According to WebMD, “Walking provides the best of both worlds. It offers the physical benefits of exercise while also boosting your emotional well-being. In fact, walking regularly can help ease symptoms related to chronic mental health conditions like anxiety and depression.” Studies show that taking a break from studying and going for a light run or walk increases mental alertness, which improves retention.

It doesn’t need to be a long run; 10-15 minutes of light jogging or fast walking has many benefits. According to WebMD, “It's not always about the length of your route. It's also about the quality of the walk and the benefits you get from doing it consistently.”

Some of the benefits of running or walking include:

  • Improved sleep
  • Better endurance
  • Stress relief
  • Improvement in mood
  • Increased energy and stamina
  • Reduced tiredness that can increase mental alertness

All of which contribute to improved retention.

Whether you are working on a big presentation or preparing for an exam, being well-prepared is key. Taking frequent breaks and going for light runs or walks calms your nerves, which can make you feel less stressed. It helps you get the most out of your study time, reduces exam anxiety, and ultimately improves your chances of passing the exam.


Good luck with the exam!