Johnna Wiens (HSBC Prosperity Hall)

Here we go again – our to-do lists are a mile long and the days and weeks are flying by faster than ever.  Before you let yourself fall into the biannual habit of late-night junk food binges and erratic sleep schedules, check out these simple, easy-to-implement tips for staying energized this month:

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Walk: Get some blood pumping!  Don’t let yourself sit in the same chair in the library or the study room all day.  Science shows that even 10 minutes of walking at a moderate pace is enough to increase your heart rate, which immediately boosts your alertness.  Now doesn’t that sound nice? 

Avoid caffeine and sugary drinks: Ditching the coffee might seem counterintuitive, but cold (not hot) water is actually a much better option for keeping your body healthy and functioning well.  Did you know that drinking cold water actually increases your metabolism temporarily?  That increase will likely give you noticeably energy.  With caffeine and energy drinks, you may be ‘buzzed’ for a few hours, but the “crash” when they wear off often leaves one feeling worse than they did beforehand.  This does not happen with water!  Plus, caffeine actually dehydrates the human body, whereas cold water will keep you hydrated, healthy and energised.  Another bonus: cold, filtered water is free for us in the common rooms! And we all know how expensive that cup of Starbucks or that can of Red Bull can be. 

Eat healthy, well-balanced meals: Ever wonder why a lunch full of rice leaves you feeling groggy and ready for a nap?  Well, it’s the same general principle as the crash that follows sugary energy drinks:  All of those carbohydrates suck your body’s energy into digesting them, leaving less blood flow and thus, less energy, for the rest of your body.  Stick to meals that are full of fruits, veggies and protein rather than carbohydrates from rice and noodles, and you’ll be less likely to find yourself using your textbook as a pillow come mid-afternoon.

Take regular breaks: This is perhaps the most important tip of all.  It is a scientific truth that our brains can only absorb and retain three key pieces of information at a time.  So, study three sections of your Microeconomics lecture notes and then take a quick break.  A good way to work breaks into your day are at meals, especially lunch and dinner.  But, make sure that it is truly a break.  Multitasking while you eat causes you to both be less satisfied by your meal and wasteful with your studying time.  Take twenty minutes, eat your lunch and laugh about something non-school related.  I bet you’ll feel reenergised and ready to focus again. 

Whatever your strategies, I hope that you find healthy ways to add oil this month.  And remember:  Your physical health and mental wellbeing will always be more important than any exam grade. 


ResLink Issue No.35
May 2011