Ditch the Textbook and Take a Walk

| By Ryan Herbert |

Instead of spending hours cooped up in the library studying for your big test, maybe you should ditch the book and just go for a walk. Spending time outdoors and among nature can increase concentration and helps with memory retention.

According to Marc Berman, a researcher at the University of Michigan, memory performance and intentions spans increased by 20% after spending one hour in nature. Berman found, “People don’t have to enjoy the walk to get the benefits. We found the same benefits when it was 80 degrees and sunny over the summer as when the temperatures dropped to 25 degrees in January.”

“I always feel as if I don’t do as well in my classes in the winter semester as I do in the spring or fall,” said James, a student at WCCC. “I’m a pretty outdoorsy-guy, but I hate the cold. April through November I’m outside as much as possible but once winter hits I retreat to the warmth indoors. I never really thought about how my grades and time spent outside correlate…but it really does make sense.”

At this point in our lives, we don’t spend nearly as much time outside as we should. Between work, school, and trying to maintain a healthy social life, students are almost stuck indoors. Time spent outside is good for improving memory and helping with exams, but it’s also great keeping in overall good mental health. The University of Rochester found that spending time in nature gives people an increased feeling of vitality and increases their energy levels.

Next time you’ve been studying all day for an exam or are feeling mentally fatigued from the stress of everyday life, stop, and take a break. Take your dog for an hour long walk; invite out a friend to go for a hike; get coffee and visit an arboretum. After your time spent in nature you are guaranteed to be feeling happier, have more energy, and do better on your test.



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