How Exercise Can Help Reduce Exam Stress

Does your child usually fall ill during exam time? Do you ensure a proper diet and proper rest, but to no avail? Perhaps, stress might be the culprit.

By Kavitha Ravi  • 8 min read

How Exercise Can Help Reduce Exam Stress

Anamika Khanna's son, Rajeev, who is in the seventh standard, regularly falls ill during exams. Earlier, Anamika thought that he was simply acting to escape exams but when she found out that Rajeev was not acting, she took him to the doctor. However, when tests revealed nothing, Anamika was worried and clueless when a friend suggested that she take the care of a psychologist. Later, Anamika found out that stress was the reason behind her son's ill health during exams.

This case is not a solitary one. Every year, as exam seasons approach, many children fall ill due to stress.

Children are as prone to stress as adults. And during exams, their stress level increases. Exams are an inevitable part of the learning process. Every time they come around, children get stressed and fall ill which in turn can affect their academic performance despite a lot of hard work.

Stress can also make a serious dent in their confidence and can be particularly demoralizing.

During such times, it is very important to teach your children to manage their stress in a positive manner. While a healthy diet can do wonders, exercise can go a long way towards alleviating stress.

During exams, exercise can:

Provide an endorphin rush:

Exams can be hard on children. However, exercise can provide a perfect remedy to handle stress. Endorphins are nature’s pick me up hormones. When your child exercises, endorphins are released into her system. This will make her feel better automatically and she will be able to perform well in her studies and focus while in the exam hall.

Improve focus:

The period leading up to exams can play havoc on your child’s concentration which can lead to stress and a lack of confidence just when your child needs it the most. When your child exercises, it helps him focus on a single activity and concentrate on the movement of his body. This will clear his mind of all the exam-related stress and will help him refocus on his exam preparation with renewed energy.

Encourage learning:

Stress can be bad for your child’s memory and make her forgetful, especially during exams. This is where exercising can come to the recuse. Norepinephrine is a hormone which can help with memory, alertness and learning. When your child exercises, the body produces norepinephrine which helps your child learn and remember concepts better for her exams.

Examinations can be stressful for children. However, stress is not always bad if it’s looked in a positive way. Childhood is the best time to teach that tests are a part of growing up and learning. Learn how your child can stay healthy by following the tips as discussed in the following article.

Flight or fight:

The stress that exam season brings can bring out the worst in your children. Stress can induce the flight or fight response in them. Exercising is the best way to combat these responses. The chemical chain reaction that occurs during exercise releases a whole bunch of stress-reducing hormones can help alleviate the flight or fight response and calm your child’s exam jitters.

Aid sleep:

During exams, children tend to cram up and study till late night. Even though you might be impressed by her dedication, chances are that she is losing sleep because of stress. Undue stress can make sleeping a difficult task, which can lead to more stress. It all adds up and you might find your normally happy go, lucky child, a ball of nerves and irritability. It is a proven fact that exercising can help people sleep better. So, encourage your child to exercise so that she catches some much-needed winks before she must face the big day.

Help avoid a health crisis:

Sometimes you will find that your child is falling ill right before an exam. It could be because the child is working himself into a lather studying hard. This can only lead to more stress for you and your child. Exercise can make your child healthy. It leads to stronger heart, bones and improves his overall wellbeing. It is also known to help keep colds and flus at bay.

Make one resistance to stress:

Exams and other stressful situations are going to be a part and parcel of your child’s life. One of the long-term benefits of exercising is that it helps people cope with stress-related situations in a better manner. Exercise makes your child healthier which helps her handle a stressful situation much better than a child who does not do any physical activity.

Exams are inherently stressful. There is no getting around that. Exercise might seem like a waste of time especially during exam season when your child should be revising his lessons. 

But putting aside some time for exercising can build up your child’s immunity, stress resilience, discipline and help him cope with exams like an ace. Exam season need not be the scary monster that it is made out to be if your child exercises regularly. 

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