Funtastic Benefits to Taking Breaks

Hello, Bruin Movers and Shakers! Everyone here at MoveWell hopes that you are hitting those finals out of the park and keeping up with a healthy lifestyle!

Those of you completely invested in studying may feel like you can’t bear to take a quick break, but breaks will definitely help your studying process in the long run!

Here are some benefits to taking breaks:

  1. Gets the brain moving again


    Photo via Google Images

    Regardless of what kind of break you are taking, whether it’s to watch that fifteenth (fiftieth if we’re honest) cat video or eating a snack or getting up to dance to your favorite song, these breaks help rest our brains and get you back on track. Although that sounds counterintuitive, it definitely works! Recent studies have shown that by taking a break, we’ll have renewed focus because studying straight for a long time causes the brain to numb and check out. So take that break to get back on track!


  2. Taking a movement break helps us physically and mentally


    Photo via White House Archives

    What’s even better than a snack break? A movement break! If you are feeling the inevitable slump of studying, get up and start moving! Movement will not only help your body, but also your mind. As the Scientific American states, moving for even a few minutes, whether it’s dancing to your favorite song or doing some jumping jacks, helps circulate blood around your body and brings more oxygen to the brain. Help your body and brain out by making sure to move around a bit after sitting for awhile!


  3. A change of scenery can help you both refocus and recall better


    Photo via Flickr

    Heading outside or just moving to a new place to study helps you refocus by giving your brain a new place to feed off of. Completely new stimulus will help bring your brain out of its lull. Also, by studying in new places, the brain will be able to form connections to the information quicker and better. The brain is constantly making connections between what you are studying and the environments where these connections were made. By changing your scenery, you will help your brain make better connections with what you are studying so that, by the time test day comes, your brain will be able to recall the information faster.


  4. Fresh air can help with stress and boost your immune system


    Photo via Google Images

    Did you know that a simple walk outside could help boost your immunity? (And who wants to get sick during finals?) Whether it’s a short walk or a full exercise regiment, some light movement outside will build your immunity. According to Ather Ali, ND, MPH, exercise can help create an increase in the body’s creation of natural killer cells, which increase immune function. Strolling outside smelling fresh air, especially near some greenery, helps reduce stress and increase happiness- as studies have shown. And as winter (finally) hits us with some rain, the smell of the downpour can help relieve stress as well. According to Smithsonian Magazine, we associate the smell of rain with the color green, which could be linked with the growth of things we eat. Regardless of the reason, taking a stroll outside helps for loads of reasons so get out and start walking!

Remember all this next time you feel guilty about taking a break. They can only help you!

Tiffany Hu is an undergraduate student at UCLA majoring in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics. She is a blogger for Move Well of the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative. She is the Assistant Commissioner of the Student Wellness Commission. Tiffany is also the Special Projects and Alumni Coordinator of the UCLA Care Extender Internship.

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