brisk walk
Exams and Revision

Why teens need to schedule a daily, brisk walk into their revision timetable

If your teen is currently in peak revision mode, how often do you remind them to go for a walk? Or, even better, take a walk with them? We all know the difference getting outside and away from our desk makes – especially when we’re feeling stressed, tired or overwhelmed. But, many of us struggle to fit a brisk walk into our schedules. 

Here, we’ve rounded up the latest research and shared four tempting reasons to share with your teen to help them feel motivated to go outside and get moving.

Why exactly is walking so good for you?

When we go for a walk, our brain cells literally build new connections, it helps us think more creatively, lowers anxiety and even helps to improve our sleep. 

Two new studies published in JAMA Neurology and JAMA Internal Medicine found that while a 30-minute daily walk can benefit your physical and mental health, how fast you walk also matters. People who walked around 40 steps per minute or what they defined as ‘purposeful’ walking could lower their risk of heart diseases by 38% and live significantly longer. 

All these benefits and still so many of us find it hard to fit in a brisk walk – especially revising teenagers. Here are four big reasons to help encourage them:

1. Walk to improve your creativity

According to Stanford University, walking boosts creative inspiration. They studied creativity levels of students while they walked compared to when they sat, and found that creative output increased by around 60% when walking. Whenever your teen is stuck in a rut or struggling with an essay, remind them of this!

2. Walk for perspective

From exam stress, social pressures and scary news stories, the world might feel like a lot for your teen right now. When they need a little perspective, remind them that a stroll outside, preferably in nature, can give them space to reflect and refresh. 

3. Walk to sleep better

If revision and exams are playing havoc with their sleep, science has proven that a daily walk can improve sleep quality, particularly for young adults. Even better, if they can fit in a morning walk, the bright early light can help to regulate their sleep rhythm and improve their mood. 

4. Walk to be more productive

If your teen wants to feel more productive and focused, gently encourage them to swap the coffee for a walk. Recent studies have found that walking in nature can increase how engaged you feel with your learning. While one study in Finland found that a walk during a lunch break can help students and workers recover from stress.

How to power up your brisk walk

  • Listen to a podcast or audiobook – as long as your teen can do this safely, listening to a fun podcast while walking can boost their creativity and help prevent them getting bored.
  • Try a walking meditation – if they’re feeling overwhelmed, a guided walking meditation can help to lower their stress hormone levels and help them self-regulate. 
  • Walk with a friend – it can be tough for them to blow off steam during the revision period, so suggest they mix their walk with a catch up.
  • Step up the pace – they can make walking part of their workout routine if they add intervals to their pace. Encourage them to try walking fast enough for a minute to raise their heart rate, and then recover for a few minutes before repeating.

If your teen could do with more revision tips and tricks, our tutors are study experts who did the same exams as them in the past few years. Find the right tutor for them here

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