Habeas Corpus: Law School Health Tips (Dec. 2010)

Students sometimes have a tendency to forget that their heads are attached to their shoulders. Remember, during final exams it’s just as important to make sure your body is in shape as well as your mind.

EXERCISE

Regular exercise is key.  No matter what, you should make sure you are doing some kind of exercise activity every day.  You don’t have to run a marathon.  Just simple walking has been shown to be one of the best kinds of exercise because it rejuvenates your system yet is low-impact and therefore gentle on your joints.

SLEEP

Seriously, this one’s a no-brainer.  Get plenty of sleep.  Mental and physical performance goes down exponentially the more sleep-deprived you are.  And don’t skimp out by just getting a good night’s sleep the night before final exams.  Making a habit out of getting enough sleep will nourish your body and mind.

BRAIN FOOD

If you want your brain to work, give it something to work with.  The following foods are particularly known for nourishing the brain:

  • Lots of green, leafy vegetables, such as lettuce and spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Avocados
  • Blueberries
  • Acaí berries
  • Cherries
  • Apples
  • Cocoa (dark chocolate)
  • Flax seed
  • Unroasted nuts, such as peanuts, walnuts, and pecans
  • Whole grains, such as oatmeal and whole grain bread
  • Organic milk (the less processed the better)

YOGA BREATHING EXERCISE

Oxygen is the nutrient your body cannot live without for more than a few minutes.  Take care that you are breathing well throughout the day, and not just taking shallow breaths.  The following exercise is a form of yoga meditation for clearing the mind, which focuses on controlling the breath.

  • Sit comfortably with your back straight and your neck long.
  • Gently close your eyes, resting them.
  • Take a deep, deep breath, letting the air fill your lungs all the way to the bottom.
  • As you slowly breathe out, say the word “Gauranga.”
  • Say it in syllables—“GOR-RA-UN-GA”—in an almost sing-song way, lingering on each syllable and letting them use up the air of your exhalation.
  • Repeat for at least three breaths.

*Jyoti Jennings is a certified yoga instructor*

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