The August LSATFlex test is about a week away. You’ve done the work, now it’s about getting your brain ready – which really means getting your body ready. Test performance is directly related to your health – that’s why so many people cancel LSAT scores or have to write an LSAT addendum because they performed poorly while sick or exhausted. Now is the time to make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know I’m coming back from a fairly horrific surgery recovery and made it my goal back in June to do a pull up. Turns out I hit the first one pretty fast, so my personal trainer (who you’ll hear more from later in this post) decided I should work up to doing 5. So, while you’re studying for the LSAT and making progress that feels tedious, you can see that my goal-attainment has also been slow. Hopefully you’ve been adding LSAT points faster than I’ve been adding pull-up reps!
But, today I hit 3. 3! I did 3 pull ups! In a row. And I’d just like to remind everyone that I’m a middle-aged Jewish woman, in case my picture makes me look less than my 46.5 years old.
Here’s what I realized today – I was able to hit 3 not just because I’ve prepped for it, trained for it, and wanted it, but because I actually slept a full 7 hours last night! Maybe even 8. And I know if I could make myself do that 5 nights in a row, I could probably get to that magic 5th rep faster.
And that’s my point with the LSAT – you’re a week away if you’re taking it in August. Your performance will have less to do with the prep you’ve put in at this point, and more to do with how well you take care of yourself this week. Take care of your brain by taking care of your body!
I’m no expert on this (law school admission is the only thing I’m an expert on) – so I brought in my friend and personal trainer Kyle Baker (@kylebakerfitness) to speak the science to you.
“Fitness is a great proxy for brain health. The things you would think to do to become healthier are also great for improved learning. Proper exercise has been shown to help with everything from re-growing neurons in the brain* to directly improving cognition**.
Proper nutrition can also directly influence cognition. Over-eating saturated fat has been shown to slow the brain. Polyphenols and flavonoids are compounds found in fruits and vegetables and help promote better cognition through reduced inflammation and increased blood blow. And of course the standard Omega-3’s EPA and DHA are essential to brain health.
Proper sleep is probably the most powerful influencer on cognition and learning. Sleep is when the brain rests and recovers. Even mild sleep deprivation can significantly impair test performance and mood.*****
So just like an elite athlete needs to get training, nutrition, and sleep lined for for optimal performance, anyone interested in optimal brain performance needs to focus on the same things.”
Kyle is an expert on this stuff. Trust him. And apply it to your LSAT prep. If you’re taking the LSATFlex in October you have even more time to put this strategy to work for you.
(And below is all the science-y stuff he sent me in case you don’t believe us:)
*Insulin-like growth factor I interfaces with brain-derived neurotrophic factor-mediated synaptic plasticity to modulate aspects of exercise-induced cognitive function
**Effects of acute bouts of exercise on cognition
***Dietary Polyphenols as Modulators of Brain Functions: Biological Actions and Molecular Mechanisms Underpinning Their Beneficial Effects
****Flavonoids and brain health: multiple effects underpinned by common mechanisms
*****Mild to moderate partial sleep deprivation is associated with increased impulsivity and decreased positive affect in young adults