We all know that exercise is good for our health. But did you know that it can help your studies along as well?
Many tertiary students in the quest for good grades, hit the books instead of the sporting field. While studying is important, taking time for exercise can also boost your studies.
Research over the years has shown that exercise has tremendous brain-boosting powers. For example:
- information processing and memory functions improve after just 20 minutes of exercise
- new brain cells may be created after cardiovascular exercise, thereby improving overall brain performance
- exercise helps improve decision making, higher thinking and learning
- those who exercise regularly have increased memory skills and are better able to learn new things
- aerobic workouts lead to boosted creativity levels for up to two hours and simple walking can increase creativity by up to 60 per cent
- regular aerobic exercise changes the brain to improve memory and thinking skills
If that isn’t enough, data from Purdue University in the United States has found that those students who work out at least once a week get better grades than those who visited less or not at all. Their data also indicates that those who are fitness- and wellness-oriented also have better time management skills.
Taking the grind out of exercise
The good thing about exercise is that it doesn’t have to be a chore. All kinds of movement are beneficial, so the secret is to choose something you enjoy doing. The more you enjoy it, the more likely you are to keep it up.
Some ideas on how to put fun back into exercise include:
- Take up a team sport — Not only will you boost your exercise quota, but you are likely to make friends in the process.
- Sign up to a charity event — Walks, runs, bike rides and endurance events are all great options, but sign up with a team and you can double the fun.
- Join a gym — Gyms offer a wide range of activities ranging from cycling, boxing, Pilates and yoga, right through to personal training or weight lifting.
- Go hiking — Hiking is a good way to exercise and enjoy the great outdoors.
- Go climbing — Rock climbing and abseiling can be a lot of fun, and improve your coordination.
- Visit the beach — Activities range from paddle-boarding, windsurfing, kayaking or simply catching a wave or two.
- Swap pizza for bowling — Make Friday night bowling night instead of lazing on the couch with beer and pizza.
- Don your dancing shoes — Dancing is a fantastic exercise as it involves practising your coordination. Whether it is the more traditional ballroom or dancing at the club, it’s sure to be lots of fun.
- Head to the park —Grab some mates, take some food and have a fun game of cricket, footy or even toss the Frisbee at your local park.
- Walk the block — Even a quick 15 to 20-minute walk can help clear your head and help you re-focus. If you have a dog, take them too and enjoy some time together.
While it can be tricky to fit exercise into a busy schedule, the health benefits for your body and mind are certainly worth it.