Can Exercise Make You a Better Student?

Studies have shown that students who regularly participate in exercise have better grades than those who do not; is there a causal connection between the exercise and better grades or is it discipline that students display across both studying and exercising that is the determinant?

The evidence showing that regular exercise should be a component of our lives is compelling and is being expanded upon with regard to the physical and mental benefits; it's so good for you! So how can it help you be a better student?

Feeling down?  The demands of school can sometimes be overwhelming, especially when combined with work schedules, home life…the list of stressors goes on. Exercise has been shown to positively affect mood, lowering stress and anxiety. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that are believed to leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. Think about using exercise as a time to decompress, or alternatively, an opportunity to reconnect with family members. Remember, exercise can be as simple as taking a walk, playing Frisbee, even housecleaning…yes, it counts, but really?

Too tired to study? Regular physical activity can not only improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance, but it also helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, you have more energy to go about your daily chores, and that includes studying. Regular exercise can also help you sleep better, which in turn helps renew your energy.

Get laser focus. In order to study effectively, a certain level of focus on the material is required; even moderate exercise can help. Physical activity is key to improving mental alertness and improving the capacity to concentrate. A short burst of vigorous exercise, even as short as 10 minutes, is said to improve the ability to focus and stay alert. Increased blood flow to the brain is thought to be the reason behind improved alertness.

Keep your chin up! Regular exercise helps boost self-esteem. It’s not only the physical changes (body composition) that help self-esteem improve, but the fact that you’re making a commitment to your own well-being is empowering. Further, a boost in self-esteem may help you participate more fully in class as well as in social situations.

What are some easy solutions to getting much needed exercise? Even if you don’t have the opportunity to get to the gym, you can add activity to your daily routine:

  •  Park farther away from the entrance to your job, the grocery, or to classes while you are on campus.
  •  If sitting at the computer, stand up and stretch, do jumping jacks, push-ups, or some other form of calisthenics. Encourage others to participate.
  • Take the stairs!
  • Breathe! Read the blog entry on breathing at

    1 comment:

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