You want to perform well in high school in beyond, receive high grades on tests, participate in class, and earn the respect of your instructors and peers… So you study, study, and study some more. No one is saying you shouldn’t do that, but there is also more to life (and being a well-rounded person) than test scores! It wouldn’t be physically or emotionally healthy to spend all of your time at a desk, and you probably know that already. But did you know that leaving the desk behind for a bit, and engaging in some much-needed exercise, can actually help to boost your study performance?
Not only is exercise good for your body; plenty of scientific evidence shows that it offers other benefits that will help you in your career as a student.
Exercise is good for your brain. Research has shown that exercise releases proteins in the brain that can improve memory and cognitive performance.
Exercise gives you energy. It sounds counter-intuitive, but exercise is known to actually boost energy levels (probably due to endorphins release when you’re active). We’re not suggesting that you run a marathon the day before your SATs, of course. A short jog, or some other form of exercise, can give you the energy to study for a big test or work on a term paper.
Exercise can help to balance your moods. Those endorphins also benefit your mood, relieving stress and helping you feel happier. So if you frequently feel anxious, depressed, or any other negative emotion, regular exercise can help to balance out those moods. But if your feelings are persistent and/or severe, please do talk to a trusted adult as well.
Not everyone wants to compete in sports or fitness competitions, or become the next Hulk at the gym. But everyone can benefit from some amount of exercise, even if it’s just thirty minutes to an hour per day. So take a break, stretch, and lace up your favorite running shoes. Go for a walk or run, shoot some hoops with a friend, hit the gym, or just dance for a while. Do whatever you enjoy, that makes you break a sweat and feel good. You’ll be surprised at how invigorated you feel, and you might notice that it’s easier to focus on your studies when you return.