We all know the health benefits of daily exercise. BUT did you know that its also beneficial to your grades?! Yep. It’s true. At least, according to a bunch of articles I’ve been reading lately.
But do you know what? Whenever I’m feeling caught up in a big project, the first thing I cut out of my day is exercise! Usually because of the time commitment (you know, we have to get ready, go to the place where we’re exercising, actually exercise, go home, shower, and change}. That’s a lot of time away from whatever project needed our attention in the first place. But apparently, when we’re working on something really big, that’s when we need to workout the most!
In a video I posted a few weeks ago, Marty Lobdell said that a girl he dated in college decided to study from 6PM-Midnight. Every night (I know, right?). Yet she actually failed a bunch of her classes! Why? Because her brain zoned out about 30 minutes (which means she was practically wasting 5 1/2 hours of her time)! Don’t let that happen to you! Put on your tennis shoes and step away from the computer.
If you need a little more motivation to get moving, here are the whos, whats, wheres, whys, and hows of exercise’s positive impact on studying!
ABC News, Deseret News, Huffington Post, NHS Choices, NY Times, Points Sports, US News, and WebMD have all recently published articles linking different cognitive functions with exercise! Follow any of the links in this post to see what they have to say about it!
Any kind of cardio is awesome for boosting your brainpower (including the creativity you need for that big project)! Think biking, dancing, running, swimming, walking… or even yoga!
If possible, get your daily exercise in outdoors! Not only has being outdoors been linked to increased brain power, it is also good for mental health (aka less stress), physical health, and even social interaction! Combining the outdoors with exercise and it’s basically a recipe for success!
20 minutes a day seems to be the most agreed-upon amount of time (some people claim its 30, while others say 15). Can you step away from those flashcards for 20 minutes? Of course you can! But where in the day? Preferably in the morning or before your class/study session. Also, between 5-6 PM is a pique time for cardio because our "lungs are using oxygen more efficiently", according to Matthew Edlund, M.D.
When we exercise, we take in more oxygen and our blood moves more quickly, which changes its chemistry in our bodies. This changed chemistry actually allows more nutrients to be available to our brains (which is why eating healthy is super important, too!). Having more oxygen and nutrients available to our brains boosts our ability to juggle mental tasks, enhances attention span, and improves memory! And those are some pretty necessary capabilities for writing papers, reading textbooks, and taking exams!
I’m certainly not the best worker-outer in the world. But I really have noticed an improvement since I started doing a little bit everyday. Of course, I had to create a crazy OCD-friendly system to go with it...
I run on dates that are multiples of 3 (3rd, 6th, 9th, etc.)
I do yoga on dates that are multiples of 4 (4th, 8th, 12th, etc.)
Of course, I’m sure most (normal) people don’t need a color-coded agenda for their workout routines :)