The Benefits of Exercise

Getting exercise is one of the top health and wellness tips for people looking to improve their mental and physical health. But it actually goes beyond general health. Exercising, even for a short period of time, has also shown to improve academic performance. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC), has said that “physical activity has a (positive) impact on cognitive skills such as concentration and attention, and it also enhances classroom attitudes and behaviours, all of which are important components of improved academic performance.” Children who are more physically active have demonstrated better performance in school than those who are less active. The benefits of physical activity on the academic mind include, but are by no means limited to, the following (according to the British Journal of Sports Medicine):

    1. Building Cognitive Function: Participating in physical activity, even once, results in a boost in concentration. It can also improve cognition (the ability to acquire and understand knowledge through the senses or the mind). In fact, learning fundamental movement skills such as running or throwing a ball “boosts brain power.” This is because when the body learns, the mind learns as well, establishing patterns and building the brain’s ability to retain information.
    2. Nurturing Engagement, Motivation, and Psychological Well-being: Exercising does not only have a positive effect on a student’s ability to complete academic tasks, but also their willingness and desire to do so. Through the release of endorphins, physical activity makes a student happier and more engaged and motivated to do their work. This can result in better relationships between students and their teachers, tutors, or parents who may be trying to help them stay focused.
    3. Supporting a culture of inclusiveness: Physical activities amongst friends and classmates foster a culture of social inclusivity. Aside from being enjoyable in the moment, this will also help a student build social relationships, and make it easier for them to approach mentors and classmates when they are in need of assistance.

In previous blog posts, we have discussed the importance of taking breaks. Exercise is a great way to take a fun and much-needed break from academics while still being productive in the realms of both physical health and academic efficiency.


Work Cited:

“How Physical Activity Affects School Performance.” LiteracyPlanet, 25 Mar. 2019, www.literacyplanet.com/au/legends/content/how-physical-activity-affects-school-performance/.