Mind, Body & Soul: How Exercise Improves Learning


April  

20, 2020
Mind, Body & Soul: How Exercise Improves Learning

As a student, it can be difficult to find the time to exercise, among studying, cooking and cleaning, socializing, and other activities. However, now is the perfect time to improve your working out habits, while you’re self-isolating at home (and while clubs, restaurants, and bars remained closed). Plus, learn how exercise will make you a better student and improve your mood, focus, concentration, and brain development.

BODY

Research shows that just 20 minutes of exercise (before studying) can improve concentration and help you focus on whatever you’re learning. This is because intense physical activity causes blood to flow to the brain, which then activates your neurons and promotes cell growth, particularly in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is primarily responsible for the brain’s learning and memory functions.

Why not do a 30-minute yoga class – stretching your full body and stimulating blood flow – before you begin on sewing a garment or rigging your latest character? You may find that your hands are more agile and your brain is more focused, before you embark on this new task. Yoga also teaches self-discipline and concentration, so these skills can be used while you’re studying.

MIND

Studies have found that when you exercise, your body produces a protein called FNDC5, which is then released into the bloodstream. This action then helps your brain to produce another protein called BDNF, which allows your body to grow new nerves and helps existing brain cells to survive. With additional brain cells and more brain proteins, your brain becomes stronger and is able to retain more information.

Before your next online lecture, take a brisk walk or jog around the block, or do 30 minutes on a treadmill or bicycle to boost your heart rate.

SOUL

Did you know that exercise has also proven to boost your mood? Studies show that staying fit helps to relieve stress, lift your mood, and improve your brain power. Exercise has also been proven to alleviate mild to moderate depression in individuals, without the use of any medications. Students who exercise and practice healthy routines are more likely to remain positive, be well-prepared for exams, and maintain focus when its needed most.

Whatever exercise you choose – yoga, jogging, cycling, dancing, and more – make sure it’s something you enjoy and an activity you can partake in daily.