When Studying Meets Staying Active
As we’re settling into our bustling schedules and entering the early hours of school, the late nights spent doing homework, and the countless extracurriculars we get involved with, it can be really difficult to allot a good amount of time for exercise and mental relief. However, exercise is crucial in having a balanced, healthy lifestyle.
As for school, physical activity stimulates the mind and increases cognitive development, so it is especially beneficial to stay active during the school year! Not only does it enhance academic performance, but it also has positive long-term benefits on cognitive development for younger kids. In fact, even incorporating physical movement throughout classes could help students cement subjects in their minds, reduce fidgeting, and increase their overall amount of daily activity. We should continue advocating for increased physical activity within schools, outside of P.E. classes!
Since physical activity contributes to production of endorphins that regulate our mood and pleasure, students are able to shift their perspective from a “I can’t do it” mindset to a “I can do it” mindset. A change in mentality can be the catalyst for academic and athletic performance.
So, how can we keep ourselves moving throughout the school day and outside of school? Here are a few tips and tricks to stay active and studious at the same time!
Planning ahead: Depending on how we like organizing things, you could use a planner or reminder app to record your schedule for the upcoming week. That way, you could figure out a convenient time to get a quick workout in! It may be more difficult to try and mentally picture everything you have to do. Also, when you get it down in writing (or in text), it may motivate you to execute it when the time comes!
Home videos & workouts: The gym may not be for everyone whether it’s because of personal preference, lack of time, or any other factor! Nonetheless, that does not stop you in any way from staying active! Especially with so many different resources, like apps and YouTube videos, we are able to workout in the comfort of our own house. It would be a great break from your homework!
Walks outside: Walking is a great form of exercise. Besides, getting some fresh air may just be what you need to replenish your studying motivation. You could walk with your pets, your family, your friends, or you could put in some headphones and take a nice walk on your own! It’s always good to have a change of scenery once in a while.
You can try walking as much as you can in school! Maybe take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you have time, try different routes to your classes. There are many things that may not necessarily be called exercise, but it is still being active whenever you get the chance.
Stay consistent: It’s easier to keep up with your schedule if it follows a consistent pattern! That way, you always know in advance what you’ll have time for. If things are constantly fluctuating, it can be difficult to maintain. Also, you are able to get yourself into a positive mindset before working out.
Workout with friends and family: Sometimes, we need some external boost to motivate us! Exercise is both healthy and a great bonding experience. It’s also super fun to see each other’s progress and uplift each other. On days where you feel tired and under the weather, your workout buddy may be the one to get you on your feet. Of course, you know yourself best-- make sure to take breaks as well!
Be realistic: Don’t overwhelm yourself. You may not have the time to get in a full workout everyday, and that’s okay! Don’t fill in every second of your day with something that you have to do. If there are certain days that are just too busy, then make sure you save extra time to just relax and clear your mind, which could come in the form of exercise for some people. A balanced schedule is for your benefit and only you know what works best for you.
When it feels like we’re being swallowed up by homework and extracurriculars- although you may think it’s unproductive to take a step back from all of that- it will actually help you if you set a certain amount of time for exercise and mental relief activities. After your workout, you’ll be left refreshed and ready to take on your schoolwork! You will be able to focus more and go in with a more positive outlook. You’ll feel great and you may even find yourself finishing before you usually do.
However, always make sure that you’re prioritizing your mental well-being-- constantly packing our schedules with activity can get overwhelming and reduce our commitment to each activity. You are the most important-- everything else will follow!
"How to Stay Active While in School." Food and Nutrition,
"Promoting Healthy Behaviors." CDC,
"Youth Fitness: Exercise Helps Children Excel in School." Healthline,