Exercising as Studying
by Caroline McCammond on Friday, February 6th, 2015
Every Mustang knows how mentally and physically challenging Milton can be. From trying to learn a new concept in chemistry to struggling up the five flights of stairs in Ware, Milton students face a large workload daily. Amazingly, all those steps in Ware could hold the key to improved academic performance: exercise.
Even though the correlation between academic performance and physical activity has been found to be positive overall, students believe there can still be negative effects. Some may think exercise reduces studying time and adds only more stress; however, the fact that exercise interrupts constant studying is one of its greatest strengths. Having a limited amount of time to finish an essay or study for a math test allows students to organize their time more efficiently. Exercising both forces students to be more focused and allows their brains to take a break.
Research shows that the brain continues to chew on what it’s just learned while on a break, strengthening the learning process. Additionally, exercise can simply sharpen one’s mental reflexes. According to Active.com, people who exercised before taking a cognitive test completed it faster and more accurately than people who did not exercise prior to the test. The results of this test also indicate that problem-solving abilities increase as much as 20% after exercising. Mycollegeguide.org even lists exercise as a necessary “brain booster” before taking the SATs or other forms of testing. In its own way, exercising is a form of studying. Physical activity increases energy, sharpens focus, improves mood, develops memory, and enhances productivity. The release of endorphins and serotonin during fitness sparks these developments in cognitive functions. In addition to generating behavior-enhancing hormones, exercise also reduces the production of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.
Whether running down a field or walking from Goodwin to main campus, one can improve his academic performance simply by exercising. So, the next time you’re hiking the steps in Ware, just focus on the notion that the higher you go, the better you will likely perform in your upcoming class.
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