College students have a very busy schedule. When they do their studies online, things get even worse. They have their classes, their job, and their family and social obligations, so they barely can find some spare time to do anything else. Nonetheless, they should try to fit exercise into their daily schedule, because this simple habit can bring them important cognitive benefits, helping them perform better at their scholarly duties. There’s scientific evidence that proves such benefits.
We asked UK qualified primary school teacher and tutor James Goldsmith for his opinion on and why he believes exercise helps and he gave us some tips below.
Exercise Promotes The Development Of Brain Cells
Latest studies show that regular aerobic exercise has a direct influence on the brain. The New York Times published an article called “How Exercise Could Lead To A Better Brain”, which takes a look into a series of experiments performed on mice ar the University of Illinois. Mice who had their regular share of running on a wheel had more neurons than those who led a sedentary life.
In addition, exercising mice had more complex connections between their brain cells, being therefore able to access them more flexibly. Even better, those who exercised were better at completing various cognitive tests such as completing a maze. It appears that this direct link between exercise and the development of cognitive abilities exists also in humans.
Exercise Helps Improving Memory Retention
The formation, retention and recall of memories are controlled by a specific structure in our brains, called hippocampus. Most adults experience a shrinking of their hippocampus as they approach the age of 30, which leads to memory loss over time. The New York Times article mentions a 2011 study which shows that regular exercise can prevent this shrinkage and even reverse the trend.
A group of senior subjects were randomly assigned to either a walking or a stretching program for a year. Once the year passed, their brains were scanned. The stretching group had their hippocampus shrunken as expected. On the contrary, subjects in the walking group experienced a growth of their hippocampus. For college students, this means that regular exercise helps them develop that region of the brain which is responsible for information recall.
Exercise Has A Positive Effect On Focus And Concentration
Back in 2009, a Canadian school for children suffering from ADHD or from other learning disabilities took part in a study involving 20 minutes of exercise on treadmills or indoor bikes before the math class. Teachers reported an improvement in the ability of their students to concentrate, take part in class and retain information after exercise. These subjects also showed an improvement of their inappropriate behavior.
Many other similar experiments show that as little as three 20-minute sessions of exercise per week should be enough for experiencing the concentration-improvement benefits of this type of activity.
Exercise Enhances Mood
There are countless studies that show how exercise can improve your mood. A 1999 Duke study took a deeper look into the effects of exercise on depression by asking a grup of subjects to exercise, while the control group took ant-depressant medication. The exercise group showed similar improvement to the one recorded in the medication group. College students could maintain a positive outlook and a better mood by exercising regularly.
Exercise Is A Powerful Stress Reliever
Intense and long-lasting stress can cause health problems such as strokes and digestive troubles. As exercise helps you sleep better and alleviate anxiety, can help you cope with stress and attenuate its negative effects on your body. Many people who exercise regularly discover their concentration power is bigger after working out.
The main point is that you should make time for exercise in your life. Pick an activity that brings you pleasure, and integrate it into your daily schedule. Swim, dance, walk or run, do whatever keeps you motivated to go on, and you’ll notice significant improvements in your mind and body health.