We have all heard it – ‘an apple a day, keeps the doctor away.’ Now that is all well and good for our tummies. But what about our muscles and bones that get students through the school gates, or make them strong enough to cart around the textbooks on their backs? Physical exercise is essential to a lot of things not only for our working minds but for our students as students. As an outlet for stress and anxiety, we are promoting an hour a day of skipping, juggling or your sports team training to keep the doctor away.
Obviously, the main benefit of physical exercise is our physical bodies. Whether it be walking around the block each day or running your dog ragged around the backyard, all exercise helps. Along with that apple a day, this daily exercise will help create healthy and strong bones and muscles. It does not need to be an exhaustive effort; it just needs to be something. Moving your body in any way can help build the foundation for a good studying mindset.
With strong bones and muscles all set up and ready to study, that hour of exercise outside can be carried inside. Exercising has been shown to improve student’s concentration, which let’s face it, we could all use a lot more of (imagine no procrastination…wow). Brain development can also be enhanced whilst partaking in a bit of a sweat session, not to mention the management of stress and anxiety. Exercise can be a great distraction or study break to refocus and come back to. Going for a walk, run or stroll will take the mind off the stress of that assignment and promote a refocused and relaxed mindset.
Whilst on that walk or during the team training session, a sense of self-confidence and independence can be developed. Partaking in a team sport throughout the school term or year not only keeps students active but also promotes skills that can be used off the court and in the classroom. Social skills through interactions with teammates can allow students to practice their co-operation and team skills.
So, it does not have to be a 10km run to the next suburb but try to encourage students to practice physical activity for both their physical and mental wellbeing. This well-balanced routine of physical exercise introduces ways to manage stress and anxiety and fosters skills of co-operation and teamwork, of which all can be brought into the classroom. Not only will the doctor be happy, but so will your student.