Anyone who regularly does a challenging physical activity knows that one of the first things you notice when you stop training for a while is mental sluggishness. Additionally, it’s often accompanied with mood swings and a general decline in performance. In other words, the absence of sports negatively affects not only your physical well-being but other aspects of personality as well. Focus, concentration and overall mental health suffer from a sedentary lifestyle.
Therefore, physical activity is a must for everybody, especially for students. Individuals studying at college live under constant psychological pressure, so they need something that will relieve their state. Why not consider running? In fact, it brings learners a lot of benefits, some of which are listed below.
Better cognitive function
Multiple studies have demonstrated that doing regular workouts is closely correlated with mental acuity. According to the book, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, by a Harvard University psychiatrist John J.Ratey, doing sports improves cognitive functioning.
After the scientist synthesised volumes of research and analysed numerous MRI brain scans, he found out that the volume of the hippocampus as well as frontal and temporal lobes increases in people who started doing fitness. Since these brain regions are associated with memory, focus and learning, their growth eventually leads to better study achievements.
Also, a longitudinal study carried out by the universities of Strathclyde and Dundee in Scotland of 5000 children and adolescents revealed a strong correlation between exercise and exam success.
It was discovered that the improvement in academic performance appeared after nearly 15 minutes of exercise. Overall, individuals who exercise regularly are proven to be more academically successful.
Many people think that regular running boosts confidence as a result of improved body shape. However, it’s not really true. Of course, such effects as great physical appearance and weight loss take place and make people feel more comfortable in their own skin.
However, physical activity, including running, causes changes on a much deeper level, including improved mood. Physical exercise inevitably includes learning and improving different abilities. It teaches how to deal with criticism, adversity and praise. Acquiring new skills definitely boosts self-confidence.
Improved mental health
The number of mental health issues in young people has been rising dramatically in recent years. This tendency can be caused by high academic demands and heavy workload. Students that don’t ask for help with their home assignments to a trusted and cheap essay writing service are more prone to struggle with psychological problems. Hence, healthcare experts and educators are researching how physical activity can change the statistics.
In fact, sports can help the body and mind in many ways. It has been proven that running is one of the most efficient natural remedies for depression treatment. You’ve probably heard about so-called runner’s high, which is a euphoric state similar to that experienced after taking drugs. This means that people feel energetic and enthusiastic after going for a run. Generally, elevated mood is an integral element of a runner’s experience.
Developed leadership traits
No matter whether you play team sports or enjoy solo running, physical activity breeds a ground for leadership traits. Some studies conducted in high schools demonstrate a correlation between leadership qualities and participation in sports competitions. Those people who know their goal in sports and try hard to achieve it usually do the same in other areas of life.
The habit to be persistent and reach high achievements in sports can be easily transferred to the academic world. In general, sport forms another type of mindset that is more directed towards success and high performance. Hence, people involved in physical activities are more likely to win college battles.
Unfortunately, because of numerous challenges, stress often becomes an integral part of student life. The burden of studies may feel too overwhelming and exhausting. Anxious thoughts and negative emotions literally drain young people. However, running could be a great solution to this problem.
When training is a part of weekly routines, you will feel generally less stressed. Not only does the body become stronger and more flexible but the mind also changes during physical activity. The nervous system stabilizes and one becomes calmer. Eventually, the general level of stress can decrease.
As you see, running is a highly beneficial activity for students. It helps to improve cognitive function, increases confidence and self-esteem, maintains good mental health, develops leadership traits and reduces stress levels. Hopefully, all this will inspire you to go for a daily run before classes.
Alina Boskar is an academic coach and researcher. Alina studies the effects of regular physical activity on student performance at college. She is also a big fan of running, so she often participates in marathons and various local competitions.