College years are demanding, so many students feel a lot of pressure to get good gradess, sometimes leaving them exhausted. Important exams can cause anxiety and emotional instability, because when they approach they are usually locked in their room (or library) for weeks, and can adopt harmful habits such as: eating poorly, not doing exercise, etc.
Adopting this attitude may not be the best. Several studies, such as the one presented by the American College of Sports Medicine, have shown that exercise helps relieve anxiety and leads to better grades.
The psychological benefits of exercise
For several decades, experts have recommended that we exercise because of its many physical and mental benefits. Regarding the latter, the regular practice of physical or sports activities it can help us achieve greater well-being, But also to improve our cognitive functions, regardless of age or physical condition.
Psychiatrist John Ratey, professor at Harvard Medical School and author of The New and Revolutionary Science in Exercise and the Brain, explains, “Exercising regularly is good for improving our self-perception., Our mood, our memory or our learning ”. Therefore, exercising regularly helps us achieve better academic results because, besides producing happiness chemicals or improving our self-esteem, it gives us other benefits that can promote better results. results in academia: reduces stress, improves memory and learning, increases brain capacity and improves productivity.
To know the results of different studies that explain the psychological benefits of regular physical activity, I invite you to also visit my article:
“The 10 psychological benefits of exercise”
Top marks for those who exercise
That exercise improves academic performance is not a new idea. Therefore, researchers at Saginaw Valley State University (USA) decided to test this theory. After analyzing the exercise habits of 266 students, the researchers they concluded that people who exercised vigorously had higher scores on the GPA scale than those who did not.
The GPA scale is a grade average ranging from 0.0 to 4.0 and is used by many academic institutions. The results of this research showed an average 0.4 points higher for those who exercise regularly. Knowing this, you may want to schedule gym, yoga, or running sessions as part of your study hours, even if it’s for relaxation.
Improvements in the school performance of children and adolescents have also been documented.
Improvements in academic performance through exercise not only affect students, but also children and adolescents also see their grades improve as a result of physical activity.
A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine indicates that the more active boys and girls do better in school. For this study, a group of researchers from the United Kingdom, Scotland and the United States measured the physical activity level of 5,000 11-year-old boys and girls. Their scores in math, English and science were assessed at the ages of 11, 13 and 16.
After analyzing the results of the study, the researchers concluded that the most physically active children at age 11 performed better in all three disciplines. Outraged, 17 minutes of exercise per day is enough to improve boys’ academic performance. In the case of girls, 12 minutes a day is sufficient.
Studies on children’s academic performance
Another study, in this case carried out by a group of researchers from the University of Vrije (Netherlands), links children’s best cognitive performance to their level of physical activity.
But there are other studies that support the claim that physical activity influences children’s academic performance. According to the University of North Texas, a healthy heart and lungs have a beneficial impact on children’s reading and math skills. Which could indicate that cardiovascular exercise improves both academic skills. Therefore, study director Trent A. Petrie recommends that schools “review their physical education policies, as including more hours per week in this topic could have a beneficial effect on its students’ performance. “.
On the other hand, a study by the Autonomous University of Madrid, led by Irene Esteban-Cornejo, analyzed data from 2,038 Spanish children aged 6 to 8 years. The results showed that cardiorespiratory capacity and motor skills are positively correlated with academic performance, Both independently and in combination.