Wednesday, August 9, 2023
As students head back to school, a bustling schedule of classes, assignments and socializing awaits them. It can be hectic and it's easy to overlook an essential aspect of overall health and wellbeing: physical fitness. Engaging in regular physical activity can not only keep the body healthy, but it can also contribute to better academic performance and improved mental health.
Incorporating Physical Activity Into a Student's Daily Routine
Let's explore some easy ways to incorporate fitness into a student's daily routine.
If possible, consider walking or biking to school instead of taking the bus or driving. This can be a great way to incorporate physical activity into your daily routine without taking out extra time for it. Another easy way to add some extra activity into your day is to park your car further away and get a few extra steps in that way.
Breaks Between Classes
Use the short breaks between classes to do a quick physical activity. This could be as simple as doing some stretches, taking a quick walk around the school building or walking a few flights of stairs.
Join a Sports Team or Club
Participating in a sports team or club at school can be an excellent way to stay active and socialize simultaneously. It brings routine, commitment and fun into your physical activities.
Benefits of Regular Exercise for Physical and Mental Well-being
Regular exercise can help maintain a healthy weight, strengthen the immune system, improve cardiovascular health, increase bone density and more. It also promotes better sleep, which can have a tremendous impact on a student's overall health and academic performance. The great thing is you don’t have to kill yourself in the gym for 3 hours a day! 30 to 45 minutes of lifting total body 3 times a week is a great way to start seeing benefits from the gym.
See the video below for some machine movements you can incorporate into your gym routine.
Physical activity is also great for your mental health. It can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, improve mood and boost self-esteem. Research also shows that regular exercise can enhance cognitive functions like memory and attention, contributing to better academic performance.
Fun and Engaging Activities That Promote Fitness
Fitness doesn't always have to mean hitting the gym. Here are some fun activities that can help students stay active:
Whether it's hip-hop, ballet, or Zumba, dance is a fantastic way to stay fit. Many schools offer dance classes as part of their extracurricular activities and many gyms and community centers also offer them as well. Not only is it a full-body workout, but it's also a great stress reliever. You can check out The Health Club’s group fitness and dance schedule here!
If you're more of an outdoorsy person, consider activities like hiking, kayaking, rock climbing pick up basketball, or even frisbee in the park.
Yoga or Pilates
For those who prefer a less strenuous activity, yoga or pilates can be a great option. These activities improve flexibility, balance and strength and can also help reduce stress.
Maintaining physical fitness along with an oftentimes hectic school schedule can indeed seem like a challenge. However, with the practical and engaging approaches mentioned in this blog, students can easily incorporate physical activity into their daily routine. Remember, the goal isn't to become a marathon runner overnight but to make small, consistent changes that foster a healthier and more active lifestyle. So, take those extra steps, join a club, dance it out or simply stretch between classes – your body, mind and grades will thank you for it. Let's make the new school year not just academically enriching, but also foundationally healthy!
By The Health Club Exercise Specialist and Performance Coach, Jack Carter, MS CSCS NSCA-CPT SPC