We all know the benefits of exercise for health and looks. Hitting the treadmill and getting the heart pumping does more than just keep us healthy, they also have many benefits for the brain, but can they actually improve studying efficiency? Yes! And here’s how.
It’s a mood-booster
One major benefit of working out is that it relieves stress and betters moods. The effect on mood is immediate, and only requires 20 minutes of exercise. The change is all down to the chemicals stored in the brain. When exercising, the brain releases serotonin, a chemical famed for boosting mood. Another chemical released is dopamine. It affects learning and the ability to focus. The increase of these two neurotransmitters, or chemicals in the brain, means higher concentration and a better mood. This makes working out an all-natural and free study booster. The type of exercise is also important, but regardless of what exercise is done, there is a positive impact on mood. But it would be a better stress-buster to do something enjoyable. If dancing is preferred, then Zumba is a great workout. For relaxation and peacefulness, walking is the best option. Tailoring the exercise to personal taste makes a huge difference in willingness to work out and therefore study better.
Working out in the morning is so difficult for most of us. It seems pointless to get out bed just to sweat. But those who do it know the ultimate secret: working out is the healthy equivalent of a cup of coffee. It has great mental effects, but the physical effects on energy levels are great too. The effects can last up to an hour after twenty minutes of working out, making it even more effective than coffee. A scientific study found that those who worked out during their day were 23 percent more productive than those who didn’t. It also increases problem-solving ability by 20 percent as well.
More Sweat, More Memory
Brain games and study skills courses may be effective, but an easier way to improve memory is working out. The sharper focus from working out means a higher chance of remembering new information and processing it faster as well. In fact, studies show that memory is increased by 20 percent after exercising. It may be tempting to work out after sitting and studying, but getting the best effects means having to work out before. The intensity of activity also has an effect on memory too. Higher intensity workouts mean more blood pumping and greater memory. While low-intensity workouts still work, they are not as effective. It all comes down to the spike in the brain chemicals like BDNF, dopamine, and epinephrine.
It may even be beneficial to kill two birds with one stone and study while working out. This may seem on the side of impossible but where there is a will, there is away. Make sure to warm up so you are getting the benefits of working out before starting to study. For indoor cycling, rest the notes on the screen in front of the bicycle. For running, record the notes as audio and listen to it during the run. Just be sure to do it only with repetitive actions so your brain can focus on the notes rather than counting reps and sets.