Exercise has many benefits; however, many people don’t know that it can also help with studying. While it may seem like you should exercise before studying to boost your energy levels, it is more beneficial to exercise a few hours after studying or learning something. This can increase your ability to recall what you have learned.
Exercise can improve your memory by increasing activity in the hippocampus, which is the area in the brain that controls memory and learning. It even can cause your hippocampus to actually grow! Exercise also increases cognitive performance because extra blood is pumped to the brain, allowing extra nutrients, glucose, and oxygen to be brought to the brain. These nutrients cause chemicals to be sent to the brain, which allows for increased memory, problem-solving ability, and decision making. Just the use of your muscles causes hormones to mix with BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), causing better brain cell growth, increased mood, and better learning.
Not only is exercise physically beneficial to studying, but it is good for your mental health. Exercise decreases stress and releases specific endorphins that make you happier. These include Serotonin, which boosts your mood, Dopamine, which enables you to learn better and have a longer attention span, and Norepinephrine, which benefits your attention, perception, motivation, and arousal. Being in a better mood can allow you to study more efficiently and for a longer period of time without getting bored or unmotivated.
However, you have to find the perfect balance of intensity for the workout to actually be beneficial. Workouts that are too intense can have the opposite effect by wearing you out and lowering your energy. On the other hand, workouts that are not intense enough will not produce enough of the biochemical in the brain to actually make a difference in your studying.
Exercise is not only good for your physical health but, when done correctly, can also help you improve your grades.
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