As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, virtual learning has become the new standard in education. With a majority of students spending most of their day from the confinement of their bedrooms, learning how this new online model affects physical activity is important. In fact, many of my peers, myself included, have noticed their levels of activity decline in recent months. Especially with school being online, it is essential to continue to be active and practice healthy exercise routines.
There are many health benefits that come with physical activity. Not only does physical activity increase concentration and attention, but being active helps the brain be more effective and efficient. According to the Los Angeles Times, exercising helps with brain health and cognition, which in turn could lead to performing better in class.
“Higher fitness levels, the result of ongoing engagement in physical activity, are associated with higher grades and test scores compared to those with lower fitness levels,” Heather Gillin, a college professor for Texas A&M, said.
Another benefit of physical activity is its connection to psychological health. Especially during the pandemic, when mental health is largely affected by the current circumstances, it is especially important to stay active in order to maintain a healthy mental state. According to the US National Library of Medicine, the increased blood circulation to the brain can help relieve stress and improve one’s mood.
“Aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing, have been proven to reduce anxiety and depression,” the US National Library of Medicine said.
During the week, students are on technology for countless hours. Whether it be for school, homework or extracurricular activities, the sheer amount of time spent online is unhealthy.
Despite the pandemic, it is important to find some normalcy in our lives. After a long day of being online, exercising is a nice way to reset the body and take our minds off school. The many health benefits, both mental and physical should incentivize students to continue to be active and pursue a healthy lifestyle.