The quality of our work any given time depends on a lot of factors. We may have recently gone through some major stressful factors such as divorce, moving, the death of a loved one or a large medical expense. Although these things do and will occur in our lives, we can establish a pattern of healthy living that will minimize the effects of such stressors.

Exercise is one of those things that is talked much about, but of which many people still don’t take full advantage. If exercise were a drug, as Dr. Mark Hyman puts it, it would be the hottest on the market! The reason for this is simple, the benefits are many and extraordinary. Without focusing on every possible benefit let me share with you five ways that exercise can improve your online education.

Exercise improves brain cell communication, releases endorphins to generate positive motivation, creates a hunger for good healthy food to replenish your body & mind, leaves you tired at the end of the day so you can more easily get the necessary rest you need to bring focus to your studies & it clears your mind & gives you energy to concentrate. Let’s look a little at each of these online college enhancers:

  1. One of the most wonderful benefits of exercise is that it increases the oxygen flow to cells throughout the body. Oxygen is most essential for healthy communication between nerve cells in the brain. When we take the time each day to increase our heart rate a little more oxygen is sent to the brain, allowing it to do its job more easily.
  2. Another benefit of exercise that you most likely have already experienced is the feeling that comes after a good solid workout. That feeling comes from the body releasing endogenous or internal opiates called endorphins. These endorphins are known to elevate mood and increase motivation. What student doesn’t seek increased motivation to excel in their online college studies?
  3. Exercising also, as I’m sure you’re well aware, burns calories. Burning more calories does not only help you lose weight, but it also increases the need to replenish those calories lost. I find often after a good solid workout that I more regularly crave good healthy foods. It’s almost as if my body knows what it needs to replenish itself. Go figure! When we feed our body healthy and nourishing foods we set the stage for clear thinking and a greater overall sense of well-being.
  4. A wise man once told me in order to keep out of trouble I might try a strenuous workout each day so that I come home tired and eager to go to bed. Now his aim was to keep me out of late night trouble, but I’ve found this simple advice more valuable than I first realized. I often stay up late and the ripple effect is that I either wake up late or find myself very tired in the morning unable to focus on the day ahead of me. However, when I have spent time each day in at least 30 minutes of solid exercise I find it easier to turn my brain off at night and get the sleep my body needs. Sleep is more important than we often realize. We’d do well to consider it an important part of our online educational success strategy.
  5. In the short term I have also found that immediately after exercise my mind is much more clear and calm. In this state of mental acuity I am much more excited to study and indeed, I learn more readily. I have found it extremely helpful in breaking up my day into two halves as it were by placing a good workout right in the middle. If I’ve gotten a good sleep the night before it’s easy to wake up, concentrate hard on my studies and just when I start to lose my best focus I can break and bring the focus back with a good work out and healthy lunch.

So as you can see, there are many benefits for online college students to scheduling exercise into their day. Even if you are not attending online classes I would highly suggest incorporating exercise into your life for short-term gains as well as long-term health.

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