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Why You Should Exercise to Improve Your Grades

12 Apr, 2021 KDIS News Center 565

We all know that feeling – you wake up in the morning and every thought in your head rings with an alarm bell, feverously repeating, “Not today.” The world is gloomy and dark, and you really have no energy to do anything, let alone put your workout clothes on and go for a jog. So, the only reasonable thing to do, obviously, is to nestle back into your bed and reward yourself with an extra hour of sleep. Been there, done that. You may be wondering now if I’m a mind-reader, but sorry to disappoint, I’m afraid I’m simply a fellow student suffering from a common condition known as Not a Morning Person.

Maybe it started with an ambitious thought, like, “I’m going to jog every morning this year!” or a more modest, “I’ll try hitting the gym a few times per week,” or even the seasonal motivation, “I need to get in shape before summer comes.” And then came in the excuses: the “I have too much work today, so I’ll do it tomorrow” and the classic “I can just do it over the weekend.” And while no one can argue that physical exercise can be rough, it may hold more purpose than the attainment of modern beauty standards.

Multiple studies have linked physical exercise to stress reduction, mood improvement, healthier sleeping patterns, and even better memory skills. Moreover, regular exercise can help reduce symptoms of such mental health issues as depression, ADHD, and anxiety. To top it off, physical activity has also been linked to having direct and indirect impact on academic success. Need more convincing? Ms. Soli Choi, Counselor from KDI School Human Rights Center, has weighed in on the impact of physical activity on mental health and academic success.

“Extensive research shows positive aspects of physical exercise when it comes to mental health. In biological terms, when people exercise or engage in physical activity, their body immediately produces such chemicals as dopamine and serotonin. As it is well known, both of these chemicals are related to mood levels, therefore, when you engage in physical exercise, production of dopamine and serotonin in your body increases your mood.”

However, the positive impact of physical exercise doesn’t end there. Ms. Choi explained that it can also significantly affect individuals’ self-esteem. She added, “When people reach diet or exercise goals that they set for themselves, they can feel achievement through it, too, which reflects in their confidence and self-esteem levels.”

When asked whether exercising can have any negative effects, the KDI School Counselor pointed out that it’s important to be realistic with your goals. She continued, “If you set unrealistic goals, like ‘I’m going to lose 20 kg this month,’ not achieving these goals can cause some inner damage.”

To expand further on how physical activity can affect academic performance, Ms. Choi stated, “I highly encourage students to exercise during the academic time. Physically inactive individuals can feel more depressed and anxious, and this mental state can considerably affect their academic performance and general motivation to study. It makes it harder to concentrate on studies, as they focus more on depressive and self-destructive thoughts.”

Despite the current restrictive circumstances in the world, the choices for physical exercise remain plentiful for students at KDI School. Among those is the KDIS United FC, which meets several times per week. “We regularly exercise and train on the school soccer field. Soccer is a cornerstone for some students. Thus, maintaining the soccer team is very important for the KDIS family. It’s also good because we get to stay active and keep team spirit up,” said Paul Zarate, the captain of the team.

For those who prefer individual training, jogging is always an option. However, it is important to keep in mind that exercise doesn’t have to be exhausting or draining. “Even something as simple as walking can be helpful to boost your mood and productivity,” said Ms. Choi. And when it comes to a nice walk, nothing is better than an easy hike in nature. Luckily, the campus is surrounded by scenic hiking trails that can take you up to the mountains and biking routes along a beautiful lake in the middle of the city.

Whether you are one for team games or quality solitary time, you are bound to find something for yourself. And as we now know, your grades call for it.