With most students glued to their gadgets nowadays, it seems to take a lot more effort to go outside regularly and stretch some muscles.
If you’ve ever thought about skipping PE classes before, here are some of the subject’s lesser-known advantages that might just change your mind and get you excited the next time around.
- Exercise helps improve memory – In a study by Harvard Medical School, researchers discovered that exercise can actually protect our memory and thinking skills (sounds like a good tip for that next exam!).
This is because important chemicals for our brain –like “growth factors” which affect the health of brain cells and regrow new blood vessels– are released during exercise. So next time you find yourself sighing at the warm-ups and sprints, think about how these activities not only work out your body, but your brain, too!
- It improves sleep– Bet you didn’t suspect this one. Exercise, which we think would only leave us tired and drained afterwards, actually helps improve one’s mood and sleeping pattern. As stated in the same study of Harvard Med, this is also another result of the brain being “repaired” by the release of restorative chemicals.
- PE classes promote teamwork – Being in a team means having to work well with others, and to reach a common goal even under challenging circumstances (for instance: You might not like your groupmates that much or you’re usually the slowest runner).
Because PE classes often require you to present a dance or play ball games as a group, you’ll be motivated to give your best for the team and even help those who aren’t too good with the assigned task (now that’s being a good sport!).
- It’s good for your long-term health – It isn’t easy to make exercise a regular part of your lifestyle if you don’t start early, which is why PE is such an irreplaceable part of basic education. Once you grow older and busier, exercise is usually bumped off the list of priorities because of the idea that working all day reaps the same benefits –not true!
Try doing some of the warm-up exercises that you learn from PE class each morning (stretching, jumping jacks, bending your knees) and for the weekends, you could try inviting your friends for a nice ball game instead of the usual gala at the same mall you keep going to for “food trips”.
- You have a better chance of fighting diseases – Exercise reduces the chances of developing the various illnesses that come with sitting for long hours and eating unhealthy food (such as diabetes, heart diseases and even cancer). It also improves the recovery rate of people who are already diagnosed with these serious ailments.
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