02 July, 2024

10 Benefits of Physical Activity for Students

10 Benefits of Physical Activity for Students - 10 benefits of physical activity for students

In his 2013 book , Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, Dr. John J. Ratey, associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, says that exercise improves learning on three levels:

"First, it optimizes your mind-set to improve alertness, attention, and motivation; second, it prepares and encourages nerve cells to bind to one another - the cellular basis for logging new information; third, it spurs the development of new nerve cells from stem cells in the hippocampus."

Mark Hendry, Head of Sport at La Côte International School, says of La Cote International School’s PE programme:

“Physical Education at LCIS isn’t just about improving performance and strengthening our bodies, it’s also about fortifying the mind, sculpting character, expanding opportunities, nurturing discipline and of course, having a great deal of fun along the way.”

We’ve put together ten benefits that exercise can bring to our students at La Côte International School. Read on to find out what they are, and for further words about exercise and the variety of indoor and outdoors sporting activities offered at LCIS.

10 Benefits of Physical Activity

1. You feel great

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins.

Among other effects, these trigger a sense of positivity. The feeling that follows a run or workout is often described as "euphoric." Known as a "runner's high" this can be accompanied by a positive and energising outlook.

2. You think better

Exercise boosts your memory and thinking skills - both directly and indirectly.

It stimulates physiological changes such as reductions in insulin resistance and inflammation. It encourages production of chemicals that affect the growth of new blood vessels in the brain along with the abundance, survival, and overall health of new brain cells.

3. Fewer sick days

Moderate-intensity exercise can stimulate cellular immunity by increasing the circulation of immune cells in your body. This helps your body better prepare for a future infection by detecting it earlier.

Moderate to vigorous activity for up to sixty minutes every day is optimal for immune-boosting benefits.

4. Lessens anxiety

Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body, like that of morphine.

“Getting your heart rate up changes brain chemistry, increasing the availability of important anti-anxiety neurochemicals... A simple bike ride, dance class, or even a brisk walk can be a powerful tool for those suffering from chronic anxiety.” John J Ratey MD.

5. You sleep better

Those lovely endorphins we talk about in point one act as sedatives. Research has shown that physical activity can be as effective as prescription sleep meds. Exercising outside in natural light helps your body’s sleep-wake cycle too.

6. Develops teamwork

Skills like leadership, hard work, communication, conflict resolution, self-discipline, and accountability are also necessary for a group to work together successfully. Playing in a sports team, even if the sport itself is not a passion, teaches fantastic, transferable teamworking skills for life.

7. Recipe for a longer, healthier life

“It can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancer and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.

“It's free, easy to take, has an immediate effect and you don't need a GP to get some. Its name? Exercise.” NHS, UK

8. Builds self-confidence

Joining in a team, taking part, trying your best, doing something you find hard, doing it well – all these improve self-confidence. And when we are feeling confident, we do better at life.

9. Improves energy levels

Exertion triggers the production of more mitochondria inside your muscle cells. Mitochondria are known as the powerhouses of cells because they create fuel out of glucose from your food and oxygen from the air you breathe. More mitochondria = more energy. Combine that with great sleep and you’ll feel amazing.

10. It’s fun

Joining in a wide range of sports and exercise activities gives students the chance to find things they really enjoy. Finding exercising fun is key in adopting good exercise habits for life.

Sports at LCIS

“Our Physical Education programme lays the foundation for a healthy body, a confident spirit and an inquisitive mind,” says Mark Hendry. “Our students are challenged physically and mentally to achieve the very best they can in a range of practical and theoretical sessions.”

During the winter months, LCIS pupils benefit from a unique ski experience in the mountains. In the warmer months they benefit from our idyllic setting looking at the French Alps. Younger pupils are introduced to a range of practical activities, developing fundamental transferable skills. As pupils progress through the school, they become more inquisitive about how the body works, adapts and changes to suit different sports.

Throughout the school pupils have access to a huge number of sports activities both as part of curriculum and in a wider school context with extracurricular activities, competitive teams, and Inter-House competitions.

Fostering a sense of adventure, exploration, fun and capability around sports helps our students feel motivated to move, and means they benefit from all the positive aspects that exercise offers, for life.