By Laura Arnett, Testing Center Coordinator & Madeline Heinrich, Academic Success Records Coordinator
We all know physical activity can help us stay fit, but what else can it do? Well, surprisingly, A LOT!
Switching to online classes has changed our level of energy as well as our daily habits and routine. While we may think taking classes online is not much of a change, it really is. Walking across a room to your iPad and books is much different than getting in your car and driving to school, walking across campus, dropping kids off at daycare or even going to the gym.
Exercising benefits the body by building muscle and promoting bone health. It is also great for your skin as it produces glutathione, a natural antioxidant that protects your cells. Physical activity increases energy and stamina and can be especially good for combating fatigue. When your energy is depleted during exercise, your brain is stimulated to recuperate while you sleep at night, meaning you get a better night’s sleep and will wake up feeling well rested.
What are other benefits of exercise? Physical activity increases oxygen levels and blood flow to the brain, as well as releases human growth hormone to promote brain cell growth, which makes us feel happier and decreases stress.
Ways to restore your energy:
- Go for a walk around the neighborhood. Since parks sometimes attract large crowds, this could help those who are maintaining distance from other right now.
- Play frisbee outside.
- Create an obstacle course in your driveway (like this mom did).
- Set an exercise/staying active goal.
- Check out free exercise apps or online classes.
- Set a timer on your watch or cell phone as reminder to take time for yourself to move around.
- Have a virtual dance off with friends or family.
- Most importantly, keep a mental connection with those you care about. Stay in touch with family and friends through FaceTime, Zoom or phone call. It is amazing how much staying in touch can give you a powerful mental boost and put a smile on your face.
Whatever way you choose to stay fit, you’ll find that physical activity energizes you. Keep that mental connection with those you care about. Most of all, stay active!