How Exercise Can Help with Homework

Today’s blog is courtesy of the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka

School is back in full swing and that means homework! Many students and parents adopt a similar philosophy for success – clear your schedule, buckle down and focus. Although the intention is great, prioritizing school tasks is not always the right answer. By focusing solely on the books and neglecting the body, students are not actually reaching their full potential.

Here are five reasons why exercise can actually make you more productive:

Stress release

Exercise is proven to release endorphins that reduce stress. Although some may argue they work best under pressure, we can all agree there is a difference between the healthy kind of pressure that challenges us to raise our game and the all-consuming school stress that can derail even the best of students. Exercise makes it easier to self-regulate in times of stress and use that surge to our advantage.

Better sleep

It should go without saying that our brains work better with a good night’s rest. Getting enough sleep contributes to the brain’s capacity to store and retrieve information, complete tasks efficiently, maintain focus and manage stress, all of which will improve student success. Studies show that regular exercise makes it easier to fall asleep faster and maintain a deeper, more restorative sleep throughout the night


Brain breaks

It is important to make time for your brain and your eyes to get a break in between chapters or tasks. Overworking is going to impact your productivity, retention, and performance. Think about how slow your computer gets if you never shut it down and let it update…give yourself a break, your body with thank you!


Work out to relieve body tension

We all know how hard it can be to focus with an aching back, cramped neck or jittery leg. These physical distractions are often a result of excessive time spent in sedentary activities, increased stress or lack of exercise. A quick body break can relieve tension and excess energy, making it easier to focus on the tasks at hand.


Retain more

Blood Pumping exercise increases the flow of oxygen to the brain making it more receptive to the flow of new information coming in. Studies show students who exercise three times a week get higher grades.


In addition to exercise, students should ensure they are eating healthy, staying hydrated, and getting lots rest and fresh air. These healthy habits will not only help you succeed with your homework, but you will see improvements in your overall energy, health, and mood.

Check out the many ways you can get active at the YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka.