Nearly 2 million deaths are reported each year globally as a result of sedentary lifestyle attributed to lack of any physical activity (Odunaiya, Ayodele, & Oguntibeju, 2010). It is not uncommon to see young students shun outdoor activities for video games, homework and other indoor cravings. The result being their deteriorating physical health and lower mental strength. When differentiating between physical outdoor activities and exercise, one must understand that exercise can be applied to all sets of physical activities that are structured and regular in nature. This means that while you may be considering playing football as an outdoor activity, it becomes a physical exercise if you are playing football on a daily basis for a set time span. So, it makes more sense for a kid to play outdoor games on a daily basis for a minimum time duration instead of doing it once in a week.
Research by Elmagd (2016) shows that cardiovascular exercise has the power to create new brain cells (i.e. neurogenesis) and enhance overall performance of the brain. According to Elmagd (2016), regular physical exercise increases memory and improves the ability to learn new things. Considering these factors, it may not be surprising to see a higher and better academic performance in students that exercise daily in comparison to those who do not exercise at all. In this regard, research by Bass et al. (2013) establishes a strong relationship between regular physical exercise (such as aerobics and muscular endurance) and higher academic achievement in middle school students.
It is time for action now. If you are a school student reading this, pull your socks and start going outdoor! If you are a parent or an educator reading this, please educate students to participate in physical activities. The days of exercise may be painful, but the benefits are tempting too.
Benefits of daily exercise:
- Better body image and boosted self-confidence
- Sharper memory and brain power
- Better academic performance
- Lesser stress and higher mental strength
- Prevention of diseases such as heart diseases, obesity, diabetes and stress
Did you take any action, or do you have something to contribute? Please comment! We welcome your suggestions and feedback!