Exercise and the HSC

September 27, 2019

It’s that time of the year again. Year 12 students are graduating and the HSC exams are right around the corner.

For many students, the HSC and the pressures around it can lead to anxiety, stress and a general crankiness – teenagers in general already suffer from all 3 on a day to day basis! What we tend to find is that students studying for their exams tend to give up Martial Arts, Exercise and Movement, and instead substitute it with late night studying, no sunlight, poor nutrition, and a social media/video game ‘reward’ for ‘studying’ that tends to last much longer than the initial 30 minutes they promised themselves. If you or your family are preparing for the HSC, you need to keep reading about the benefits of Martial Arts and Exercise. In this blog we will discuss 3 key reasons why exercise is important when studying:

1. Improves Brain Function:
Exercise affects the brain on multiple fronts. It increases your heart rate, causing the heart to pump more oxygen to the brain. It also causes a release of hormones, all of which participate in aiding and providing a nourishing environment for the growth of brain cells. On an emotional level, exercises releases endorphins (the feel good hormone) resulting in an improved and happier state of mind.

2. Escape Study:
Being cramped up in a small room covered in books and notes is not a healthy state – especially when you’re doing it for many hours. Neither is spending time on social media a healthy way to escape study. Exercise however is a way to escape the closed room and take a healthy break from study. Let’s look at the following benefits of exercise – fresh air, sunlight, human interaction and improved nutrition:
– Exercise will increase your heart rate which will lead to a higher intake of oxygen into the body (and the brain).
– The fresh air and sunlight will do wonders for your mood as you escape the closed studying environment. The break from study will allow you to get back to some normality.
– Human Interaction with your friends or fitness instructor (for a limited time of course) will give you an opportunity to tune out of studying as you prepare for exercise. Exercising will force you to focus your attention on a different activity. In doing so you’re training your working memory in a different activity. Once again working your brain power.
– Improved Nutrition comes from exercise. Water intake improves after a hard workout, what you eat to fuel your body will change after your workout. On the other hand being cramped in a small room leads to snacking on salty chips and drinking large amounts of energy boosting sugar laced drinks.

3. Stress Management and Emotional Well Being:
While we want our kids to do the very best that they can in life, the truth is that the HSC is not the be all and end all. There are many ways to get into the University course of their choice if they fall short, and there is no guarantee that the course they get into is the career they truly want in the long run. What is important is the emotional well being of the student. They will pack large amounts of stress onto themselves as they look to achieve high scores and please their family members. Exercise and Movement is a great way for the student to tune out of study, breathe and have some time away from the pressures.

No matter what activity is chosen, exercise is just as important as studying when it comes to the HSC exams. We wish all of the JAI Family the very best for their upcoming exams and we hope to still see them on the mats training and exercising. As a special promotion we are offering all JAI students (and ex JAI students) studying for their HSC FREE ACCESS to our Sunday morning JAI FIT Classes for the months of October and November. All you have to do is BOOK IN by contacting us. Sunday Fitness classes resume from Sunday 20th October and start at 7.30am. Good Luck everyone!