Why it's Important to Stay Active During Online School

Online schooling is something that most of us have never experienced before. Nothing has ever had the power to shift all our daily activities online, until COVID-19. When school first moved online in March, the “new normal” of virtual learning was overwhelming and stressful. Most students, including myself, were struggling to get into a routine and stay motivated, while also staring at a computer screen for hours on end. After fighting through the virtual fatigue for a couple of weeks, I managed to find something that really helped me stay motivated and ease some of my stress. I would schedule out my day and make sure to include time to exercise or get some physical activity. Sometimes even a ten-minute walk around the neighborhood would help me clear my mind. Here are some of the benefits that I experienced when I began to be active during online school.

Increased Motivation

I became more motivated shortly after getting physically active. I noticed that when I would exercise, it would push me to complete something else. The best way to describe the feeling is to think of a checklist; once the first task on the checklist is complete, then the next task seems even simpler! This was the case when I would exercise. Exercising was the first task on my checklist and afterwards, I would be more motivated to complete all the other tasks on my list.

An Escape from Online School

I found that the times I spent exercising while also enrolled in online courses allowed my mind to drift away from the stress of my assignments and lectures and focus more on the activity that was being completed. This shift in thought allowed me to escape from the realities of online school and rest my mind a little bit before I had to jump back into another class. I found that when I did complete an assignment or attend a lecture after exercising, I wasn’t nearly as stressed as I would have been if I didn’t take any breaks.

Healthier Lifestyle Choices

Exercising also allowed me to start making better lifestyle choices outside of school, such as eating healthier and getting more sleep. When exercising during a busy school day, I would then want to eat a healthy lunch to allow my body to benefit from the exercise. This resulted in more energy, allowing me to complete online assignments quickly and effectively. It also motivated me to go to bed sooner than usual, meaning I would wake up earlier and get started with my day sooner.

These are just a couple of ways in which exercise has benefited my mind and body during virtual learning. As most universities will continue to teach online for the remainder of the school year, I definitely recommend scheduling in some exercise or time spent outside in order to help you clear your mind and overall lead a healthier life to benefit your academics. Even if you don’t consistently stick with exercising during your online schooling experience, trying it out even for a little while will do more help than harm!