A healthy lifestyle is a concept which encompasses more than just the consumption of healthy food and drink. Rather, it is made up of several components. An important element of this is the practice of physical activity.
The last decade has witnessed an increase in interest regarding the impact of physical activity upon general well-being. Many studies indicate a high correlation between regular exercise, alongside a balanced and nutritious diet, and the quelling of stress and improvement of concentration.
During exam periods, it has been proven that stress levels rise and this leads many to give in to cravings they subsequently experience. This is clearly evident when addressing the startling 53% increase in consumption of sugary snacks over the 2016 summer exam period at the University of Exeter.
We want to encourage the maintenance of a routine which incorporates both regular exercise and healthy eating, in order to provide our university students with the easiest journey possible through the burdensome exam period. Ultimately, taking a holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle is of paramount importance when striving for success.
A few questions must be asked first. What influences our health?
- Cultural and environmental circumstances
- Community networks and organisations
- Individual lifestyle factors
Why is exercise such an important part of a healthy lifestyle?
- Reduces cravings/ conditions impulse control
- Blundell & King, 2000: studies highlight ‘the importance of short bouts of physical activity as a substitute for other mood regulating behaviors such as sugar snacking’
- Improves concentration
- Mary Carmicheal, 2007: ‘a three-month aerobic exercise program [has been] linked to the formation of new neurons and more diverse, denser interconnections between them’
- Alleviates stress
- Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers—and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress
What opportunities can we embrace?
Yoga is an example of physical activity which has been proven by many specialists to have a calming effect on the body and mind.
The university provides an extensive number of classes which are aimed at ‘[cleansing] the mind as well as strengthening the body’.
For further details contact the Sports Park at:
All in all, we must remember that both a healthy diet AND a healthy exercise regime are vital in order to capitalise upon our capabilities.