Importance of keeping healthy during VCE
VCE may be an important thing in your life at this stage, however that doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice keeping healthy in order to study.
Having a good lifestyle balance between studying and exercising is an excellent way to succeed at VCE. Not only is exercising good for you but eating having a healthy diet, as well as a good nights sleep, can also help you do well in your VCE.
Exercising helps to decrease stress hormones and we all know that these hormones are elevated during SAC and exam periods! Not only are your stress hormones decreased when exercising but the natural feel-good chemicals (Endorphins) also increase as well. These chemicals along with adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin work together to make you feel good.
Therefore, during periods of stressful times during your VCE, you should take some time out from studying and go out for a walk, run, swim or do whatever exercise you enjoy to get those ‘feel good’ chemicals circulating around your body.
Going out to exercise when you are stressed out can be good as it helps to clear your mind during that period, but another better way would be to incorporate exercise into your daily life. Not only will you study better (in my opinion), but you will also be able to keep active and stay healthy. We know a lot of diseases are associated with being overweight and by exercising regularly we will be able to maintain a healthy weight and decrease our risks of getting diseases such as heart disease, diabetes etc…
You don’t have to spend a lot of time exercising. 30 minutes a day should be enough, more if you are keen (but don’t overwork yourself!). If you don’t want to do it alone grab a couple of mates and go do something together.
Your brain and other organs within you need fuel to function properly. If you don’t provide them with these fuels then they won’t work properly and you won’t be able to study well. Eating a healthy meal will ensure that you give your brain and other organs the fuel it needs to help you keep going every day.
Junk food may be tasty but they are not good sources of energy for your body. Some are not only high in saturated fats, but there are some that have a high salt content, high sugar content and other chemicals that are not good for your body. These foods make you feel sluggish and tired and they won’t be any help to you when you are trying to study. Therefore, swap those junk foods such as chips and biscuits for a healthier alternative such as a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.
Many students skip breakfast in the morning because they don’t have the time to make or eat it. Skipping breakfast is only harming you. School starts in the morning and if we have not replenished our fuel stock within our bodies then the body won’t have any fuels to help you concentrate in class. Our fuel supply is depleted overnight as we haven’t eaten for at least 8 hours and we need to restock it.
You will feel tired and don't know what is going on around you in class and this will be a huge disadvantage to you. ➔ Especially if you have assessments in the morning.
Therefore, get into the habit of at least waking up early so that you can sit down and eat a nutritious breakfast before you go to school, or if you can’t just have some fruit in the house so that you can have it on your way to school.
We are all at that age where our bodies can stay up all night, however, that is not a good thing. Getting a good night sleep will ensure that you wake up the next morning feeling refreshed and recharged to tackle the events that await you.
Research has shown that teenagers need at least 9-10 hours of sleep each day, however, many people seem to be able to function with less than that, it just depends on the person.
Another benefit of getting a good night sleep is that during that period our cells within our bodies are constantly repairing itself, our body is, therefore, repairing the damages that it may have sustained.
If you are a person that has trouble falling asleep and many do, here are some tips that may help you:
Take a shower before you go to bed
Keep your room dark at night. Light signals our brain to stay awake.
Avoid using mobile phones and laptops before you go to bed as the light emitted by these devices can affect your ability to fall asleep when you do go to bed.
Avoid doing homework that is difficult before you go to bed, as this will only make you think about it when you go to bed. Thus, making it harder for you to fall asleep.
*Most of the information regarding this section on sleep has been obtained from the Better Health Channel: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/teenagers-and-sleep
Disclaimer: The author of this article is neither a health nor medical professional. The advice offered here is based on his past experiences. Always check with a health professional before starting any exercise routine.
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