My name is Ellie Nowakowski and I will be taking over this blog for the rest of the year and next year. I’m excited to explore different ways for students to stay healthy and to do things that benefit the mind, body and soul. I plan to focus on various health issues that are super pertinent to high school students. As the new writer of this blog I want to advocate for things you should be doing that are “Good for You”!

As the school year winds down students begin to fall into an end of year slump. At the beginning of the year students move into routines to help stay on track, however as the months pass and it moves closer to summer it is easy for enthusiasm and energy to fizzle out. It is important to finish the school year on a strong note, but also to enjoy the spring months. There are two important things that students need to be doing to push through the last month of school and into summer.

It is well known that exercise is good for the body, it builds muscles, burns fat and increases cardiovascular health. In addition to the obvious benefits, physical activity brings up the level of serum calcium in a person’s body. Through many steps this aids the body in making more dopamine in the brain, an important chemical to mental health. Dopamine helps the brain focus, which means exercise can help you work on homework or study efficiently. Studies have shown that 30-60 minutes just three or five times a week can give you many mental health benefits. Exercise makes your body sleep better at night, which is important on nights where you may stay awake because of anxiety or stress.

Another super beneficial way to reduce stress and bring a little excitement to your end of year slump is by getting a breath of fresh air, literally. Spending even a little time outdoors can help your mind refresh and can bring many benefits to mental health. It also improves intellectual ability. A study done by Strayer tested the ability of “Outward Bound participants” to complete “creative problem-solving tasks”. The group on average did fifty percent better after spending three days in the wilderness. This shows that spending a little time outside can give your mind a little breather and can get your creative juices flowing.

Letting these two things take control of your life is not the solution, the idea is to take your studies outside, spend a few days a week at the gym or go for a hike, run or bike ride. However you decide to incorporate nature and exercise into your daily life will help you finish the year on a better, less stressful and more enjoyable note than you would have thought