The Importance of Outdoor Activities for Online Students

04/07/20248 minute read
The Importance of Outdoor Activities for Online Students

In Crimson Global Academy's latest Thriving Thursday session, Ms. Griffiths and Ms. Haresnape discussed why getting outside is so important for students, especially for those who learn online.

Through interactive quizzes, and resources, they shared valuable knowledge on how physical exercise benefits our bodies and minds both in school and in our daily lives, and offered some fun ways for students to stay active.

Why Outdoor Activities Matter for Online Students

Outdoor activities bring a lot of benefits. First, they help improve your heart health, make your muscles stronger, and keep you flexible. Regular physical activity can lower the risk of serious health issues like heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. As Ms. Haresnape mentioned, “Exercise reduces the risk of major illnesses and lowers the risk of early death by up to 30%.”

Being outside is also great for mental health. Physical activities release hormones that make you feel good, reduce stress and anxiety, and boost your mood. “Just by doing a bit of exercise, you can reduce stress levels and feel less anxious," shares Ms. Griffiths. Plus, outdoor activities can improve your memory and concentration, which helps with studying and learning.

For students entering into exam period, a bit of exercise can go a long way during those stressful times. Taking a break to go for a run, hike, or even a light walk can help clear your mind and recharge your energy. This not only helps in reducing exam-related stress but also enhances your ability to retain information and focus better when you return to your studies.

Incorporating activities like yoga can also be beneficial. These exercises promote relaxation and mental clarity, which are essential during high-pressure periods.

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The Best Outdoor Activities for Students

There are many ways for students to enjoy the outdoors and stay active. Here are some activities the experts suggest:

Running is an easy and accessible exercise that can be done almost anywhere. It helps build endurance and reduces stress. You don’t need any special equipment, just a good pair of running shoes and some motivation.

Meet CGA's student runner, Paige.

Hiking allows students to connect with nature while getting a workout. It’s a versatile activity that can be enjoyed in various weather conditions. Hiking trails can range from easy walks to challenging climbs, making it a great way to explore the outdoors.

Water Activities like swimming, paddle boarding, and kayaking are both relaxing and physically engaging. “Getting out on the water is both relaxing and a good workout," shared Ms. Haresnape, and how she regularly goes into the water to destress. These activities can be a great way to cool off in the summer and enjoy the tranquillity of being on the water.

Meet CGA's student rower, Ariel

Cycling is another excellent cardiovascular exercise that also helps build leg strength. It’s a fun way to explore your neighbourhood or local parks, and it can be done alone or with friends.

Meet CGA's student cyclist, Max

Yoga and Pilates can be done outdoors on a mat and are excellent for improving flexibility and mental relaxation. These activities are perfect for a quiet morning in the park or your backyard, helping to centre your mind and stretch your body.

Team Sports like soccer, basketball, or tennis not only keep students physically active but also teach teamwork and social skills. Joining a local sports team or organising a game with friends can be a fun and social way to stay active.

At CGA we have many talented students who participate in sports competitions such as gymnasts, cyclists, rowers, motor cross and even horse riding!

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Engaging with Outdoor Activities

Finding activities you enjoy and that fit into your routine is key to staying active and motivated. “Find something that fits into your life whenever you need a bit of respite,” said Ms. Griffiths.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Joining a group can provide motivation and accountability. Whether it’s a running club, a hiking group, or a local sports team, being part of a group can make physical activity more enjoyable and help you stay committed.
  • Setting personal challenges, like running a certain distance or hiking a particular trail, can provide goals to work towards. Challenges give you something to strive for and a sense of accomplishment when you achieve them.
  • Using technology can be very helpful. Apps that track your activity or offer guided workouts can keep you motivated and help you see your progress. For instance, the City Strides app maps your runs and helps you explore new areas.
  • Involving friends and family can make outdoor activities more enjoyable. Exercising with others can turn physical activity into a fun and social event. “My children really motivate me to get outside and be active.” - Ms. Haresnape. 

Student Wellbeing for Online Students

For students learning online, whether they're part of a travelling family, a student performer, or simply prefer the flexibility of online education, maintaining wellbeing is crucial. At CGA we know that while online learning offers numerous advantages, it also comes with unique challenges, especially regarding student wellbeing.

Challenges of Online Learning

Screen Time: Online students often face issues such as too much screen time, which can cause eye strain, headaches, and physical discomfort. It's important to take regular breaks and stay active to mitigate these effects.

Isolation: Without the physical presence of peers and teachers, students might feel isolated, which can affect their mental health and motivation. Creating opportunities for social interaction, even in a virtual format, helps combat these feelings. Explore our CGA social days.

Physical Inactivity: The convenience of learning from home often leads to sitting too much, which isn't good for your health. Regular physical activity is vital to prevent the negative effects of prolonged sitting and keep energy levels up.

How Can Students Improve Their Wellbeing Online?

Focusing on student wellbeing in an online setting is important for several reasons. Taking care of mental health helps manage stress and anxiety, making learning more effective. A healthy mind is more capable of effective learning and problem-solving.

Physical health directly influences cognitive function and energy levels, contributing to better academic performance.

Even virtual social activities can help reduce feelings of isolation and build a supportive community. Students who are mentally and physically well are more likely to perform better academically because they can concentrate and remember information more easily.

For more insights and to watch the complete Thriving Thursdays segment click on the video below.

How do Online Schools Promote Student Wellbeing?

At CGA, we promote a balanced lifestyle for our students. We encourage outdoor activities as part of our approach to education. Outdoor activities offer numerous physical and mental health benefits and can significantly improve academic performance. 

By incorporating a variety of outdoor activities into their lives, students can enhance their health, reduce stress, and boost their cognitive abilities. As Ms. Griffiths aptly put it, “Exercise can drive better results by reducing stress and improving focus and concentration.”

Let’s encourage our students to step outside, breathe in the fresh air, and get moving. Their minds and bodies will thank them for it.