THE BLOG
16/10/2013 11:40 BST | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

How a Healthier Lifestyle Change Can Improve the Way You Learn in Education

It's unlikely anyone can deny the positive benefits that can be gained by adopting a healthy lifestyle. We have been shown by scientists over the years how a healthy balanced diet can help to stave off a host of ailments and diseases...

It's unlikely anyone can deny the positive benefits that can be gained by adopting a healthy lifestyle. We have been shown by scientists over the years how a healthy balanced diet can help to stave off a host of ailments and diseases. Of course having a healthy lifestyle incorporates a range of disciplines and not just diet. The human body is non-renewable and we have to maintain it as well as possible.

One area where it is crucial to possess a healthy mind and body is education. With so many problems already in education and the possible outcome of 500,000 pupils destined to fail at school now is the time to think positive and be positive. Many studies have shown that individuals who are healthier tend to do better than their less healthy counterparts and succeed in a successful career. Healthy living can affect education from a very young age and here are the latest ways in how this is being done.

It's All About The Yogabugs

This one took me by surprise - yoga for kids. There is an interesting scheme which has been taking place up and down the UK and it is the implementation of yoga in schools. Yogabugs is a company which introduces yoga to children between the ages of two and half to twelve years. The techniques inherent in yoga exercises such as shapes, relaxation and breathing promote fitness and concentration in the children from an early age. The younger children are told stories and they interact by making shapes relevant to the tales being told, and the interest levels are maintained as they are kept mentally stimulated. Throughout, the teachers constantly focus on the breathing techniques. "Yoga'd Up" relates to the older children between eight and twelve years old and their sessions help them build up their confidence through yoga techniques. This is all about positive mind sets and works well in education.

Stimulation Of The Brain

Another aspect of a healthy regime which seems to be conducive to learning is jogging. A study by Cambridge University in collaboration with the US National Institute on Ageing has found that running a few days a week helps stimulate the brain. Furthermore, there is evidence that this activity actually leads to the growth of new brain cells which helps with the restoration of memory.

The age of technology has invariably contributed to our decline in health. One of the worst culprits is the television. Spending too much time in front of the TV creates many problems such as obesity and anxiety. It's a good idea to limit yourself to the amount of hours of viewing so that you have time to exercise and eat properly. Stimulating the brain in a healthy way is far more productive for educational and career development and here are three of my personal tips:

1- If you go to the gym or have home gym equipment make sure a stepper is part of the equipment you use. On each step you go up exercise your health as well as your mind. Think about a goal and on each step up, then how you might implement it and then the steps to achieving it. With each session of exercise you can create a new goal.

2- Technology and health can combine well if you use it well. Healthy use of technology is not about being addicted to it but using it to increase your knowledge and open up paths in your brain. Use an iPad to get creative, take tests and increase your knowledge through design interaction. Many apps allow you to venture into unknown skills - use the apps to your advantage but pace your use of technology and do not become too dependent on it, as this could lead to unhealthy living and addictive behaviour.

3- Have you ever studied project management courses? They can be tricky but they do provide variation and stability just like healthy foods. I completed a project management Telegraph course and believe that the concepts I learnt in the core business functions can be applied to healthy living by setting out a healthy living plan, implementing change and project managing it to schedule.

If you are new to project management as a career, then you need to know what accreditations and certifications are needed. So think of the qualifications in a healthy way like this, Six Sigma Green Belt - eating 6 of your green vegetables, PRINCE2 Foundation - 2 of your 5 a day (the foundation of healthy living) and Certified Associate Project Management - organic food that is chemical free and pesticides free.

Breakfast Clubs For School

One important area which has been receiving a lot of publicity of late is the notion of breakfast clubs for school children. For many families, providing nourishment in the morning is problematic whether due to lack of finances or time. Children who do not have a healthy breakfast in the morning will often succumb to tiredness during the day and lack concentration. In this aspect, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day and for the children, having a full stomach enables them to focus on their lessons rather than pining for something to eat. The BBC recently reported that breakfast clubs improve performance and Diane Hand from La Mare De Carteret Primary School discussed how it improved engagement and the level of concentration.

Limiting Toxins

Finally, it may seem obvious but one of the best ways of facilitating learning for older students is the eradication of vices. We all know that it's important to eat healthy with plenty of fruits and vegetables but if alcohol and tobacco are consumed and inhaled, this will have a detrimental effect on the brain cells. This will manifest itself in the form of short term memory loss and delayed reaction time which is not ideal if you are trying to retain complex information. It's therefore a good idea to limit alcohol intake wherever possible even if you can't completely avoid it.

As you can see, a healthy lifestyle might just be the prerequisite to succeed in the pursuit of knowledge.