Being involved in sports at college can greatly improve your academic success, by improving brain function, memory and even employability, according to the Union of Students in Ireland, who are urging students to get involved in exercise. Sports at college can improve your future by refining employer-friendly skills like teambuilding, communications, interpersonal skills and goal-setting. More training also means less drinking and less alcohol-related diseases, and endorphins are a great natural way to tackle stress and focus on studies.
“There are plenty of good reasons to be physically active at college.” Kevin Donoghue, President of the Union of Students in Ireland, said, “Apart from reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, lowering blood pressure and preventing depression by endorphins, exercise changes the brain in ways that protect memory and thinking. Studies suggest that parts of the brain which control memory and thinking (the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex) have greater volume in people who exercise, versus people who don’t.”
“Engaging in a program of regular exercise of moderate intensity over six months or a year is associated with an increase in the volume of selected brain regions,” said Dr. Scott McGinnis, a neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and an instructor in neurology at Harvard Medical School.
26.5% of Irish girls and 16% of Irish boys under the age of 20 are classed as overweight or obese. The European average is 24.2%.
“Being involved in sport can not only improve your physical well-being but it can also have a positive impact on your mental health.” Ursula Jacob, who works in the Sport Department at Waterford IT and is an All Star camogie player, “Taking time out from your study to train or play sport can release positive endorphins and allows you to de-stress from your studies. Along with that, it encourages positive interactions with your peers while also allowing you to communicate and engage with a wide variety of people. This can have a knock on effect; not only on your daily life but also it can help you with your career path because many businesses and corporations recognise the important presence sport and physical activity can have in people’s lives. Furthermore, the presence of participating in sport and physical activity particularly in 3rd level Institutions ensures that these students are not actively engaging in continuous alcohol related activities. This is mainly due to the fact that these students are committed and dedicated to their training and recognise the importance of getting a healthy balance between their studies and sport rather than spending all their free time consuming alcohol.“
The top ten most popular Irish sports, according to GoIreland, are Gaelic, hurling, rugby, soccer, golf, horse racing, showjumping, camogie, boxing and greyhound racing.