Finn Strachan enjoys a recent hike above Rossland with Seven Summits classmates. (Contributed)

Finn Strachan enjoys a recent hike above Rossland with Seven Summits classmates. (Contributed)

Got stress? Take a hike – Activity enhances learning

Shake off educational stress and academic pressures through fresh air and exercise

By Tara Hauck

October kicks off the official beginning of the fall season.

Leaves are changing colors, days are getting shorter, and students are back in school.

It can be hard work to shake off educational stress and academic pressures; however, there are two proven solutions: fresh air and exercise.

Exercise is a known method for reducing stress while also increasing academic achievement. The fresh mountain air, especially with a touch of chill, is invigorating and motivates people to keep moving.

The Seven Summits Centre for Learning students enjoyed a pre-Thanksgiving Day hike up KC Ridge. Above the town of Rossland, swept by low-hanging clouds, the students took time to enjoy nature as part of their educational programming.

“We believe at Seven Summits that exercise is an important lifestyle activity that promotes health and wellness,” said Tara Hauck, the physical activity learning partner for Grade 8-9 students.

“Like the Centre, fitness is available to all students – not just the athletes.”

The annual hike usually takes place at Red Mountain, but this year because of inclement weather, students hiked up KC Ridge instead. “The point is just for everyone to get out into the fresh air and participate in climbing to the top. Some kids start out unsure if they will enjoy the hike, but in the end it’s a lot of fun!” said Finn Strachan, a Grade 12 student. “This year we returned to school to have a big turkey dinner, so it was well worth the hike.”

Moderate activity is a helpful way for students to maintain balance in their otherwise hectic schedules. In studies conducted at the University of British Columbia, researchers determined that regular moderate exercise does more than just get the heart pumping.

Studies showed that the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning, grew with regular aerobic exercise.

It is simple. All forms of exercise have some type of brain boosting effect.

Physical activity reduces stress, clears brain fog, and enhances learning. It is no surprise that Seven Summits students are jumping into fall and reaping the benefits of fresh air and exercise.