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Fitness Advice Arrives at GearFire

Move your body and mind tee shirt

Image credit AlbySpace

Mens sana in corpore sano is Latin and loosely translates as “A sound mind in a sound body”. The phrase can be used to promote a healthy balance between a persons mental and physical energy expenditure so that one does not outbalance the other and manifest itself in the form stress, illness, insomnia, or any other form of mental or physical inhibitor.


Daniel - GearFire fitness author


My name is Daniel, i recently graduated from the University of Portsmouth, UK, where i read a Masters Degree in Sport and Exercise Science, and I’m a new author here at the GearFire blog. I’ve been charged with the task of providing health and fitness related tips for academic success to the readers of GearFire, a role that I’m chomping at the bit to get stuck into.

I firmly believe in the Latin adage “A sound mind in a sound body”, and here is why exercise will benefit your study:

  • Improved concentration. Exercise will help you to relax, a process of catharsis allows you to channel mental anguish is a safe and effective manner. When sat at your desk struggling to string together any sort of logical sentence simply stop, take 30 minutes and declutter. Return to the desk and i promise you that you’ll be in a better state of concentration.
  • Fight illness. A direct benefit of increased exercise is an improved ability to stave off illness. Moderate and continued exercise will improve the immune system by increasing the number of white blood cells circulating in the blood, enabling a faster and more efficient interception of foreign bodies and bacteria when they enter the body.
  • Greater confidence. Exercise will help you to look better and feel better about yourself. As a result of increased confidence you are less likely to avoid classes, social meetings, and more likely to put yourself forward for in-class demonstrations, sports teams and numerous other scenarios that you might have avoided.
  • Better sleep. Exercise that lasts 40 minutes 3 times per week will promote deeper sleep patterns. You will spend greater periods of time in deep sleep, and allow you to wake up feeling refreshed a ready for the day ahead, rather than waking up and feeling ready to go back to sleep.
  • Optimised circulation. Last but by no means least, and probably the most relevant…regular exercise promotes growth of the heart allowing an increased efficiency at pumping blood around the body. This is of particular benefit to the brain, an organ that thrives on the oxygen that is contained within the blood. Exercise the heart and improve cranial activity, it is as simple as that.

So, now that I’ve explained what exercise can do for your studies let me explain what i can do for your exercise. As i mentioned earlier i am a Masters student of Sport and Exercise Science, i have knowledge of the simplest forms of exercise, for example, body weight routines, all the way up to elite forms of exercise, for example speed, agility and quickness (SAQ), Olympic training techniques, and plyometrics. If you are reading this post and would like me to write about a particular topic, no matter where it falls within this spectrum, then please feel free to leave a comment on this post and I’ll do my utmost to cover the topic.

I look forward to your suggestions and providing you with the information needed to make the most of your academic years.

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11 Responses to “Fitness Advice Arrives at GearFire”

  1. Martin says:

    Hi Daniel, it’s good to hear you’re now writing at Gearfire.

    Walking is my main exercise throughout the week. Personally, I would be interested in hearing about the following:

    – What, if any, warm ups are needed before a brisk walk?
    – Is there an optimum pace and style when walking, in order to achieve maximum benefit?
    – If a student is pushed for time, what type of exercises would you suggest for a simple, yet beneficial, 10-15minute session each day?
    – Does it make a difference what time of day a person completes a fitness routine, or is that irrelevant and simply about warming up first?

    I’d love to be more focused on my fitness. It’s one thing I don’t devote enough time to, so I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on your posts. All the best!

  2. danielb says:

    @Martin Hi, thank you for the warm welcome.

    Walking is as good an exercise so long as the duration throughout the week is high. Walking on a daily basis will help to keep you fit. As for a warm up i don’t think it’s entirely necessary unless you are about to enter a walking race. You could ensure that the first 5 minutes are easy and then break into a faster pace. The truth about walking is that it isn’t very efficient. The faster you walk the less efficient the action becomes, this is great if you want to make things harder on yourself in terms of exercise, otherwise it is advantageous to jog slowly rather than walk at a great speed.

    A 10-15 minute routine that i used was that of body weight calisthenics. In my dorm room i would perform basic exercises like push ups, sit ups, dips, and increase the intensity using my bed/chair to assume an inclined position.

    Exercising in either the morning or evening is entirely down to the person. If you’re a morning person then exercise and vice versa. There are other factors involved but this is my favoured rule.

    Thank you for reading the post, and I’ll try my utmost to help you hone in on your fitness aspirations. Feel free drop by and leave a comment if you feel that you need some advice.

  3. Nathaniel says:

    Hey, great post, thanks.

    So… anything on stretching?? Those long hard hours crouched over your laptop, perhaps?? ;)

  4. danielb says:

    I wouldn’t necessarily advocate stretching because your muscles will be cold and susceptible to injury. Limber up with dynamic actions such as swinging the arms, simulating swimming actions, stand tall and reach for the ceiling. These sort of actions will relieve tense muscles and flush out the stagnant blood from your muscles and more importantly the brain.

    I’ll write a post about a 10 minute refresher routine that will help you step away from the laptop a tense and tired person and return refreshed.

    Thanks for the comments.

  5. Nna says:

    Hi, welcome and thanks for your input!
    I’m sure your input will be well received in the blog.
    Since you were looking for suggestions I have a couple: It is winter in the northern hemisphere and the temperature changes bring about colds and whatnot… suggestions for the college student inconvenienced by these ailments on exam week perhaps? or what kinds of stretchs are good for keeping a healthy back, or what postures we should keep from. Just a few ideas.

  6. lily says:

    This is a very interesting post on improving your concentration. The ability to concentrate is highly important, especially for students. At they offer numerous methods to aid you in improving you concentration. Give it a try! It definitely worked for me!

  7. danielb says:

    Thanks for the input. It just so happens that immunology is a favourite topic of mine so i’ll gladly post about that. Posture is an interesting topic too considering all the hours students spend sat hunched at a desk.

  8. I did sit ups and something like a treadmill for a while. That was last summer when I was thinner and mored toned than any other time of my life. I also thought I had a better digestive system then. Maybe I should try doing my routines again. I could use the exercise and the confidence.

  9. Martin says:

    Thanks for answering those questions, Daniel. Most helpful.

    I’m walking for at least 25 minutes every day. From what you’ve suggested, I may well turn my walk into a slow jog near the end of each session.

    I certainly look forward to reading your future posts.

  10. danielb says:

    It’s not a coincidence that at the time when you were fitter than ever that your digestive system felt better too. When you exercise regularly you also eat and drink healthier food without consciously adjusting your diet. This in turn will lead to a period of detoxification thus improving your digestive system.

    My advice to you is start with simple body weight exercises and some light jogging, and then build it up from there. Any duration of exercise is far better than inactivity.

    Thank you for the comment.

    No worries. I realised that they were points for a post after I had replied to them, but I can elaborate on the points in the future.

    25 mins of walking per day is a great way to exercise. I expect that your mind also benefits from this, because when I’m walking I tend to think things through and develop strategies, thus increasing my productivity.

  11. paulette says:

    I agree with you nothings beats exercise. In addition, it shall be accompanied with a healthy diet.