Human beings were designed to move and to move things. If you are not doing some form of physical exercise at least two times a week, you are going to underperform in everything. Period.
To a person, the most successful college students I know exercise regularly. Sure, you can probably find some exceptions to this rule. When you do, ask yourself if they are successful because of or in spite of not exercising.
There are many reasons why working out can lead to higher grades.
1. Working out gives your body more energy to work with. The more energy you have, the easier it will be to focus and, therefore, the easier it will be to churn out high quality work in an efficient manner.
2. For guys, lifting weights will result in a massive surge of testosterone. This will cause your sex drive to spike. Beyond the obvious benefits in bed, this will carry over to your performance in class as well. As Napoleon Hill pointed out in Think and Grow Rich, almost every successful businessman has a very high sex drive. Well, the same applies to successful college students as well.
3. The above applies to girls, although in a different way. While you all don’t have the same testosterone rush as guys, your body does release endorphins. Endorphins are responsible for the famous “runner’s high” and will provide you with more sexual energy as well. If you don’t like lifting weights, you can get the same effect by simply doing cardiovascular exercise instead.
4. An additional bonus is that you will feel healthier, which will make it easier to motivate yourself to get stuff done. To use a cheesy metaphor, not working out is like throwing a giant piano on your back.
5. Working out will make you feel better about yourself because you will know that you are doing what needs to be done in at least one area of your life. This will build momentum towards doing what needs to be done in class as well.
I cannot emphasize enough how dramatically your performance will improve when you work out. It is ridiculous.
If you feel self-conscious when going to the gym, do some exercises in the privacy of your room. If you hate lifting weights, then do body-weight exercises. If you hate running on a treadmill, do one of the other hundreds of exercises to get your heart rate up.
The purpose of working out is NOT to lose weight or to gain muscle mass so that you look good. The purpose of working out is to use your body the way it was meant to be used so that it can actually function. I am by no means discouraging you from trying to lose weight or gain muscle mass; however, realize that even if you reach your perfect weight, you still MUST work out.
EVERYONE agrees that working out is essential. Literally everyone. So seriously, if you aren’t working out, you need to start. NOW. Just do it.
On top of physical exercise, you need to pay attention to your diet and sleep. I am not trying to make you all health nuts, nor am I going to peddle certain diets to you. Just be conscious of your diet and evaluate if what you are eating is working for or against you. The same goes for your sleeping patterns.
Take care of yourself so you can take care of your life.