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Everyone struggles with homework sometimes, but if getting your homework done has become a chronic issue for you, then you may need a little extra help. That’s why we’ve written this article all about how to do homework. Once you’re finished reading it, you’ll know how to do homework (and have tons of new ways to motivate yourself to do homework)!

We’ve broken this article down into a few major sections. You’ll find:

  • A diagnostic test to help you figure out why you’re struggling with homework
  • A discussion of the four major homework problems students face, along with expert tips for addressing them
  • A bonus section with tips for how to do homework fast

By the end of this article, you’ll be prepared to tackle whatever homework assignments your teachers throw at you .

So let’s get started!


How to Do Homework: Figure Out Your Struggles 

Sometimes it feels like everything is standing between you and getting your homework done. But the truth is, most people only have one or two major roadblocks that are keeping them from getting their homework done well and on time. 

The best way to figure out how to get motivated to do homework starts with pinpointing the issues that are affecting your ability to get your assignments done. That’s why we’ve developed a short quiz to help you identify the areas where you’re struggling. 

Take the quiz below and record your answers on your phone or on a scrap piece of paper. Keep in mind there are no wrong answers! 

1. You’ve just been assigned an essay in your English class that’s due at the end of the week. What’s the first thing you do?

A. Keep it in mind, even though you won’t start it until the day before it’s due  B. Open up your planner. You’ve got to figure out when you’ll write your paper since you have band practice, a speech tournament, and your little sister’s dance recital this week, too.  C. Groan out loud. Another essay? You could barely get yourself to write the last one!  D. Start thinking about your essay topic, which makes you think about your art project that’s due the same day, which reminds you that your favorite artist might have just posted to you better check your feed right now. 

2. Your mom asked you to pick up your room before she gets home from work. You’ve just gotten home from school. You decide you’ll tackle your chores: 

A. Five minutes before your mom walks through the front door. As long as it gets done, who cares when you start?  B. As soon as you get home from your shift at the local grocery store.  C. After you give yourself a 15-minute pep talk about how you need to get to work.  D. You won’t get it done. Between texts from your friends, trying to watch your favorite Netflix show, and playing with your dog, you just lost track of time! 

3. You’ve signed up to wash dogs at the Humane Society to help earn money for your senior class trip. You: 

A. Show up ten minutes late. You put off leaving your house until the last minute, then got stuck in unexpected traffic on the way to the shelter.  B. Have to call and cancel at the last minute. You forgot you’d already agreed to babysit your cousin and bake cupcakes for tomorrow’s bake sale.  C. Actually arrive fifteen minutes early with extra brushes and bandanas you picked up at the store. You’re passionate about animals, so you’re excited to help out! D. Show up on time, but only get three dogs washed. You couldn’t help it: you just kept getting distracted by how cute they were!

4. You have an hour of downtime, so you decide you’re going to watch an episode of The Great British Baking Show. You: 

A. Scroll through your social media feeds for twenty minutes before hitting play, which means you’re not able to finish the whole episode. Ugh! You really wanted to see who was sent home!  B. Watch fifteen minutes until you remember you’re supposed to pick up your sister from band practice before heading to your part-time job. No GBBO for you!  C. You finish one episode, then decide to watch another even though you’ve got SAT studying to do. It’s just more fun to watch people make scones.  D. Start the episode, but only catch bits and pieces of it because you’re reading Twitter, cleaning out your backpack, and eating a snack at the same time.

5. Your teacher asks you to stay after class because you’ve missed turning in two homework assignments in a row. When she asks you what’s wrong, you say: 

A. You planned to do your assignments during lunch, but you ran out of time. You decided it would be better to turn in nothing at all than submit unfinished work.  B. You really wanted to get the assignments done, but between your extracurriculars, family commitments, and your part-time job, your homework fell through the cracks.  C. You have a hard time psyching yourself to tackle the assignments. You just can’t seem to find the motivation to work on them once you get home.  D. You tried to do them, but you had a hard time focusing. By the time you realized you hadn’t gotten anything done, it was already time to turn them in. 

Like we said earlier, there are no right or wrong answers to this quiz (though your results will be better if you answered as honestly as possible). Here’s how your answers break down: 

  • If your answers were mostly As, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is procrastination. 
  • If your answers were mostly Bs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is time management. 
  • If your answers were mostly Cs, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is motivation. 
  • If your answers were mostly Ds, then your biggest struggle with doing homework is getting distracted. 

Now that you’ve identified why you’re having a hard time getting your homework done, we can help you figure out how to fix it! Scroll down to find your core problem area to learn more about how you can start to address it. 

And one more thing: you’re really struggling with homework, it’s a good idea to read through every section below. You may find some additional tips that will help make homework less intimidating. 


How to Do Homework When You’re a Procrastinator  

Merriam Webster defines “procrastinate” as “to put off intentionally and habitually.” In other words, procrastination is when you choose to do something at the last minute on a regular basis. If you’ve ever found yourself pulling an all-nighter, trying to finish an assignment between periods, or sprinting to turn in a paper minutes before a deadline, you’ve experienced the effects of procrastination. 

If you’re a chronic procrastinator, you’re in good company. In fact, one study found that 70% to 95% of undergraduate students procrastinate when it comes to doing their homework. Unfortunately, procrastination can negatively impact your grades. Researchers have found that procrastination can lower your grade on an assignment by as much as five points ...which might not sound serious until you realize that can mean the difference between a B- and a C+. 

Procrastination can also negatively affect your health by increasing your stress levels , which can lead to other health conditions like insomnia, a weakened immune system, and even heart conditions. Getting a handle on procrastination can not only improve your grades, it can make you feel better, too! 

The big thing to understand about procrastination is that it’s not the result of laziness. Laziness is defined as being “disinclined to activity or exertion.” In other words, being lazy is all about doing nothing. But a s this Psychology Today article explains , procrastinators don’t put things off because they don’t want to work. Instead, procrastinators tend to postpone tasks they don’t want to do in favor of tasks that they perceive as either more important or more fun. Put another way, procrastinators want to do long as it’s not their homework! 

3 Tips f or Conquering Procrastination 

Because putting off doing homework is a common problem, there are lots of good tactics for addressing procrastination. Keep reading for our three expert tips that will get your homework habits back on track in no time. 

#1: Create a Reward System

Like we mentioned earlier, procrastination happens when you prioritize other activities over getting your homework done. Many times, this happens because homework...well, just isn’t enjoyable. But you can add some fun back into the process by rewarding yourself for getting your work done. 

Here’s what we mean: let’s say you decide that every time you get your homework done before the day it’s due, you’ll give yourself a point. For every five points you earn, you’ll treat yourself to your favorite dessert: a chocolate cupcake! Now you have an extra (delicious!) incentive to motivate you to leave procrastination in the dust. 

If you’re not into cupcakes, don’t worry. Your reward can be anything that motivates you . Maybe it’s hanging out with your best friend or an extra ten minutes of video game time. As long as you’re choosing something that makes homework worth doing, you’ll be successful. 

#2: Have a Homework Accountability Partner 

If you’re having trouble getting yourself to start your homework ahead of time, it may be a good idea to call in reinforcements . Find a friend or classmate you can trust and explain to them that you’re trying to change your homework habits. Ask them if they’d be willing to text you to make sure you’re doing your homework and check in with you once a week to see if you’re meeting your anti-procrastination goals. 

Sharing your goals can make them feel more real, and an accountability partner can help hold you responsible for your decisions. For example, let’s say you’re tempted to put off your science lab write-up until the morning before it’s due. But you know that your accountability partner is going to text you about it tomorrow...and you don’t want to fess up that you haven’t started your assignment. A homework accountability partner can give you the extra support and incentive you need to keep your homework habits on track. 

#3: Create Your Own Due Dates 

If you’re a life-long procrastinator, you might find that changing the habit is harder than you expected. In that case, you might try using procrastination to your advantage! If you just can’t seem to stop doing your work at the last minute, try setting your own due dates for assignments that range from a day to a week before the assignment is actually due. 

Here’s what we mean. Let’s say you have a math worksheet that’s been assigned on Tuesday and is due on Friday. In your planner, you can write down the due date as Thursday instead. You may still put off your homework assignment until the last minute...but in this case, the “last minute” is a day before the assignment’s real due date . This little hack can trick your procrastination-addicted brain into planning ahead! 


If you feel like Kevin Hart in this meme, then our tips for doing homework when you're busy are for you. 

How to Do Homework When You’re too Busy

If you’re aiming to go to a top-tier college , you’re going to have a full plate. Because college admissions is getting more competitive, it’s important that you’re maintaining your grades , studying hard for your standardized tests , and participating in extracurriculars so your application stands out. A packed schedule can get even more hectic once you add family obligations or a part-time job to the mix. 

If you feel like you’re being pulled in a million directions at once, you’re not alone. Recent research has found that stress—and more severe stress-related conditions like anxiety and depression— are a major problem for high school students . In fact, one study from the American Psychological Association found that during the school year, students’ stress levels are higher than those of the adults around them. 

For students, homework is a major contributor to their overall stress levels . Many high schoolers have multiple hours of homework every night , and figuring out how to fit it into an already-packed schedule can seem impossible. 

3 Tips for Fitting Homework Into Your Busy Schedule

While it might feel like you have literally no time left in your schedule, there are still ways to make sure you’re able to get your homework done and meet your other commitments. Here are our expert homework tips for even the busiest of students. 

#1: Make a Prioritized To-Do List 

You probably already have a to-do list to keep yourself on track. The next step is to prioritize the items on your to-do list so you can see what items need your attention right away. 

Here’s how it works: at the beginning of each day, sit down and make a list of all the items you need to get done before you go to bed. This includes your homework, but it should also take into account any practices, chores, events, or job shifts you may have. Once you get everything listed out, it’s time to prioritize them using the labels A, B, and C. Here’s what those labels mean:

  • A Tasks : tasks that have to get done—like showing up at work or turning in an assignment—get an A. 
  • B Tasks : these are tasks that you would like to get done by the end of the day but aren’t as time sensitive. For example, studying for a test you have next week could be a B-level task. It’s still important, but it doesn’t have to be done right away.
  • C Tasks: these are tasks that aren’t very important and/or have no real consequences if you don’t get them done immediately. For instance, if you’re hoping to clean out your closet but it’s not an assigned chore from your parents, you could label that to-do item with a C.

Prioritizing your to-do list helps you visualize which items need your immediate attention, and which items you can leave for later. A prioritized to-do list ensures that you’re spending your time efficiently and effectively, which helps you make room in your schedule for homework. So even though you might really want to start making decorations for Homecoming (a B task), you’ll know that finishing your reading log (an A task) is more important. 

#2: Use a Planner With Time Labels

Your planner is probably packed with notes, events, and assignments already. (And if you’re not using a planner, it’s time to start!) But planners can do more for you than just remind you when an assignment is due. If you’re using a planner with time labels, it can help you visualize how you need to spend your day.

A planner with time labels breaks your day down into chunks, and you assign tasks to each chunk of time. For example, you can make a note of your class schedule with assignments, block out time to study, and make sure you know when you need to be at practice. Once you know which tasks take priority, you can add them to any empty spaces in your day. 

Planning out how you spend your time not only helps you use it wisely, it can help you feel less overwhelmed, too . We’re big fans of planners that include a task list ( like this one ) or have room for notes ( like this one ). 

#3: Set Reminders on Your Phone 

If you need a little extra nudge to make sure you’re getting your homework done on time, it’s a good idea to set some reminders on your phone. You don’t need a fancy app, either. You can use your alarm app to have it go off at specific times throughout the day to remind you to do your homework. This works especially well if you have a set homework time scheduled. So if you’ve decided you’re doing homework at 6:00 pm, you can set an alarm to remind you to bust out your books and get to work. 

If you use your phone as your planner, you may have the option to add alerts, emails, or notifications to scheduled events . Many calendar apps, including the one that comes with your phone, have built-in reminders that you can customize to meet your needs. So if you block off time to do your homework from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, you can set a reminder that will pop up on your phone when it’s time to get started. 


This dog isn't judging your lack of motivation...but your teacher might. Keep reading for tips to help you motivate yourself to do your homework.

How to Do Homework When You’re Unmotivated 

At first glance, it may seem like procrastination and being unmotivated are the same thing. After all, both of these issues usually result in you putting off your homework until the very last minute. 

But there’s one key difference: many procrastinators are working, they’re just prioritizing work differently. They know they’re going to start their homework...they’re just going to do it later. 

Conversely, people who are unmotivated to do homework just can’t find the willpower to tackle their assignments. Procrastinators know they’ll at least attempt the homework at the last minute, whereas people who are unmotivated struggle with convincing themselves to do it at a ll. For procrastinators, the stress comes from the inevitable time crunch. For unmotivated people, the stress comes from trying to convince themselves to do something they don’t want to do in the first place. 

Here are some common reasons students are unmotivated in doing homework : 

  • Assignments are too easy, too hard, or seemingly pointless 
  • Students aren’t interested in (or passionate about) the subject matter
  • Students are intimidated by the work and/or feels like they don’t understand the assignment 
  • Homework isn’t fun, and students would rather spend their time on things that they enjoy 

To sum it up: people who lack motivation to do their homework are more likely to not do it at all, or to spend more time worrying about doing their homework than...well, actually doing it.

3 Tips for How to Get Motivated to Do Homework

The key to getting homework done when you’re unmotivated is to figure out what does motivate you, then apply those things to homework. It sounds tricky...but it’s pretty simple once you get the hang of it! Here are our three expert tips for motivating yourself to do your homework. 

#1: Use Incremental Incentives

When you’re not motivated, it’s important to give yourself small rewards to stay focused on finishing the task at hand. The trick is to keep the incentives small and to reward yourself often. For example, maybe you’re reading a good book in your free time. For every ten minutes you spend on your homework, you get to read five pages of your book. Like we mentioned earlier, make sure you’re choosing a reward that works for you! 

So why does this technique work? Using small rewards more often allows you to experience small wins for getting your work done. Every time you make it to one of your tiny reward points, you get to celebrate your success, which gives your brain a boost of dopamine . Dopamine helps you stay motivated and also creates a feeling of satisfaction when you complete your homework !  

#2: Form a Homework Group 

If you’re having trouble motivating yourself, it’s okay to turn to others for support. Creating a homework group can help with this. Bring together a group of your friends or classmates, and pick one time a week where you meet and work on homework together. You don’t have to be in the same class, or even taking the same subjects— the goal is to encourage one another to start (and finish!) your assignments. 

Another added benefit of a homework group is that you can help one another if you’re struggling to understand the material covered in your classes. This is especially helpful if your lack of motivation comes from being intimidated by your assignments. Asking your friends for help may feel less scary than talking to your teacher...and once you get a handle on the material, your homework may become less frightening, too. 

#3: Change Up Your Environment 

If you find that you’re totally unmotivated, it may help if you find a new place to do your homework. For example, if you’ve been struggling to get your homework done at home, try spending an extra hour in the library after school instead. The change of scenery can limit your distractions and give you the energy you need to get your work done. 

If you’re stuck doing homework at home, you can still use this tip. For instance, maybe you’ve always done your homework sitting on your bed. Try relocating somewhere else, like your kitchen table, for a few weeks. You may find that setting up a new “homework spot” in your house gives you a motivational lift and helps you get your work done. 


Social media can be a huge problem when it comes to doing homework. We have advice for helping you unplug and regain focus.

How to Do Homework When You’re Easily Distracted

We live in an always-on world, and there are tons of things clamoring for our attention. From friends and family to pop culture and social media, it seems like there’s always something (or someone!) distracting us from the things we need to do.

The 24/7 world we live in has affected our ability to focus on tasks for prolonged periods of time. Research has shown that over the past decade, an average person’s attention span has gone from 12 seconds to eight seconds . And when we do lose focus, i t takes people a long time to get back on task . One study found that it can take as long as 23 minutes to get back to work once we’ve been distracte d. No wonder it can take hours to get your homework done! 

3 Tips to Improve Your Focus

If you have a hard time focusing when you’re doing your homework, it’s a good idea to try and eliminate as many distractions as possible. Here are three expert tips for blocking out the noise so you can focus on getting your homework done. 

#1: Create a Distraction-Free Environment

Pick a place where you’ll do your homework every day, and make it as distraction-free as possible. Try to find a location where there won’t be tons of noise, and limit your access to screens while you’re doing your homework. Put together a focus-oriented playlist (or choose one on your favorite streaming service), and put your headphones on while you work. 

You may find that other people, like your friends and family, are your biggest distraction. If that’s the case, try setting up some homework boundaries. Let them know when you’ll be working on homework every day, and ask them if they’ll help you keep a quiet environment. They’ll be happy to lend a hand! 

#2: Limit Your Access to Technology 

We know, we know...this tip isn’t fun, but it does work. For homework that doesn’t require a computer, like handouts or worksheets, it’s best to put all your technology away . Turn off your television, put your phone and laptop in your backpack, and silence notifications on any wearable tech you may be sporting. If you listen to music while you work, that’s fine...but make sure you have a playlist set up so you’re not shuffling through songs once you get started on your homework. 

If your homework requires your laptop or tablet, it can be harder to limit your access to distractions. But it’s not impossible! T here are apps you can download that will block certain websites while you’re working so that you’re not tempted to scroll through Twitter or check your Facebook feed. Silence notifications and text messages on your computer, and don’t open your email account unless you absolutely have to. And if you don’t need access to the internet to complete your assignments, turn off your WiFi. Cutting out the online chatter is a great way to make sure you’re getting your homework done. 

#3: Set a Timer (the Pomodoro Technique)

Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro technique ? It’s a productivity hack that uses a timer to help you focus!

Here’s how it works: first, set a timer for 25 minutes. This is going to be your work time. During this 25 minutes, all you can do is work on whatever homework assignment you have in front of you. No email, no text messaging, no phone calls—just homework. When that timer goes off, you get to take a 5 minute break. Every time you go through one of these cycles, it’s called a “pomodoro.” For every four pomodoros you complete, you can take a longer break of 15 to 30 minutes.

The pomodoro technique works through a combination of boundary setting and rewards. First, it gives you a finite amount of time to focus, so you know that you only have to work really hard for 25 minutes. Once you’ve done that, you’re rewarded with a short break where you can do whatever you want. Additionally, tracking how many pomodoros you complete can help you see how long you’re really working on your homework. (Once you start using our focus tips, you may find it doesn’t take as long as you thought!)


Two Bonus Tips for How to Do Homework Fast

Even if you’re doing everything right, there will be times when you just need to get your homework done as fast as possible. (Why do teachers always have projects due in the same week? The world may never know.)

The problem with speeding through homework is that it’s easy to make mistakes. While turning in an assignment is always better than not submitting anything at all, you want to make sure that you’re not compromising quality for speed. Simply put, the goal is to get your homework done quickly and still make a good grade on the assignment! 

Here are our two bonus tips for getting a decent grade on your homework assignments , even when you’re in a time crunch. 

#1: Do the Easy Parts First 

This is especially true if you’re working on a handout with multiple questions. Before you start working on the assignment, read through all the questions and problems. As you do, make a mark beside the questions you think are “easy” to answer . 

Once you’ve finished going through the whole assignment, you can answer these questions first. Getting the easy questions out of the way as quickly as possible lets you spend more time on the trickier portions of your homework, which will maximize your assignment grade. 

(Quick note: this is also a good strategy to use on timed assignments and tests, like the SAT and the ACT !) 

#2: Pay Attention in Class 

Homework gets a lot easier when you’re actively learning the material. Teachers aren’t giving you homework because they’re mean or trying to ruin your weekend... it’s because they want you to really understand the course material. Homework is designed to reinforce what you’re already learning in class so you’ll be ready to tackle harder concepts later.

When you pay attention in class, ask questions, and take good notes, you’re absorbing the information you’ll need to succeed on your homework assignments. (You’re stuck in class anyway, so you might as well make the most of it!) Not only will paying attention in class make your homework less confusing, it will also help it go much faster, too.


What’s Next?

If you’re looking to improve your productivity beyond homework, a good place to begin is with time management. After all, we only have so much time in a it’s important to get the most out of it! To get you started, check out this list of the 12 best time management techniques that you can start using today.

You may have read this article because homework struggles have been affecting your GPA. Now that you’re on the path to homework success, it’s time to start being proactive about raising your grades. This article teaches you everything you need to know about raising your GPA so you can

Now you know how to get motivated to do homework...but what about your study habits? Studying is just as critical to getting good grades, and ultimately getting into a good college . We can teach you how to study bette r in high school. (We’ve also got tons of resources to help you study for your ACT and SAT exams , too!)

These recommendations are based solely on our knowledge and experience. If you purchase an item through one of our links, PrepScholar may receive a commission.

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Ashley Sufflé Robinson has a Ph.D. in 19th Century English Literature. As a content writer for PrepScholar, Ashley is passionate about giving college-bound students the in-depth information they need to get into the school of their dreams.

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Articles & Advice > Student Life > Blog

Top Tips for Juggling Schoolwork, Exercise, and Activities

Balancing homework, extracurriculars, and a social calendar can leave little time for fitness. Check out these tips from real students on how to make it work!

by CollegeXpress

Last Updated: Mar 16, 2023

Originally Posted: Dec 3, 2014

As we sat here at the CollegeXpress headquarters, perfectly sedentary, munching on leftover Halloween candy (yes, still!), and wondering why we can barely make it up a flight of stairs, we got to thinking about health and fitness. Specifically, we wanted to know what our users think about diet and exercise and how they maintain a healthy lifestyle along with all the other stuff they have on their plates. That's why we teamed up with O2MAX Fitness to survey our readers and get some answers.

Seven thousand students turned out for the survey—thanks again, all 6,977 of you!—and we learned a ton from their responses. We got so much great information, so we’re sharing some of our favorite responses to the question “ How do you balance your fitness and other activities with your schoolwork?”  If you’re struggling with your schedule, first, know you’re not alone, and second, keep reading for some great tips and inspiration from high school and college students just like you. 

On working out and sports

  • “Being involved in sports actually helps me a lot because after practice, I know I have less time to procrastinate and have to get started on my school work.”
  • “Sports have always been a part of my life. It's as routine as brushing my teeth. Including fitness in my routine is not an option; it's a necessity.”
  • “I find that physical activity actually helps me focus. After coming home from practice or a workout, I know I need to focus on school instead of filling my free time with things that will suck me in and distract me.”
  • “I use my sports activity to clear my head and to focus on something physical while still stimulating my mind. Right when I get home from my practice I hit the books.”
  • “I do my workouts just before I shower each night so I am more tired before I go to bed.”
  • “I make at least a 30 minute block of time to workout because I know it's great for my body. Also, after I work out I focus on school a lot better.”
  • “I try to eat healthy, and I walk around my campus between classes. I take walks outside whenever I have time.”
  • “I bike to school and home incorporating fitness into my everyday life.”
  • “I try to find ways to multitask, such as running from building to building on campus rather than slowly walking.”
  • “I either do it right when I wake up because I like to get it out of the way, but sometimes when I had a late night studying or if I have early morning classes, I'll do it right when I get back to my room. However, if some days I feel way too tired I know my body needs a break and I'll take a nice stretching or yoga day or a rest day.”
  • “If I have minutes at the end of the day then I run for 20 minutes; it just depends on how much time I have. If I have say an hour, I might lift weights.”
  • “I watch TV and exercise at the same time.”
  • “I try to stretch and do yoga every night before bed and I make sure I have time to play tennis at least once a week by getting my schoolwork done ahead of time to accommodate for fitness time.”
  • “Its super hard, but I try to do some easy workouts in my dorm, whether it be push ups or crunches when I first get home from class, and then when I finish my homework days later I try to make it to the gym”

On completing schoolwork

  • “It is very hard. I get so much homework that there is almost no time to work out.”
  • “School comes first. I'm a student before an athlete and my coach understands that. Mostly I go to school. Go to practice. Then come home and do my homework until late. Then get up and finish it before school. This process is then repeated for every school day after that.”
  • “Schoolwork comes first. However, I will do some exercising between assignments so that I stay awake and mentally active.”
  • “After I finish practice I go straight home and do my homework. No TV, phone, computer, or any distractions.”
  • “I make time for what's important and recognize when something must take precedence. My schoolwork comes first, as it should, but I know that I need to take breaks and exercise is a good stress relief.”
  •  “Schoolwork takes priority. I'm here primarily to learn and, on top of that, I have a scholarship that I need to maintain. But fitness is important, nonetheless. If I can't make it to the gym or don't want to, I'll take a walk or work out in my dorm room.”
  • “School always comes first, but I always go to practice, never miss it. I put equal effort, time, and dedication into both.”
  • “I have a study hall at school three times a week so that helps. Also, I do homework on the bus rides on the way to my games. I try to concentrate on schoolwork, though.”

On using your time wisely

  • “First, I do anything I have to do for school; after I'm done with that, I do my fitness routine until the sun sets.”
  • “I make sure to use my weekends wisely and plan my days out so I'm able to fit practices and a certain amount of homework in.”
  • “I have really good time management skills. I work on homework any chance I get.”
  • “I try to limit myself in certain things, so I have an everyday schedule that helps me have a balanced routine everyday.”
  • “I do as much work during class as I can and when I'm not practicing something during a rehearsal I do homework. Then I usually stay up later to finish it.”
  • “Make a schedule and stick to it. It's hard at first, but after awhile it becomes routine. I use my weekend for relaxation or to study for a challenging test.”
  • “Sometimes I slack on the sleep, but I make both my sport and my schoolwork a priority, so I try very hard not to miss practice, and I never miss an assignment. I'll do almost whatever it takes to get both done, but schoolwork will always be the higher priority.”
  • “I balance my activities by practicing before school and completing my school work in the afternoon after school. I do not get more than 6 hours of sleep per night, however.”
  • “Plan, plan, and plan.”
  • “Try and get as much done in school, so that I don't have much for homework out side of school.”
  • “I exercise while I study. If I am reading for school, I will read a passage, then think about it while exercising and then return to reading or studying.”
  • “I have a study hall and do as much as possible during class, as well as carefully manage my time.”
  • “I schedule what I'll be doing at what time the night before. I find that once I go to the gym to workout my mind is a lot more clear and there's a sense of accomplishment that motivates me to go on with my other activities for the day.”
  • “I do pretty well with time management, but the key is getting schoolwork done early whenever possible because you don't know what the next days entail.”
  • “I stay up late to finish homework or do almost all projects on the weekends because I don't have time for it all during the week. I do manage my time very well though.”
  • “Don't waste any time, hardly at all, ever. Stay focused on my goals and be a little selfish every once in a while. Remind myself that I wanted to be busy and I'm living happily and just how lucky I am to be living.”

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  • 12 Ways to Exercise While You Study. You Can Do #7 on the Go.
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Exercise not only makes your body healthy – it makes your brain healthy too. Studies have shown that exercising can improve your thinking skills . Plus, it’ll help you retain information better. So here are eight – wait, 12 ways to exercise? Oh boy. Get ready to feel the burn.

  • Run on an elliptical or treadmill

This one’s easy. Just pop into AUA’s on-campus gym , put your study materials in front of you, and run. Let studying distract you from the fact that you’re running. When you’re on the machines, make sure to gradually increase your incline level. To end your work out, return the incline to your starting level and cool down. Also fun: imagine you’re running away from a bear or towards your goals – hey, whatever motivates you.

  • Chair squats

Studying requires a lot of sitting, which can make you antsy, but getting up too often can invite procrastination. Well, this exercise splits the difference. All you have to do is stand up from your chair and squat halfway – hovering over your chair. Hold this for ten seconds and then repeat about twenty times. Here’s a visual to get an idea of how to do it right.

  • Wall sitting

This is kind of like #2 but you get some back support and it’s easier to hold for longer. You can also change it up a little by lifting one leg at a time, which will make you feel extra cool. If you’re a klutz like me, you may  prefer this option rather than risk fumbling backwards into a chair. Happens every time.

  • Abdominal lifts

You can even sneak in some upper-body workouts while you memorize all the organs in your torso (medical school, right?). This only works if your chair has handles and isn’t a swivel . First – crisscross your legs on the seat. Then, only using your arms for support, lift up your body from the chair. You can also use this to fool people into believing you can levitate – as long as they don’t see your arms.

Swivel chairs – they’re the most fun chairs around. Seriously, how many times have you used one to just roll around? Now they can be put to good use with the oblique swivel ! First, hold onto your desk. Then use your arms to push yourself back and forth about 15-times. So, the next time someone judges you for choosing a swivel chair, show off your killer abs.

Too absorbed by your lecture notes to stand up? Understandable. That’s why lifting up your legs and holding them at a 90-degree angle for about 10-seconds at a time is the best thing ever for a lazy person like myself. After all, I do my entire exercise regimen from my desk – even when I’m not working.

  • Water bottle curls

When you’re on the go, you probably have a water bottle with you to stay hydrated. If you don’t, you should, by the way. Well, now you can multitask. Just like lifting weights, curl that water bottle up to your shoulder about 15-times to get a quick and easy workout. This will help build strength in your wrists , which will you’ll probably need to take tests and whatnot. Or operate – wherever you’re at academically or professionally.

  • Stretch to the sky

This one is also relatively simple. Sit up straight and raise your arms to the sky . You’ll never get there but, after holding that position for 10-seconds or so, you’ll feel refreshed. This is especially nice after a legit workout. Note: please don’t do this in class, lest you want to confuse your professor.

  • Hold onto the edge of your seat

You may find yourself sitting at the edge of your seat during a good thriller, but have you tried holding that position? That’s slightly cooler. Sitting at the very edge of your seat with your hands firmly gripping the chair will keep your body weight down . Also, make sure this is not a swivel chair. That’s more of a #5 thing. Pro-tip: playing “The Touch” by Stan Bush will make this exercise go ten times faster.

10. Resistance bands

Remember Stretch Armstrong? That was cool. He was apparently ripped because he could stretch. Now you can be ripped too with resistance bands! These bands are usually cheap and you can take them anywhere. Put the band in both hands and stretch it as far as you can .

11. Replace your chair with a fitness ball

Chairs are so 2010. You’ll be doing a lot of sitting while you pour over your textbooks and notes. Why not have a chair that doubles as exercise equipment? A fitness ball will tone your core muscles and improve your balance . Plus, it’s bouncy, which is slightly more fun than a swivel chair.

None of this working for you? Shrug it off. Literally, shrug. Move your shoulders as close as you can to your ears for about five seconds and repeat. It’ll strengthen your trapezius muscles and relieve any stress building up in your shoulders. Bonus: doing it while you study will make it easier to retain whatever you’re studying.

Got any quick fitness tips? Tell us in the comments!

Related Articles

3 Effective Ways to Read Faster and Retain More.

9 Smart Foods to Boost Your Brain Power. #9 May Be the Excuse You’ve Been Waiting For.

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How to Exercise While Doing your Housework

Last Updated: December 12, 2022 Approved

This article was co-authored by Errol Ismail . Errol Ismail is a Personal Trainer and the CEO and Co-Founder of Maestro Training. With nearly 10 years of experience, Errol specializes in helping individuals incorporate exercise into their daily lives by making it convenient and creating a community of support and encouragement. Before starting his own company, he honed his craft at at Equinox, one of the most prestigious gyms in the USA. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 73,038 times.

Busy people may not find time in their schedules to do the recommended 150 to 175 minutes of moderate cardiovascular exercise per week. A UK study found that the average British woman spends 143 minutes per week cleaning their house. If you are the main caretaker of your own house or another residence, then you may be able to count regular cleaning and chores as part of your exercise time. Many household chores are considered medium intensity cardiovascular or strength-training exercises. Plan your chores in a way that allows you to do them in succession to increase heart rate and work your major muscle groups. Read more to find out how to exercise while doing your housework.

Indoor Housework Workout

Step 1 Set a timer for 30 minutes, the minimum amount of moderate-intensity exercise you should have in a workout session.

  • Create a playlist that lasts at least 30 minutes. This can serve as your timer. Playing your favorite songs in succession will also increase the endorphin-boosting power of music. Try dance, Latin, hip hop and fast rock songs. Go to to check if your favorite song has 120 BPM or more .

Step 3 Put on flexible clothing and athletic trainers before you workout.

  • You burn approximately 190 calories per hour vacuuming. Increase the calories you burn by performing single leg lunges every 2 to 3 minutes. Take a large step forward with your right leg and lunge until your right knee is at a 90 degree angle. Hold the position for 3 to 10 seconds and then step back. Repeat with your left leg.

Step 5 Sweep and/or mop your floors.

  • Mopping burns approximately 195 calories per hour. Make sure you switch arms as you sweep, mop or rake. You should reach and pull back with your right and left sides evenly. Favoring 1 side will create a muscle imbalance and may lead to pain. Get on your hands and knees and scrub intensely. This cleaning exercise works your shoulders and upper arms intensely.

Step 6 Run or walk up and down your stairs 5 to 10 times.

  • You burn approximately 500 calories per hour walking up and down stairs. Increase your strength-training by squatting whenever you pick up objects. Lean slightly back and pick up an object when your arms are close to the floor. Bending over causes intense strain on your lower back. Squatting builds the quadriceps, hamstring and ab muscles, helping you help your back when done repeatedly.

Step 7 Do calf raises as you hand wash dishes.

  • Repeat this exercise 10 times and do 2 to 3 sets with 1 minute resting between sets.

Step 8 Squat as you pick up a laundry basket, and then set it on a table or couch near a wall.

  • Return to the original position, rest for a few seconds and repeat until you are done folding your laundry.

Step 9 Clean all your windows to work your arms.

  • You burn approximately 180 calories per hour cleaning windows. You work approximately the same calories per hour dusting the house, which also works your upper and lower arm muscles.

Outdoor Chores Workout

Step 1 Weed or hoe your garden.

  • This exercise burns approximately 230 calories per hour.

Step 3 Clean your gutters.

  • Painting burns between 250 and 300 calories per hour if done on large surfaces, like walls.

Expert Q&A

Errol Ismail

  • Stretch all your major muscle groups after you end your housework workout. Take a shower after you have stretched and rehydrated with plenty of water. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Use these approximate calorie counts to calculate the calories you burn. Divide the actual minutes spent doing the task by 60 (1 hour). Multiply this figure by the calorie count to figure out how many calories you are actually burning. You can establish daily workouts according to the time, calories or intensity you prefer. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Avoid all bending if you have lower back or joint problems. Weeding, vacuuming and kneeling on hard surfaces may not be recommended for these chronic conditions. Thanks Helpful 7 Not Helpful 1

Things You'll Need

  • Flexible clothing
  • Athletic shoes (that can get dirty)
  • Mop, broom or rake
  • Sponges or cloths

You Might Also Like

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About this article

Errol Ismail

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How to Do Homework

Last Updated: May 6, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Ronitte Libedinsky, MS . Ronitte Libedinsky is an Academic Tutor and the Founder of Brighter Minds SF, a San Francisco, California based company that provides one-on-one and small group tutoring. Specializing in tutoring mathematics (pre-algebra, algebra I/II, geometry, pre-calculus, calculus) and science (chemistry, biology), Ronitte has over 10 years of experience tutoring to middle school, high school, and college students. She also tutors in SSAT, Terra Nova, HSPT, SAT, and ACT test prep. Ronitte holds a BS in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MS in Chemistry from Tel Aviv University. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 957,700 times.

Even though your parents probably complain about how hard it was in their day, students nowadays have more homework than ever before, even when just starting their first year at middle school. That homework doesn't need to be a struggle now. Learning to plan out an efficient schedule for completing your homework, working on it effectively, and knowing when to get help with difficult assignments can help take the stress out of studying. Don't put it off any longer. See Step 1 for more information.

Working on Homework

Step 1 Make sure you have everything you need before you start.

Once you go into your space and start working, try not to leave until you've got a break scheduled. If you want a quick snack or drink, get it now before you start. Hit the bathroom and make sure you'll be able to work for the amount of time before your next break, uninterrupted.

Step 2 Eliminate as many distractions as possible.

  • It's common that students will try to multi-task, watching TV or listening to the radio or continuing to chat on Facebook or Instagram while also trying to do homework. It'll be so much more fun to do those things after you're already done with your homework, though, and your homework will take half as much time if you're focused on doing nothing but your homework.
  • Check your phone or your social networking sites during your study break, but not before. Use these distractions as a carrot, not as a pacifier.

Step 3 Concentrate on one task at a time.

If one assignment proves challenging and time-consuming, it's okay to switch for a while to something else. Just make sure to save enough time to circle back and give it another shot.

Step 4 Take a break every hour.

  • Try to figure out what works best for you. Some students might like to start their homework immediately after school to get it done as quickly as possible, while it may be better to give yourself an hour to relax before starting in on it and decompress from the long school day. Don't wait for the last minute.
  • While it may seem like a better idea to work straight through and finish, it's possible that the quality of the work you're doing will start to suffer if you don't give your mind a rest. It's difficult to think hard for more than 45 minutes at a time on a particular subject. Give yourself a rest and come back refreshed.

Step 5 Dive back in after study breaks.

  • The first fifteen minutes after a break are your most effective minutes, because your mind will be cleared, and ready to work hard. Give yourself a pep talk and dive back in, refreshed and ready.

Step 6 Create incentives to finish.

  • If you have trouble staying focused, get a parent, sibling, or friend to help keep you honest. Give them your phone while you're working to avoid the temptation to check it, or give them the video game controller so you won't be able to plug in for a few minutes of alien-hunting when you're supposed to be doing your homework. Then, when you're finished, show them the finished product and earn back your fun. Make it impossible to cheat.

Step 7 Let the homework take as long as it needs.

  • You can make yourself take enough time by having your gate-keeper (the person with your phone or video game controller) check over your homework for quality when you're done. If you know you're not going to get it anyway unless it's done right, you won't have any reason to rush. Slow down and do it right.

Step 8 Review your work after you finish.

Joseph Meyer

When doing practice problems, promptly check to see if your answers are correct. Use worksheets that provide answer keys for instant feedback. Discuss answers with a classmate or find explanations online. Immediate feedback will help you correct your mistakes, avoid bad habits, and advance your learning more quickly.

Planning Your Homework

Step 1 Write out your daily homework in a list.

  • It's common to quickly write out the math problems you're supposed to do at the top of your notes, or scribble down the page number of the English reading on a textbook page, but try to recopy this information into a specific homework list so you will be sure to remember to do it.
  • Write down as many details as you can about each assignment. It's good to include the due date, corresponding textbook pages, and additional instructions from your teacher. This will help you plan your night of homework more effectively. Also, it's a good idea to write about your homework in a planner.

Step 2 Make sure you understand each assignment.

  • Homework doesn't have to wait until you get home. Look through an assignment as soon as it's been given, so you'll have the time to ask your teacher any questions you might have before you leave school for the day.

Step 3 Create a comfortable homework spot

  • At home , a desk in your bedroom might be the best place. You can shut the door and tune out any distractions. For some students, though, this is a good way to get distracted. You might have video games, computers, guitars, and all sorts of other distractions in your bedroom. It might be a better idea to sit at the kitchen table, or in the living room, where your parents can call you out for procrastinating. You'll get it done more quickly without the temptation of distraction.
  • In public , the library is a great place to study and do homework. At all libraries, it's a rule that you have to be quiet, and you won't have any of the distractions of home. The school library will often stay open after school ends, making it a good option for finishing up homework before heading home, or your school may even have an after-school study spot specifically for the purpose. [11] X Research source
  • Try to switch it up . Studying in the same place too often can make work more difficult. Some studies have shown that a change in environment can make your mind more active, since it's processing new information. You'll be able to vary your routine and remember what you learned more effectively.

Step 4 Choose the most important assignments to work on.

  • Try starting with the most difficult homework . Do you really hate the idea of getting into the algebra homework? Does reading for English take the longest? Start with the most challenging homework to give yourself the most time to complete it, then move on to the easier tasks you can complete more quickly.
  • Try starting with the most pressing homework . If you've got 20 math problems to do for tomorrow, and 20 pages to read in a novel for Friday, it's probably better to start with the math homework to make sure you'll have enough time to complete it. Make homework due the next day the priority.
  • Try starting with the most important homework . Your math homework might be difficult, but if it's only worth a few completion points, it might be less important to spend a lot of time on it than the big project for Social Studies that's due in two days. Devote the most time to the most valuable assignments.

Step 5 Make a timetable.

  • Set an alarm or a timer to keep yourself honest. The less time you spend procrastinating and checking your text messages, the more quickly you'll be done. If you think you can finish everything in a half hour, set a timer and work efficiently to finish in that amount of time. If you don't quite finish, give yourself a few extra minutes. Treat it like a drill.
  • Keep track of how long you usually spend on particular assignments on average. If your math homework typically takes you 45 minutes to finish, save that much time each night. If you start plugging away for an hour, give yourself a break and work on something else to avoid tiring out.
  • Schedule 10 minutes of break time for every 50 minutes of work time. It's important to take study breaks and give your mind a rest, or you'll work less effectively. You're not a robot!

Finding Extra Time

Step 1 Start working on it now.

  • Do you really need an hour of TV or computer after school to decompress? It might be easier to just dive into your homework and get it done while the skills are still fresh in your mind. Waiting a couple hours means you'll have to review your notes and try to get back to the same place you already were. Do it while it's fresh.
  • If you've got three days to read an assignment, don't wait until the last evening to do it all. Space it out and give yourself more time to finish. Just because you've got a due date that's a long time away doesn't mean it wouldn't be easier to finish now. Stay ahead of the game. Try either waking up earlier or going to bed later. But don't get too tired!

Step 2 Steal some homework time on the bus.

  • If you've got to read a bunch of stuff for homework, read on the bus. Pop in some headphones to white noise that'll drown out the shouting of other students and tune into your book.
  • The bus can be distracting, or it can be a great resource. Since it's full of your classmates, try to get other students to work with you and get things done more quickly. Work together on the math problems and try to figure out things together. It's not cheating if everyone's doing the work and no one's just copying. Also, you might make some new friends while you're at it!

Step 3 Work on your homework in between class periods.

  • Don't rely on this time to finish homework just before it's due. Rushing to finish your last few problems in the five minutes before you need to turn it in looks bad in front of the teacher, plus it doesn't give you any time to review your homework after you finish it. Rushing is a good way to make mistakes. And always check difficult problems you had trouble with.

Step 4 Work on homework during long waits.

  • Work on your homework while you're waiting for a ride, while you're killing time at your brother's soccer game, or while you're waiting for your friend to come over. Take advantage of any extra time you have in the day.

Getting Homework Help

Step 1 Talk to your teacher about difficult assignments.

  • Asking for help with your homework isn't a sign that you're bad at the subject or that you're "stupid." Every teacher on the planet will respect a student that takes their homework seriously enough to ask for help. Especially ask if you weren't there that day!
  • Asking for help isn't the same thing as complaining about the difficulty of homework or making excuses. Spending ten minutes doing half your math problems and leaving most of them blank because they were hard and then telling your teacher you need help isn't going to win you any favors on the due date. If it's hard, see your teacher ahead of time and find the time to get help.

Step 2 Visit the tutoring center or help desk at school.

  • If there's not an organized homework help group at your school, there are many private tutoring organizations that work both for-pay and non-profits. Sylvan Learning Center and other businesses have after-school hours that you can schedule appointments at to get help studying and completing your homework, while community centers like the YMCA, or even public libraries will often have homework help hours in your area.
  • Getting help doesn't mean that you're bad at your homework. All variety of students visit tutoring centers for extra help, just to make sure they have enough time and motivation to get everything done. It's hard being a student! There's no shame in extra help. Imagine being afraid to ask for anything! You wouldn't be able to ask in restaurants, shops, anywhere!

Step 3 Work with other students.

  • Make sure that your group study sessions don't cross the line into cheating. Dividing up an assigned so your friend does half and you copy each other's answers is considered cheating, but discussing a problem and coming up with a solution together isn't. As long as you each do the work separately, you shouldn't have any problems.

Step 4 Talk to your parents.

  • Some parents don't necessarily know how to help with your homework and might end up doing too much. Try to keep yourself honest. Asking for help doesn't mean asking your parent to do your work for you.
  • Likewise, some older relatives have outdated ways of completing specific tasks and might suggest forcefully that something you learned in class is wrong. Always use your teacher's approach as the correct approach, and discuss these alternative ways of completing an assignment with your teacher if necessary.

Supercharge Your Studying with this Expert Series

1 - Study For Exams

Expert Q&A

Ronitte Libedinsky, MS

Reader Videos

  • Make sure your little study space is well lit, quiet, and comfortable. This will make it much easier to do your homework properly. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
  • If you missed school that day, then you should call a friend to get the notes and/or homework from that day. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Take a piece of paper or wipe board and create a schedule for your homework. Be generous with the amount of time that you give for each task. If you end up finishing a task earlier than the schedule says, you will feel accomplished and will have extra time to complete the next task. It makes homework get done quicker than usual. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

Tips from our Readers

  • Make sure you have what you need handy when you get stuck on homework. Don't be afraid to ask questions if you're confused — asking helps you understand things better. And get enough sleep since it's easier to get your work done when you're well-rested.
  • Don't put off starting homework just to have more playtime. Jumping in early leaves more free time for later but ensures you don't miss out on sleep. Plus, the class material is still fresh right after school, so you'll understand your homework better.
  • Do your homework as soon as you get home every day except Fridays. On Fridays, give yourself permission to relax for the evening. Also, take short breaks as you work to help you focus. Play a quick game, eat a healthy snack, or use the bathroom.
  • Ask for help when you need it, but don't rely on others to give you all the answers. The point of homework is for you to practice what you've learned, so try to work through problems yourself before asking for hints or explanations.
  • Write down homework assignments in your planner right when your teacher gives them so you don't forget details later. Knowing exactly what work you need to do keeps you from being surprised.
  • Break big assignments down into smaller pieces that feel more manageable. Taking things step-by-step makes big tasks feel less overwhelming, and helps you stay motivated.

do exercise do homework

  • Never leave unfinished homework for the next day because you might have other homework to do and you will have to do both. Thanks Helpful 24 Not Helpful 0
  • If you forget your homework, your teacher might not accept late work or may even give you more homework. Thanks Helpful 7 Not Helpful 1

Things You'll Need

  • Writing equipment, such as pencils, rulers, and erasers.
  • Resources that may help you work faster.
  • A comfy place to sit while doing homework.

You Might Also Like

Excuse Yourself from Unfinished Homework

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  • ↑ Ronitte Libedinsky, MS. Academic Tutor. Expert Interview. 26 May 2020.
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About This Article

Ronitte Libedinsky, MS

If you need to do homework, find a quiet, comfortable spot where you won’t be distracted. Turn off any electronics, like your TV, phone, or radio, and gather all of the supplies you’ll need before you get started. Work on the most important or hardest assignments first to get them out of the way, and if you have a homework assignment that actually seems fun, save it for last to motivate you to finish your other work faster. Keep reading to learn how to find extra time to get your homework done, like working on it on the way home from school! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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What’s the difference between make, do and take.

The verbs make, do and take often cause problems for learners of English.

Unfortunately, there are no fixed rules to learn the difference, so the best way to learn these verbs is in context with their related nouns , or as set phrases.

Read on to learn when to use make, do and take in English, then put your knowledge to the test in the free exercises.

do exercise do homework

What is Mrs Fisher doing ? She is making a chocolate cake. Her husband is doing something in the garden.

The hand mixer makes so much noise that Larry can’t do his homework.

If he doesn’t study, he won’t make progress. Tomorrow his class is taking an exam.

When the cake is finished, Mrs Fisher takes a photo of it because it looks so delicious. Then she does the washing up.

  • produce or create something, usually with your hands
  • cause something to happen through your actions
  • here is a list of some of the most common set phrases with make :
  • use do with tasks and activities that are undefined
  • use do with something , anything and nothing
  • use do with activities and tasks
  • use do in connection with jobs and professions
  • Here is a list of thing you can do:
  • use take with particular nouns
  • use take with different modes of public transport
  • here is a list of some things that you can take in English:

For more information about the verb take , see our page on take vs. bring .

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  • Physical Activity Basics
  • Guidelines and Recommendations
  • Add Physical Activity as an Older Adult
  • Benefits of Physical Activity
  • Overcoming Barriers
  • Health Benefits of Physical Activity
  • Places to Be Physically Active
  • Adding Physical Activity as an Adult
  • Making Physical Activity Part of a Child's Life

Physical Activity for Adults: An Overview

  • Physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
  • Adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week, such as 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week.
  • Adults also need 2 days of muscle-strengthening activity each week.

Two adults walking up stairs with a dog on a leash.

Recommendations for adults

Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving. Physical activity supports physical and mental health. The benefits of physical activity make it one of the most important things you can do for your health.

According to the current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans , adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week. This can also be 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity. In addition, adults need at least 2 days of muscle-strengthening activity each week.

We know 150 minutes of physical activity each week sounds like a lot, but you don't have to do it all at once. It could be 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. You can spread your activity out during the week and break it up into smaller chunks of time. See steps for getting started .

Move more, sit less. ‎

Recommended levels for health benefits.

do exercise do homework

Moderate-intensity aerobic activity (such as brisk walking) for 150 minutes every week (for example, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week).

do exercise do homework

Muscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).

do exercise do homework

Vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (such as jogging or running) for 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) every week.

do exercise do homework

An equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity on 2 or more days a week.

For even greater health benefits

If you go beyond 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity activity, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity or an equivalent combination, you’ll gain even more health benefits.

Check out this age chart for a quick snapshot of the recommended amounts of weekly activity across age groups.

Active People, Healthy Nation. Creating an Active America, Together.

Want additional tips and resources to be active? Learn about Active People, Healthy Nation SM , CDC’s national initiative to help people be more physically active.

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Learn about the benefits of physical activity and what you can do.

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Expressions with DO & MAKE

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The English verbs do and make are frequently confused, so pay particular attention to the expressions below. It is best to learn the expressions by heart. Some guidelines do exist to help you determine which word to use when, but in general you will not have time to think through the rules before choosing a word. The best approach is to practice, and then practice some more! When you think you have learned them, try the free quiz that appears after the lists to test yourself.

  • to do a favor
  • to do a project
  • to do a test
  • to do an assignment
  • to do an exam
  • to do badly
  • to do business
  • to do damage
  • to do exercise
  • to do homework
  • to do housework
  • to do nothing
  • to do research
  • to do something
  • to do some letter-writing
  • to do some reading
  • to do some studying
  • to do some writing
  • to do the accounts
  • to do the cleaning
  • to do the dishes
  • to do the ironing
  • to do the laundry
  • to do the math
  • to do the maximum
  • to do the minimum
  • to do the paperwork
  • to do the shopping
  • to do the vacuuming
  • to do your best
  • to do your duty
  • to do your hair
  • to do your nails
  • to do your job
  • to do your makeup
  • to do 50 miles per hour
  • to make a booking
  • to make a bundle
  • to make a call
  • to make a cake
  • to make a choice
  • to make a comment
  • to make a complaint
  • to make a compromise
  • to make a deal
  • to make a decision
  • to make a difference
  • to make a fire
  • to make a fool of yourself
  • to make a fortune
  • to make a fuss
  • to make a habit
  • to make a move
  • to make a phone call
  • to make a point
  • to make a presentation
  • to make a profit
  • to make a promise
  • to make a remark
  • to make a reservation
  • to make a sales call
  • to make a sound
  • to make a speech
  • to make a suggestion
  • to make a threat
  • to make a visit
  • to make amends
  • to make an appearance
  • to make an appointment
  • to make an attempt
  • to make an enquiry
  • to make an exception
  • to make an excuse
  • to make an offer
  • to make arrangements
  • to make believe
  • to make friends
  • to make fun
  • to make changes
  • to make corrections
  • to make love
  • to make money
  • to make noise
  • to make peace
  • to make plans
  • to make progress
  • to make sense
  • to make someone angry
  • to make someone happy
  • to make (someone) mad
  • To make someone sad
  • to make someone’s day
  • to make sure
  • to make time
  • to make trouble
  • to make dinner
  • to make lunch
  • to make breakfast
  • to make a snack
  • to make tea/coffee
  • to make a mess
  • to make a mistake
  • to make the bed
  • to make war

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May 14, 2024

Understanding how exercise affects the body

At a glance.

  • A study of endurance training in rats found molecular changes throughout the body that could help explain the beneficial effects of exercise on health.
  • Large differences were seen between male and female rats, highlighting the need to include both women and men in exercise studies.

Woman tying her running shoe laces.

Exercise is one of the most beneficial activities that people can engage in. Regular exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other health problems. It can even help people with many mental health conditions feel better.

But exactly how exercise exerts its positive effects hasn’t been well understood. And different people’s bodies can respond very differently to certain types of exercise, such as aerobic exercise or strength training.

Understanding how exercise impacts different organs at the molecular level could help health care providers better personalize exercise recommendations. It might also lead to drug therapies that could stimulate some of the beneficial effects of a workout for people who are physically unable to exercise.

To this end, researchers in the large, NIH-funded Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC) have been studying how endurance exercise and strength training affect both people and animals. The team is examining gene activity, protein alterations, immune cell function, metabolite levels, and numerous other measures of cell and tissue function. The first results, from rat studies of endurance exercise, were published on May 2, 2024, in Nature and several related journals.

Both male and female rats underwent progressive exercise training on a treadmill over an 8-week period. By the end of training, male rats had increased their aerobic capacity by 18%, and females by 16%. Tissue samples were collected from 18 different organs, plus the blood, during the training period and two days after the final bout of exercise. This let the researchers study the longer-term adaptations of the body to exercise.

Changes in gene activity, immune cell function, metabolism, and other cellular processes were seen in all the tissues studied, including those not previously known to be affected by exercise. The types of changes differed from tissue to tissue.

Many of the observed changes hinted at how exercise might protect certain organs against disease. For example, in the small intestines, exercise decreased the activity of certain genes associated with inflammatory bowel disease and reduced signs of inflammation in the gut. In the liver, exercise boosted molecular changes associated with improved tissue health and regeneration.

Some of the effects differed substantially between male and female rats. For example, in male rats, the eight weeks of endurance training reduced the amount of a type of body fat called subcutaneous white adipose tissue (scWAT). The same amount of exercise didn’t reduce the amount of scWAT in female rats. Instead, endurance exercise caused scWAT in female rats to alter its energy usage in ways that are beneficial to health. These and other results highlight the importance of including both women and men in exercise studies.

The researchers also compared gene activity changes in the rat studies with those from human samples taken from previous studies and found substantial overlap. They identified thousands of genes tied to human disease that were affected by endurance exercise. These analyses show how the MoTrPAC results from rats can be used to help guide future research in people.

“This is the first whole-organism map looking at the effects of training in multiple different organs,” says Dr. Steve Carr, a MoTrPAC investigator from the Broad Institute. “The resource produced will be enormously valuable, and has already produced many potentially novel biological insights for further exploration.”

Human trials are expected in the next few years. Information on participating can be found here .

—by Sharon Reynolds

Related Links

  • Gut Microbes May Affect Motivation to Exercise
  • Exercise-Induced Molecule Reduces Obesity in Mice
  • Testing Ways to Encourage Exercise
  • Hormone Links Exercise with Cognitive Benefits
  • Exercise-Induced Protein May Reverse Age-Related Cognitive Decline
  • Getting Active Later in Life Brings Benefits
  • Get Active Together: Social Support Can Help Keep You Moving
  • Personalized Exercise? How Biology Influences Fitness
  • Maintain Your Muscle: Strength Training at Any Age
  • Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity Consortium (MoTrPAC)
  • Participating in MoTrPAC

References:  Temporal dynamics of the multi-omic response to endurance exercise training. MoTrPAC Study Group; Lead Analysts; MoTrPAC Study Group. Nature . 2024 May;629(8010):174-183. doi: 10.1038/s41586-023-06877-w. Epub 2024 May 1. PMID: 38693412. Sexual dimorphism and the multi-omic response to exercise training in rat subcutaneous white adipose tissue. Many GM, Sanford JA, Sagendorf TJ, Hou Z, Nigro P, Whytock KL, Amar D, Caputo T, Gay NR, Gaul DA, Hirshman MF, Jimenez-Morales D, Lindholm ME, Muehlbauer MJ, Vamvini M, Bergman BC, Fernández FM, Goodyear LJ, Hevener AL, Ortlund EA, Sparks LM, Xia A, Adkins JN, Bodine SC, Newgard CB, Schenk S; MoTrPAC Study Group. Nat Metab . 2024 May 1. doi: 10.1038/s42255-023-00959-9. Online ahead of print. PMID: 38693320. The impact of exercise on gene regulation in association with complex trait genetics. Vetr NG, Gay NR; MoTrPAC Study Group; Montgomery SB. Nat Commun . 2024 May 1;15(1):3346. doi: 10.1038/s41467-024-45966-w. PMID: 38693125.

Funding:  NIH’s Office of the Director (OD), National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), and National Library of Medicine (NLM); Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation; National Science Foundation (NSF).

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How to Create a Home Workout Routine You’ll Actually Stick With

Kristin McGee is a certified personal trainer and currently teaches yoga and meditation for Peloton. She is also certified in Pilates by the National Association of Sports Medicine.

do exercise do homework

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Why Routines Matter

Creating your workout routine, sample weekly workout schedule.

  • Helpful Tools and Tips

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Next in Working Out At Home Guide 19 Bodyweight Exercises to Build Strength

Going into a workout without a routine is like building a piece of furniture without directions. You will probably spend a lot of time spinning your wheels and not making real progress.

The problem is, figuring out how to create a new routine you'll stick to whether in the gym or working out at home, is no easy task. And not everyone has the opportunity to work with a personal trainer. Plus, a quality workout program can cost a bit of money.

But that doesn't mean you can't benefit from building a workout routine. With a little thought you can create your own workouts that you will actually stick to. Here's how.

A well-crafted workout routine can elevate your training and propel you toward your goals. The way your body responds to exercise is directly related to the method of your training. The number of reps, sequence of exercises, rest intervals, time under tension, and even weight of the load are all important for seeing results.

Equally as important is making sure your routine is something you enjoy or have social support for. If you do not like the workout or feel socially isolated, you're not going to participate and it won't work for you. The key to making sure you stick to the plan is creating a routine you like.

Creating your workout routine is largely dependent upon your own goals, lifestyle, schedule, and preferences. If your goal is to build muscle, weight training workouts should be your mainstay.

On the other hand, if your goal is to improve cardiovascular endurance, cardio workouts will be your focus. If your goal is weight management, that will require a combination of cardio and strength training workouts. Below, you will find out how to develop a routine for both cardio and weight workouts.

Cardio Workouts

When it comes to cardio workouts , the key is consistency. And to make that happen you will want to choose a cardio workout (something that keeps your heart up for an extended period of time) that you enjoy. For example, cycling on an exercise bike for 30 minutes could be right up your alley. Then choose the number of days you would like to perform the cardio workouts. Typically, people do cardio workouts as little as once per week, to as much as three to four times per week.

When deciding how long you'll workout, look at your availability and fitness level. If you only have 20 minutes to exercise, 20 minutes is your goal. If you can physically only perform 10 minutes, then 10 minutes is your goal. Realistically think about your schedule and time commitments while mapping out a routine.

If you have a goal in mind, like running a marathon or improving your pace time, you will want to sprinkle in some long-duration low-intensity sessions, combined with high-intensity short sessions. This helps allow adequate rest between workouts and calls upon multiple muscle fiber types .

You can also increase the intensity and length of your workouts over the course of several weeks as your fitness level improves. This process is known as periodization . Research suggests that running performance improved after a 6-week periodization program.

It's important to note, though, that once you have reached and completed the peak phase of periodization, you will want to take a 2-week break to rest and recover before beginning another training program. If your goal is fat loss, you can still utilize the principles of a periodized program to improve cardiovascular health and the rate of fat loss.

Weight Workouts

Periodization techniques also can be utilized for weight workouts. The purpose is to increase the workload over the course of several weeks by changing rep ranges, rest periods, and weights. At the end of your peak week (the final week in your program), you will need to schedule two weeks of rest and recovery.

Start by determining how many days you can commit to exercise and create your body part split from there. If you're only able to exercise twice per week, a total body or upper body/lower body split may be ideal for you.

If you have three or more days available to exercise each week, consider grouping body parts together based on muscle groups that work together. For example, chest, triceps, and shoulders, back and biceps, and legs.

The good news is whether you have two days to exercise or four days, you can experience the same results as long as the overall volume (number of sets and reps) is the same.

Once you choose your split, you need to decide your rep range and number of sets per exercise. At the early stages of a periodized program, you may want to do three to four sets with 10 to 12 reps.

The weight you choose is based on your level of fitness. If the final rep of 12 is easy, you should increase the weight. Perform this rep range for two weeks. Then progress to two to three sets of 8 to 10 reps. After two weeks, adjust rep scheme to 6 to 8 reps for two to three sets.

You also need to consider rest intervals between sets. As the weight becomes heavier, you will need more time to rest, while at the beginning of your program you may need less. Start with 30 to 60 seconds of rest between sets if the rep range is high.

A moderate-level rep range could benefit from 60 to 90 seconds of rest. While a heavier load and rep range requires 2 to 5 minutes of rest between sets. When planning the order of exercises, begin with large muscles and utilize compound exercises . Then program smaller muscles and isolation exercises—think squat vs. leg extensions.

You may be wondering what your workout routine will look like once you put everything together. Below we provide you with an example of a weekly cardio routine and a weekly weight routine.

Cardio Workout

As you put together a cardio workout—or follow this one—remember that adequate rest between high-intensity workouts in the form of full rest days or lighter exercise days is essential for preventing injury and overtraining. Avoid programming two high-intensity workouts for the same reason.

Weight Workout

The following workout utilizes compound exercises before single-joint movements to allow for more energy during more difficult, larger muscle compound exercises. To avoid injury and overtraining, utilize a warm-up set at the beginning of each exercise comprised of 40% to 60% of the training load for 10 to 12 reps. That means if you plan to a 30-pound dumbbell for your first set, a 12-pound dumbbell is needed for the warmup set. A set of adjustable dumbbells can help streamline the process.

Helpful Tools & Tips for Sticking to Your Routine

The best workout routine is one you will actually stick to. Studies find that participating in an exercise that you enjoy—and having a support system along with it—means you are more likely to continue your routine for the long haul.

In fact, a workout partner or support system can do wonders for your exercise goals. So, if you do not have someone to workout with or a support system, consider getting a buddy to train with or join an online community.

Consistency also is essential for making gains on your goals, sticking to the routine is necessary. Put on activewear that signals you mean business—such as a great two-piece workout set . And so is being realistic with your commitments and goals.

If you schedule yourself six workouts this week but realistically can only exercise three days, you're setting yourself up for failure. Create goals based on what you can actually commit to and adjust from there. You are better off reaching your goal of three days per week, feeling good about your success, and continuing from there.

Finding ways to help you keep your exercise commitment is a smart way to stick to your routine. Utilizing modern conveniences like streaming apps and fitness planners can make your life easier and more likely to reach your goals.

Streaming Apps

There's an app for everything these days including workout planners. You can find anything from complete workout routines for your fitness goal and body type, to live classes, pre-recorded workouts, and in depth video libraries demonstrating how to perform various movements and exercises. Many apps also let you easily track your progress and view past workouts.

For those looking for a support system, dozens of fitness apps offer ways to link with your friends, share with your community, and set up challenges for yourself and your friends. There's no shortage of motivation and accountability. Whether you go for the free version or upgrade to paid, streaming apps are a great tool for sticking to your workout routine.

Fitness Planners

There's nothing like holding paper in your hands and having a plan mapped out in front of you. For those who prefer a more tangible planner, fitness planners may be your answer to sticking to your routine.

The best part of a fitness planner is you get to create your plan however you would like and the planner keeps it organized. Most planners offer a place to jot down your goals and map out your plan. Others include a calendar, a place to log your nutrition and hydration, cardio workouts, and even motivational mantras.

When shopping for a fitness planner, take into account size, format, price, and other preferences. That way, you're more likely to use it. Making fitness fun, including the use of novelty items like a fitness planner, has been shown to lead to engagement and adherence to a workout routine over time.

A Word From Verywell

Creating a workout plan is worth the time it takes you to create—especially if it will help you stick to the program and reach your goals. But, remember there's no one-size-fits-all approach to fitness. Personalizing your routine to your lifestyle, skill level, and personal preferences means you're less likely to skip a workout.

What's more, using modern conveniences like streaming apps and fitness journals to make your life easier is a great way to help you along your journey. But if you're still not sure how to create a plan that's appropriate for you, talk to a healthcare professional about what is right for you given your medical history and fitness level.

Current recommendations for physical activity in adults is 150 to 300 minutes per week of moderate-intensity workouts, 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity workouts, and two days of strength training workouts. You can split this up however you'd like. If you only have 10 minutes to exercise, that would suffice as something is always better than nothing.

The number of days you exercise each week does not matter as long as the overall volume is accomplished. It's also important to note that rest between workouts is essential for preventing injury and to avoid overtraining. For that reason, exercising two to four days per week would work well for most people.

If your workouts are shorter in duration and focus on fewer muscle groups, then one rest day each week will suffice. Wearing comfortable slides can also help with post-workout recovery. It's important to note that each muscle group requires one to three days of exercise for optimal muscle-building potential. That means training frequency really boils down to personal preference.

Gjestvang C, Abrahamsen F, Stensrud T, Haakstad LAH. What makes individuals stick to their exercise regime? A one-year follow-up study among novice exercisers in a fitness club setting . Front Psychol . 2021 May 28;12:638928. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.638928

Lachman ME, Lipsitz L, Lubben J, Castaneda-Sceppa C, Jette AM. When adults don't exercise: Behavioral strategies to increase physical activity in sedentary middle-aged and older adults . Innov Aging . 2018 Jan;2(1):igy007. doi:10.1093/geroni/igy007

Amaro-Gahete FJ, De-la-O A, Sanchez-Delgado G, Robles-Gonzalez L, Jurado-Fasoli L, Ruiz JR, Gutiérrez A. Functional Exercise Training and Undulating Periodization Enhances the Effect of Whole-Body Electromyostimulation Training on Running Performance. Front Physiol . 2018 Jun 13;9:720. doi:10.3389/fphys.2018.00720

Clark JE. The impact of duration on effectiveness of exercise, the implication for periodization of training and goal setting for individuals who are overfat, a meta-analysis. Biol Sport . 2016 Dec;33(4):309-333. doi:10.5604/20831862.1212974

Evangelista AL, Braz TV, La Scala Teixeira CV, et al.  Split or full-body workout routine: Which is best to increase muscle strength and hypertrophy?   Einstein (São Paulo) . 2021;19:eAO5781. doi:10.31744/einstein_journal/2021AO5781

Matos F, Ferreira B, Guedes J, Saavedra F, Reis VM, Vilaça-Alves J. Effect of rest interval between sets in the muscle function during a sequence of strength training exercises for the upper body . J Strength Cond Res . 2021 Jun 1;35(6):1628-1635. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000002941

Romero SA, Minson CT, Halliwill JR. The cardiovascular system after exercise. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2017 Apr 1;122(4):925-932. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00802.2016

Krzysztofik, Wilk, Wojdała, Gołaś. Maximizing muscle hypertrophy: A systematic review of advanced resistance training techniques and methods .  IJERPH . 2019;16(24):4897. doi:10.3390/ijerph16244897

Ribeiro B, Pereira A, Neves PP, et al. The role of specific warm-up during bench press and squat exercises: A novel approach .  IJERPH . 2020;17(18):6882. doi:10.3390/ijerph17186882

Bailey RR. Goal setting and action planning for health behavior change . Am J Lifestyle Med . 2017 Sep 13;13(6):615-618. doi:10.1177/1559827617729634

Lakicevic N, Gentile A, Mehrabi S, Cassar S, Parker K, Roklicer R, Bianco A, Drid P. Make fitness fun: Could novelty be the key determinant for physical activity adherence? Front Psychol . 2020 Oct 15;11:577522. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2020.577522

Yang YJ. An Overview of Current Physical Activity Recommendations in Primary Care. Korean J Fam Med . 2019 May;40(3):135-142. doi:10.4082/kjfm.19.0038

Schoenfeld BJ, Grgic J, Krieger J. How many times per week should a muscle be trained to maximize muscle hypertrophy? A systematic review and meta-analysis of studies examining the effects of resistance training frequency. J Sports Sci . 2019 Jun;37(11):1286-1295. doi:10.1080/02640414.2018.1555906

By Shoshana Pritzker RD, CDN, CSSD, CISSN Shoshana Pritzker RD, CDN is a sports and pediatric dietitian, the owner of Nutrition by Shoshana, and is the author of "Carb Cycling for Weight Loss." Shoshana received her B.S in dietetics and nutrition from Florida International University. She's been writing and creating content in the health, nutrition, and fitness space for over 15 years and is regularly featured in Oxygen Magazine,, and more.

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Grammar: When to Use Do, Does, and Did

Grammar: When to Use Do, Does, and Did

3-minute read

  • 12th August 2022

Verbs are essential to creating complete sentences, as they help us express physical actions ( She jumped in the puddle) , mental actions ( He thought about puppies) , and states of being ( I am hungry) .

There are several types of verbs that can each be written in different tenses, so they can be tricky to work with, especially if English isn’t your first language . We’ve put together a guide to help you use one of the most common verbs, do , in your writing . Read on below to learn more!

Action Verbs

As the name suggests, action verbs are used to express actions completed by the subject of a sentence. The base verb do is conjugated according to the tense:

1. Present Tense

In the present tense, do takes the form do or does, depending on the subject:

Consider the following examples:

We do our homework every night.

   She does her homework every night.

2. Past Tense

In the simple past tense , the base verb do takes the form did with all subjects:

   We did our homework last night.

   She did her homework last night.

Auxiliary Verbs

Auxiliary , or helping verbs, are used with another base verb to create negative sentences, questions, or add emphasis. Here’s how do should be used as an auxiliary verb:

1. Negative Sentences

Following the same subject–verb pairings introduced above, we combine the auxiliaries do , does , and did with the adverb not to create negative sentences:

   We do not do our homework every night.

   She did not do her homework last night.

Note that we can combine the auxiliary and the adverb to create the contractions don’t , doesn’t , and didn’t . You simply remove the space between the two words and replace the letter o in not with an apostrophe (’).

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Contractions are more common in conversations and informal writing and typically shouldn’t be used in formal writing (e.g., academic or business).

2. Questions

To create questions, the auxiliary is combined with the infinitive of another verb in this way: auxiliary verb + subject + infinitive verb .

●  Simple present questions:

Do they sell children’s books?

Does he speak English?

Note that the third person verb speaks isn’t spelled with the s when paired with the auxiliary to form a question.

●  Simple past questions:

Did you buy anything at the bookstore?

Did he learn how to speak English?

Note that did indicates the past tense, so the main verbs don’t also take the past tense (i.e., bought and learned ).

3. Emphasis

In positive sentences, we can also combine the auxiliaries do , does , and did with the main verb to emphasize that something is true:

   We do sell children’s books.

   He did learn to speak English.

Try saying these sentences aloud and adding emphasis to the auxiliary terms with your tone. It adds a dramatic effect!

Proofreading and Editing Services

Hopefully, this guide will help you feel more confident when using different forms of the verb do in your writing. If you’re still learning or want to be sure your work is error-free, our editors are ready to help. You can upload a free trial document today to learn more!

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When Is the Best Time to Work Out?

It’s an age-old question. But a few recent studies have brought us closer to an answer.

A silhouetted woman running along a body of water with the sun glistening behind her.

By Alexander Nazaryan

What is the best time of day to exercise?

It’s a straightforward question with a frustrating number of answers, based on research results that can be downright contradictory.

The latest piece of evidence came last month from a group of Australian researchers, who argued that evening was the healthiest time to break a sweat, at least for those who are overweight. Their study looked at 30,000 middle-aged people with obesity and found that evening exercisers were 28 percent less likely to die of any cause than those who worked out in the morning or afternoon.

“We were surprised by the gap,” said Angelo Sabag, an exercise physiologist at the University of Sydney who led the study. The team expected to see a benefit from evening workouts, but “we didn’t think the risk reduction would be as pronounced as it was.”

So does that mean that evening swimmers and night runners had the right idea all along?

“It’s not settled,” said Juleen Zierath, a physiologist at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. “It’s an emerging area of research. We haven’t done all the experiments. We’re learning a lot every month.”

No single study can dictate when you should exercise. For many people, the choice comes down to fitness goals, work schedules and plain old preferences. That said, certain times of day may offer slight advantages, depending on what you hope to achieve.

The case for morning exercise

According to a 2022 study , morning exercise may be especially beneficial for heart health. It may also lead to better sleep .

And when it comes to weight loss, there have been good arguments made for morning workouts. Last year, a study published in the journal Obesity found that people who exercised between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 a.m. had a lower body mass index than counterparts who exercised in the afternoon or at night, though it did not track them over time, unlike the Australian study, which followed participants for an average of eight years.

Of course, the biggest argument for morning exercise may be purely practical. “For a lot of people, the morning is more convenient,” said Shawn Youngstedt, an exercise science professor at Arizona State University. Even if rising early to work out can be challenging at first , morning exercise won’t get in the way of Zoom meetings, play dates or your latest Netflix binge.

The case for afternoon exercise

A few small studies suggest that the best workout time, at least for elite athletes, might be the least convenient for many of us.

Body temperature, which is lower in the morning but peaks in late afternoon, plays a role in athletic performance. Several recent small studies with competitive athletes suggest that lower body temperature reduces performance (though warm-ups exercises help counter that) and afternoon workouts help them play better and sleep longer .

If you have the luxury of ample time, one small New Zealand study found that it can help to nap first. As far as the rest of us are concerned, a Chinese study of 92,000 people found that the best time to exercise for your heart was between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

“The main difference is our population,” Dr. Sabag said. While his study was restricted to obese people, the Chinese study was not. “Individuals with obesity may be more sensitive to the time-of-day effects of exercise,” he said.

The case for evening exercise

This latest study may not settle the debate, but it certainly suggests that those struggling with obesity might benefit from a later workout.

Exercise makes insulin more effective at lowering blood sugar levels, which in turn fends off weight gain and Type 2 diabetes, a common and devastating consequence of obesity.

“In the evening, you are most insulin resistant,” Dr. Sabag said. “So if you can compensate for that natural change in insulin sensitivity by doing exercise,” he explained, you can lower your blood glucose levels, and thus help keep diabetes and cardiovascular disease at bay.

One persistent concern about evening exercise is that vigorous activity can disturb sleep. However, some experts have argued that these concerns have been overstated.

The case that it may not matter

While many of these studies are fascinating, none of them is definitive. For one thing, most are simply showing a correlation between exercise times and health benefits, not identifying them as the cause.

“The definitive study would be to actually randomize people to different times,” Dr. Youngstedt said, which would be phenomenally expensive and difficult for academics.

One thing public health experts do agree on is that most Americans are far too sedentary. And that any movement is good movement.

“Whenever you can exercise,” Dr. Sabag urged. “That is the answer.”

In a recent edition of his newsletter that discussed the Australian study, Arnold Schwarzenegger — bodybuilder, actor, former governor — seemed to agree. He cited a 2023 study suggesting that there really isn’t any difference in outcomes based on which time of day you exercise. In which case, it’s all about what works best for you.

“I will continue to train in the morning,” the former Mr. Universe wrote. “It’s automatic for me.”

Alexander Nazaryan is a science and culture writer who prefers to run in the early evening.

Let Us Help You Pick Your Next Workout

Looking for a new way to get moving we have plenty of options..

Exercise can help lower blood pressure. But it’s not about which workout you choose; it’s how you do it .

To get the most out of your strength training, you need to let go of routine and try progressive overload .

What is the best time of day to exercise? A few recent studies have brought us closer to an answer .

Sprinting, at least for short distances, can be a great way to level up your workout routine .

Is your workout really working for you? Take our quiz to find out .

Pick the Right Equipment With Wirecutter’s Recommendations

Want to build a home gym? These five things can help you transform your space  into a fitness center.

Transform your upper-body workouts with a simple pull-up bar  and an adjustable dumbbell set .

Choosing the best  running shoes  and running gear can be tricky. These tips  make the process easier.

A comfortable sports bra can improve your overall workout experience. These are the best on the market .

Few things are more annoying than ill-fitting, hard-to-use headphones. Here are the best ones for the gym  and for runners .

do, have, make or take – Exercise

Task no. 6317.

do , have , make or take – Choose the correct word.

Do you need help?

Confusing Words in English

  • Please do have make take your homework this afternoon.
  • Hey Mark! You've done had made taken a mistake.
  • Do you do have make take sugar in your coffee?
  • Did you do have make take a good trip?
  • We do have make take turns in throwing the dice.
  • Would you do have make take the shopping for me?
  • My sister Lisa is doing having making taking much progress with her French.
  • Did Alice do have make take this photo?
  • Has your brother done had made taken the washing-up yet?
  • You'll do have make take a lot of fun in New York.
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'Make' or 'Do' Exercise 1

Perfect english grammar.

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  • A2 listening

Using colours to do homework

Colourful stationery on a desk

Listen to the presentation about using colours to organise homework and do the exercises to practise and improve your listening skills.


Do the preparation exercise before you listen. Then do the other exercises to check your understanding.


Girl: My presentation is about how you can use colour coding to organise your homework.

To start you need a few things from the stationery shop. This photo shows the things I use. They aren't expensive. They are all cheap. I've got coloured pens and pencils, sticky notes, page markers, glue and folders.   

First, I choose a different colour for each school subject.  The colour I choose has to be easy to remember so I make sure it means something to me. Maths is green because my ruler is green. PE is yellow because my trainers are yellow. 

Here is a photo of my folders. I use the cheapest kind and I add a coloured sticky note to the top and to the front. I keep all my notes inside the different folders. 

This is a photo of some more sticky notes. I wrote them in the library when I was studying. The blue notes are for history. My history teacher has got a blue car! The black notes are for geography. One day I want to visit the Black Sea.

This photo shows the pages I need to read for homework. I use two coloured page markers to mark where it starts and ends. Those blue ones mark the pages I need to read for history. 

Finally, this last photo shows my wall calendar. This green star shows I have a maths test on Friday. This pink circle shows I've got French homework for Monday. It's pink because 'pink' is 'rose' in French … and the rose is my favourite flower.

Has anyone got any questions?

Check your understanding: true or false

Check your understanding: matching, check your vocabulary: gap fill, worksheets and downloads.

Which colours would you choose for each school subject? Why?

do exercise do homework

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do exercise do homework

If You Only Do 5 Exercises, a Physical Therapist Says These Are the Most Effective for Keeping You Pain-Free

I f the time or energy you have to move your body is limited—or maybe you’re just easing into this whole fitness thing—rather than rushing through a complicated, multi-part workout, a better strategy can be honing in on just a few specific exercises to prevent injuries and common problems like back pain. Because, although there are hundreds of moves out there with different benefits for your body, you don’t need to do them all to stay healthy and pain-free.

But how to choose? Should you go for cardio or strength? Stretching or mobility? Bodyweight or weighted? You don’t have to figure it all out yourself, folks. When you’re looking for exercises to prevent injuries, Mallory Behenna, DPT, a physical therapist with Brooks Rehabilitation in Florida, says you want to do moves that “work the main muscle groups that we see causing the majority of issues for people, whether that be pain or imbalance.” She calls these the best “bang for your buck” exercises, “because of their effectiveness and efficiency in working a lot of important muscle groups in a short amount of time.”

Dr. Behenna has narrowed the list down to five exercises meant to build strength and balance. And while they are each effective on their own, she suggests that doing them all is important for promoting overall health.

“All of the exercises selected target muscle groups that have to work together to keep us upright against gravity,” Dr. Behenna says. “When one or more of these muscle groups is weak, other muscles must compensate for that weakness to allow you to keep moving, which results in overall biomechanical inefficiency, dysfunction at muscles and joints, and potential pain over time.”

In addition to building strength, the exercises can also promote joint health, or mobility .

“Movement at a joint helps distribute and produce more synovial fluid, the fluid within the joint that helps with joint surface lubrication,” Dr. Behenna explains. “Having adequate synovial fluid allows the bones to move on one another with little friction, reducing overall pain and inflammation and promoting better mobility.”

To actually make these exercises to prevent injuries a part of your life, Dr. Behenna recommends habit stacking them with a meal or something else you do every day. But if you want to break it up, do one exercise at a time for the recommended reps and sets, since the goal is to fatigue the muscle, which builds strength .

“Doing the exercises at all is superior to not doing them, so if the only way you can get them done is to break them up throughout the day, then do so,” Dr. Behenna says.

A physical therapist’s top 5 exercises to prevent injuries

You can start doing Dr. Behenna’s top five exercises right now: All you need is some space to move around, potentially a softer surface (like a mat), and a wall or ledge for support. A couch can also come in handy.

One of the most loved and hated core exercises around gets top billing in this list. “Planks work your core stability and endurance, which helps with overall balance and stability as well as protecting your spine,” Dr. Behenna says.

Directions: Hold your body in the top of a push-up position. Aim to hold for 60 seconds at a time.

Form mistakes to avoid: “Letting the hips either rise up or sag down too far. You want to be in a perfectly straight line from head to foot. If you cannot hold that straight line, you can modify the movement by holding yourself on your knees or forearms.”

2. Step-ups

Exaggerating the act of going upstairs by working one leg at a time is a great way to build strength and balance. “Single-leg strengthening is often neglected, but it is very important as we do single-leg functional activities every day, including stepping up curbs or ascending and descending stairs,” Dr. Behenna says. “We can develop a preference over time as to which limb leads in these activities, leading to an asymmetry of strength in the left versus right leg, resulting in an overall imbalance or instability.”

Directions: Using the bottom of a staircase or a sturdy four- to eight-inch tall step stool, step up onto one leg. Place your hands on a railing, counter, or other surface if you feel imbalanced. Slowly lower yourself back down, then step back up. Repeat 10 to 15 times for three sets on each leg. To make this movement more challenging, you can bring your bottom knee toward your chest as you step up

Form mistakes to avoid: “Make sure the knee tracks over the second toe to strengthen the muscles properly and avoid stressing the joint and ligaments in the knee.”

3. Side-lying hip abduction

Dr. Behenna says she has seen dramatic improvement in clients when they learn to activate and strengthen their glutes, and these leg lifts are a great way to target the gluteus medius in particular. Even though you’re doing the move lying down on your side, it can lead to greater walking stability.

“When [the hip abductors] are weak, you can see the hip drop either away from or towards the weak side, which affects safety with walking and can lead to pain in the hips or lower back if prolonged over time,” Dr. Behenna says.

Directions: Lie down on one side of your body. Bend the bottom knee and keep the top knee straight. Lift the top, straight leg in the air, keeping your heel slightly behind your hip. Lower back down. Repeat 10 to 15 times, for three sets.

Form mistakes to avoid: “There are a myriad of ways to compensate while doing this exercise, but the most common ones I see are letting the foot drift forward, rolling the foot towards the ceiling, rotating the trunk back, or hiking the pelvis to move the hip. In order to activate the gluteus medius, the hip has to be in slight extension [meaning, that leg is reaching slightly behind you]. ”

4. Heel and toe raises

Working your calves will help keep you mobile by building strength and lengthening these often tight, knotted muscles. You’ll also activate the small muscles in your feet to help create a stable base for walking.

Directions: Stand next to a counter or railing, holding on with both hands for balance only. Rise up onto your toes, then lower back down. Repeat 30 times, for two sets. Next, keep your heels down and lift your toes up, and repeat 30 times, for two sets. To make it harder, try to do heel and toe raises with one foot at a time.

Form mistakes to avoid: “Using the arms too much to help you lift. The hands should only be for balance. Make the calf muscles lift you up to truly strengthen them.”

5. Hamstring and calf stretches

These stretches are the complement to those heel raises and step ups you just did. For exercises to prevent injuries, making sure your muscles aren’t wound up too tightly is just as important as ensuring that they’re strong. “When the hamstrings are tight, they can pull on the pelvis, causing more stress on the lower back when standing, which can lead to back pain over time,” Dr. Behenna says. “When the [calf] muscles are tight, it can cause foot and knee pain or limited mobility, as well as affect overall balance and stability.”

Directions: To stretch your hamstring, sit sideways on the edge of a couch with the outside foot on the floor and the inside leg straight in front of you on the couch. Keeping your knee and back straight, lean forward until you feel a stretch on the back of the thigh. Hold that stretch anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds and repeat three to five times on each leg.

To stretch your calf, stand facing a wall with both hands on the wall. Step one foot back into a small lunge. Keeping the heel of the back foot on the ground, lean forward until you feel a stretch in the calf of the back leg. Hold that for 15 to 30 seconds, and repeat three to five times.

Form mistakes to avoid: Don’t end your stretch too soon. Stretch for as long as you are comfortable, ideally 30 seconds per move

Woman doing a plank as an exercise to prevent injury

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What School Subjects Do You Need in High School?

The subjects you study in high school should allow you to graduate, but you’ll also want classes that will prepare you for college and for life as an adult.

  • Subjects Offered in High School
  • Subjects Needed to Graduate
  • Subjects for College Preparation

Picking high school courses is an exciting process. Core high school subjects like math, science, and language arts are required, but a range of others can be selected. Finally being given more of a choice in what a student studies can be freeing, but also may feel overwhelming, confusing, or stressful.

What courses are best? There's no one right path. First, consider what is needed to graduate. Then, take a look at your options.

Parents and teens can work together to choose school subjects that not only engage their interests but also have their future plans and goals in mind.

For example, students who want to go to college may be required to take more years of a foreign language or other classes required by the schools they are interested in. A student who is interested in pursuing a career in construction may want to take an industrial arts class.

Read on to learn more about selecting courses in high school.

Parents / Nusha Ashjaee 

What School Subjects Are Offered in High School?

Most high schools offer the same basic school subjects: Math, language arts, foreign language, science, social studies, health, and physical education (PE).

However, the exact courses may vary dramatically from school to school. Different high schools—even within the same district—often have different course offerings or special programs. If possible, choose the local high school that provides the programs and classes that best suit your needs and passions.

Below is a list of the most common school subjects. However, individual schools may offer a range of specialized classes, such as mindfulness or engineering.

High School Subjects

  • Literature or Language Arts
  • Speech and Debate
  • Writing or Composition
  • Trigonometry or Calculus
  • Biology (typically has advanced class options)
  • Chemistry (typically has advanced class options)
  • Earth or Space Sciences
  • Physics (typically has advanced class options)
  • US Government
  • World History
  • Foreign Language, such as Spanish, French, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, and German
  • Physical Education and Health
  • Arts, such as Music, Photography, Drawing, or Ceramics
  • Computer Applications, Graphic Design, or Web Design
  • Cooking and other life skills
  • Physical Education
  • Trade field studies such as Auto Mechanics, Woodworking, or Nursing
  • Personal Finance

School Subjects You Need to Graduate

Ideally, teens should start high school with a basic plan of the classes they will need to take to graduate. Every state has different requirements for obtaining a high school diploma, and each school varies greatly in what it offers to give kids a chance to fulfill them. Different schools also vary in the number of classes students take each year.

The school's guidance department can help students understand the graduation requirements and how their coursework aligns with them.

English language arts

Studying the English language and literature is an important part of high school for every student, regardless of their post-school plans. In addition to studying important pieces of literature, English classes teach teens about writing, reading, and speaking.

Most states require four years of English or language arts classes. Colleges require four years of English for admission. The main English classes in high school include:


In high school, students dig into several different types of math . Algebra and geometry are required at most high schools, and students may choose to take advanced math classes if they are offered.

Most states require three or four years of math coursework in high school. The main math classes in high school include:

Basic life sciences (biology) and physical sciences (chemistry and physics) are required at most high schools. These classes often include lab components that allow students to perform hands-on experiments.

Most states require two to three years of science coursework in high school. These may include:

  • Biology (typically has advanced class options)
  • Chemistry (typically has advanced class options)
  • Earth or Space sciences

Social studies and history

Understanding the past and how the world works is important for young adults. In high school, students will study history and government and learn about how social studies affects their lives.

Most states require three to four years of social studies coursework in high school, including:

Foreign languages

Learning a second language is important in today's global world. While many high schools offer foreign language courses, only 11 states require students to take a foreign language course.  

High school students can fill these requirements by learning the basics of at least one foreign language. They may also be able to choose to take advanced classes to learn more.

Common languages offered in high school include:

  • Mandarin Chinese

Other possible language offerings include Russian, Latin, American Sign Language, Arabic, and German.

Physical education and health

Physical education and health classes can teach high schoolers how to care for their bodies' fitness, health, and nutritional needs. These courses often touch on the following:

  • Mental health
  • Sexual health
  • Making healthy choices about drugs, alcohol, and nicotine.

Many states require at least one unit of PE and health to graduate. Other states offer these subjects as electives.

School Subjects for College Preparation

Students planning to go to college should consider how colleges will look at their courses during the application process. Grade point average (GPA) is important, but coursework should also demonstrate academic rigor.

When planning, it can be helpful to balance standard high school courses with some that are more challenging. Additionally, students can do this—and even get a head start on college—by taking advanced placement (AP) or college-level classes.

AP classes are more rigorous courses that teach subjects at an introductory college level. Some of the most common AP courses that are available include:

  • Calculus AB
  • English Literature
  • African American Studies

Students who take AP classes have the option to take an AP test in the spring. If they get a certain score, they can get credit for the course at many colleges.

College credit courses

Many high schools offer opportunities to gain college credit through various programs. Your child's academic advisor, teachers, or counseling department can inform them about such offerings.

These may be online or in-person classes through programs offered by colleges and universities, and a professor or a high school teacher may teach them. Dual-credit programs allow students to fulfill their high school requirements while obtaining some college credits free of charge.

School Subject Electives

In addition to the basic classes, there are usually plenty of opportunities to take electives in various areas of study. These can not only broaden a student's academic knowledge but also teach them valuable life skills and inspire their career aspirations .

In some cases, a student may be given the freedom to choose one class from a select group of options required in the school's curriculum. In others, a student may have room in their schedule to choose to study something simply based on their interests and goals.

Examples of elective classes may include:

  • Arts, such as music, photography, fashion design, painting, theater, dance, or ceramics
  • Computer applications, graphic design, or web design
  • Student government
  • Forensic science
  • Physical education
  • Sports medicine
  • Trade field studies such as auto mechanics, welding, or nursing
  • Personal finance or business

Students on a vocational track may be able to gain some hands-on learning in fields such as metalworks and woodworking. Many schools even offer the opportunity to gain certificates or licenses that will help them in their future careers .

Key Takeaways

Choosing high school classes requires planning both as a student enters school and throughout their high school experience. The right classes are challenging and engaging but not unrealistically rigorous or overwhelming.

An ideal schedule can help a student succeed, enjoy learning, and have a good academic experience while preparing them for their future plans , whatever they may be. Have your teen set up a meeting with their school counselor if they need any help.

The association between neighbourhoods and educational achievement, a systematic review and meta-analysis . J Hous Built Environ . 2016.

50-state comparison . Education Commission of the States . 2019.

High school classes required for college admission . National Association for College Admission Counseling . n.d.

The national K-16 foreign language enrollment survey report . American Councils for International Education . 2017.

Program summary report . College Board. 2019.

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Nine Benefits of Doing Push-Ups Every Day

Sports & activity.

Find out how performing this popular exercise daily can help to build muscle, improve strength and provide a host of other benefits.

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The push-up is a highly efficient and effective exercise often incorporated into strength workouts, boot camps and high-intensity circuit training . But you don’t have to do push-ups with other exercises to reap its many benefits. In fact, if you do push-ups every day, you’re likely to see changes in your level of fitness, body composition , and maybe even your overall health.

There’s a reason the push-up is one of the most common bodyweight exercises: few other moves provide an equal amount of benefits.

1. Improves upper body strength

The push-up helps to build muscle and improve strength throughout the upper body. It targets the muscles in your chest (pectoralis major), arms (particularly the triceps) and the shoulders (especially the scapular stabilizing muscles).

2. Contributes to core stability

Muscles throughout the core are also active when you do a push-up. The rectus abdominis and oblique muscles help to hold the body steady, especially during push-up variations that involve instability (such as on a ball or balance board).

3. Accessible to beginners and seasoned athletes alike

Since the move is relatively beginner-friendly, researchers often include push-ups in studies to help identify (and test) levels of physical fitness. There are also a wide range of push-up variations to match with your current fitness level. As you become stronger, you can also increase the intensity of the push-up by upgrading to a more challenging version.

4. Is budget-friendly

A push-up doesn’t require any special equipment , trainer or even a gym membership for that matter. The only thing you really need is a small area of space and you’re good to go.

5. Improves sports performance

Push-ups are commonly included in exercises to help with shoulder rehabilitation, improve proprioception (the awareness of your body’s movement in space), and muscle co-contraction for dynamic joint stability. Research has shown that improved joint stability, especially through the core, is necessary for optimal athletic performance.

6. Works multiple muscles simultaneously

If you don’t have a lot of time to spend in the gym, exercises like push-ups (along with lunges, squats, and other compound moves) are highly beneficial and efficient because they work multiple large muscles at the same time.

Don’t miss the What Are Nike’s Best Shoes for Squats ?

7. Supports healthy aging

Exercises like the wall push-up can help to maintain or even improve your level of strength as you age. Experts advise that older adults maintain their strength to remain independent and reduce the risk of falls.

8. May help support bone health

Resistance exercise has been shown to be effective for helping to preserve both bone and muscle mass, especially in post-menopausal women who are at greater risk for osteoporosis. One small-scale study demonstrated that a 10-week resistance training program helped women maintain bone mineral density in the wrist. Still, the authors acknowledged that no increases in bone mineral density were seen during their study.

9. Can help boost metabolism

If your goal is weight loss, participating in strength-training activities (which can include daily push-ups) can help to improve your metabolism. In fact, according to one study , 10 weeks of resistance training may increase your resting metabolic rate and reduce body fat.

Push-Up Variations to Add Variety and Build Strength

Doing the same push-up exercise day after day can get monotonous. Consider some of these variations to get your program started and keep it on track.

Beginner-Friendly Variations

If you’re not ready to do a full push-up, try one of these variations that to build the strength necessary to do the traditional exercise.

  • Wall push-up: This is a vertical variation of a regular push-up. Start standing arms distance away from a wall. Place the palms on the wall slightly wider than shoulder-width apart at chest level. Engage the muscles in your core and bend the elbows so that the torso comes close to the wall. Reverse the movement and return to the starting position. If this seems too easy, move the feet back a few inches and try again. You can also do this variation on a counter-level surface to make it slightly harder.
  • Knee push-up: This variation allows you to do a horizontal push-up with less resistance because you don’t have to carry the weight of your body below your knees. Start on your knees and walk your palms forward on the mat, placing them slightly wider than shoulder-distance apart. Keeping everything from your knees to the crown of your head in one straight line, lower the chest to the floor and push back up.

Intermediate-Level Variations

Once you have good form with a traditional push-up, try challenging yourself with these intermediate-level variations.

  • Regular push-up: This variation requires minimal equipment and can be performed on most flat surfaces. To do a regular push-up, you’ll want to get in a plank position with the palms of your hands lying flat on the ground, placing them slightly outside of shoulder-width apart. Your feet should be parallel and hip-width apart from each other. Refrain from curling your back as you engage your core, squeeze your glutes, and bend your elbows to lower your chest, hips, and head toward the ground. Push the ground away from you as come back up.
  • Decline push-up: This variation helps to add more resistance to emphasize a shoulder and chest workout. To complete a decline push-up, place the feet on a surface that elevates them higher than what hip level would be during a traditional push-up. For instance, many people use a weight bench and place their hands on the floor. Complete your reps maintaining this decline position and keeping the torso steady.
  • BOSU push-up: This variation requires the use of a BOSU balance ball, but you can also use any unstable surface (such as a wobble board) that is wide enough to allow for proper push-up hand position — which is slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. You’ll keep your hands on the unsteady surface as you lift and lower the body. The instability increases the challenge and effort required by your core and shoulders.

Advanced Variations

You can add weight or intensity to your push-up with these advanced moves.

  • Plyo push-up: You’ll add a push off the floor and a clap in the middle of this variation. Start in a traditional push-up position and lower the chest towards the floor. Once you reach the lowest position, push up forcefully so your hands come off the floor. Clap once. Catch yourself by placing the palms back on the floor then lower the body to repeat.
  • Dumbbell push-up to row: You’ll need two dumbbells for this variation. Start in a traditional push-up position, but with each hand on a dumbbell placed vertically on the floor under your chest. Complete one push-up repetition and then do a dumbbell row with the right hand. Complete another rep and do a dumbbell row on the left. This variation engages the back muscles (latissimus dorsi) to increase the number of muscles that are used.

Nine Benefits of Doing Push-Ups Every Day

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Originally published: March 14, 2022

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How We Can Exercise Away Addiction and Depression

There are multiple major benefits from becoming active..

Posted May 16, 2024 | Reviewed by Gary Drevitch

  • What Is Depression?
  • Find a therapist to overcome depression
  • Exercise helps substance abusers kick habits.
  • Brain chemicals are enhanced and new connections made with exercise.
  • Depression levels plummet with exercise.
  • Exercise is safe and effective, and especially helpful in long-term recovery from substance use disorders.

Exorcise addictive and depressive demons the way celebrities do — with exercise. You’ve probably heard how many famous people have chosen exercise to effectively prevent and even treat mental health problems like addictions and depression . This is because exercise helps support and normalize mood-stabilizing neurochemicals like dopamine and glutamate, as well as serotonin.

Brain Chemicals Generated by Exercise

One key neurochemical that may not trip off your tongue is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This is a protein in the brain and spinal cord that is vital for developing and maintaining the central nervous system (CNS). BDNF is especially concentrated in the hippocampus, cortex, and basal forebrain. This substance promotes the survival of nerve cells (neurons) by helping growth, maturation, and maintenance. It also helps control synaptic plasticity — the ability of brain connections to change and adapt over time — and consequently is important for learning and memory . Low levels of BDNF can cause difficulties in learning new things, as well as lead to depression and mood swings.

Strangely, exercise and using drugs of abuse act on similar parts of the brain. For example, each similarly activates the reward pathway, triggering the release of feel-good chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. This is another reason why people turn to drugs repeatedly. However, exercising itself may build up the amount of dopamine, regenerative proteins, and other synapses. As a result, these added connections increase the quantity of available dopamine and support other brain chemicals. The end result is feeling much better.

Eminem, Addiction, and Exercise

Intense physical exercise has received major attention as an effective way to reduce cravings and remain sober by celebrities like the rapper Eminem. In 2024, Em posted his annual updated AA pin on his social media account, where he reported being sober 16 years . He explained drugs had loomed large in his life after the release of his 1999 album, The Slim Shady LP . The singer didn’t think he had a problem; however, as his fame increased and drugs became more plentiful — especially on tour — Eminem realized he was battling addiction. Things were bad in 2000-2002 when he was taking Vicodin, Valium, and alcohol . The performer said he took “75 to 80 Valiums” a night.

Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Eminem battled his addiction using running and exercise. He also did push-ups and sit-ups, tried boxing, and attended recovery meetings. Eventually, he moved to the “Body Beast” workout, using free weights, the pullup bar, and the bench.

The Experts Explain It All

According to the scientist who showed exercise could help people addicted to cocaine, Panayotis K. Thanos , Director of Behavioral Neuropharmacology and Neuroimaging Laboratory, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, “Our research has proven aerobic exercise has many benefits, but it has a profound effect on dopamine and the dopamine receptor.” Adds Thanos, “Aerobic exercise can decrease drug-seeking behaviors, cocaine preference, cocaine relapse , and cocaine stress-induced reinstatement.” Exercise also appears to have the same potential positive effects on cigarette smokers, opioid users, and others with drug use disorders.

Why People Resist Exercise as a Treatment for Drug Abuse or Depression

Why do people shun exercise as a possible answer to substance abuse or severe depression? I asked former Olympian and Olympic psychiatrist Dave Baron this question.

Baron said, “People don't see exercise as an intervention, but more of a lifestyle choice. The best available scientific data is overwhelmingly positive yet is not well-appreciated by the general public. In addition, exercise is not aggressively promoted, as the pharma industry does with medications.” Baron says too many people regard exercise like their gym class—an annoying and sweaty requirement they left back in high school.

Source: Western University

Types of Problems Exercise Can Improve

Most data supports the role of exercise in the following:

Curbing cravings. After cutting down or off drugs, the brain sends alarm or anxiety signals caused by abstinence. These symptoms may be intense and may also drive relapse. Many people who successfully avoid drugs still may develop urges to use them again. Exercise is an excellent way to reduce the intensity of cravings, make them feel much less powerful, and help the recovering person control or reduce the frequency and intensity of these cravings.

Replacing triggers for abuse. It’s best for substance abusers to trade their old drug buddies in for some new exercise pals. Exercises like running in a group or club or training with a class and trainer, can become a positive routine—an important activity to perform and build up a person’s social network . This change of places, people, and things is important, as key recovery axioms include avoiding triggering people, places, or things and reminding the person of drugs used when abuse formerly was an active problem.

Improving sleep. If a person has a substance use disorder (SUD), often they take drugs to sleep. It is also true that recovering SUD patients suffer sleep problems as they struggle to avoid drugs or alcohol. Regular exercise helps individuals fall asleep faster and obtain a better quality of rest at night.

do exercise do homework

Helping the body and brain become stronger. Abused drugs have numerous harmful effects on the heart, lungs, liver, brain and immune functions. In contrast, exercise has the opposite effect. Exercise can also help recovering people think more clearly; often they report their mind starts working much better. Regular physical activity continues this positive process.

Improving self-image . Exercise can make people feel more self-control , which is very important for substance abusers who feel like they’ve lost control. Exercise also has positive anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects, making it easier to manage stressful situations and feelings.

What if Exercise Were a Medication?

With all the benefits described, I wondered if exercise might be treated differently if people compared the activity to taking a pill or other medication . Baron liked this idea and said, “If exercise were a medication in a double-blind FDA qualifying clinical trial, the trial would be stopped by the FDA, because exercise is so effective, and with virtually no side effects, that it would be unethical to not treat everyone with it.” Baron says that if exercise were a pill, it would be a blockbuster drug.

He continued, “Exercise has been shown effective in virtually every age range for virtually every form of psychopathology and as a primary and adjunctive treatment. It would be very difficult to find another treatment as effective and safe in maintaining mental and physical health, improving overall quality of life, and effectively treating psychopathology.”

Early research shows that aerobic exercise and resistance training may be most effective with addiction recovery. However, the evidence so far is insufficient to recommend one kind of physical activity over another. So if a person prefers yoga or mountain biking, either option may be helpful to combat addiction. Future studies should help us learn more and create programs tailored to individuals.

Considering Exercise and Depression

Major depressive disorder (MDD) is characterized by a depressed mood, loss of interest, and a reduced ability to experience pleasure in daily activities for at least two weeks. In 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated 264 million people worldwide were affected by depression , or 3.8% of the population. The WHO also estimates that depression is the world's leading cause of disability.

Individuals with this disorder face an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, lower back pain, and an overall decline in life quality. It is also the leading cause of suicide deaths worldwide, with an estimated incidence of up to 800,000 suicides annually.

Physical exercise is not only an effective intervention for depression, but researchers also report that exercise may be a viable adjunct treatment in combination with antidepressants .

Clinical practice guidelines recommend psychotherapy and/or pharmacotherapy for MDD. But at least 30% of people with depression have treatment-resistant depression, which means medications and therapy don’t help. Consequently, there is an urgent need to explore non-pharmacological and patient-centered strategies that are safe, feasible, and easily integrated into adult daily routines. A recent major study published in 2024 showed exercise is an effective depression treatment.

In addition, exercise apparently is about as effective for reducing depression as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or medications, although combining exercise with antidepressants may improve symptoms more than medication alone. The more intense the workout, the more effective at managing depression. But even low-intensity physical activity helps.

Current National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance on treating depression in adults says the condition may respond to a variety of options, with group exercise recommended as cost-effective and easy to implement.

Commenting on the results of the study, Jonathan Roiser, professor of neuroscience and mental health at University College London, said, “The headline result is that all types of physical activity (especially aerobic exercise) cause a reduction in depressive symptoms ; a similar conclusion to many reviews over the past decade.”

Many people severely undervalue—or don’t even consider—that exercise decreases addictive cravings as well as depressive symptoms. People can exercise at home or in a gym or begin a walking or running program in their neighborhood or at a local mall after checking with their doctor.

To find a therapist, visit the Psychology Today Therapy Directory .

Perreault B, Hammond N, Thanos PK. Effects of Exercise on Testosterone and Implications of Drug Abuse: A Review. Clin Neuropharmacol. 2023 May-Jun 01;46(3):112-122. doi: 10.1097/WNF.0000000000000546. Epub 2023 Mar 7. PMID: 37191565.

Noetel M, Sanders T, Gallardo-Gómez D, Taylor P, Del Pozo Cruz B, van den Hoek D, Smith JJ, Mahoney J, Spathis J, Moresi M, Pagano R, Pagano L, Vasconcellos R, Arnott H, Varley B, Parker P, Biddle S, Lonsdale C. Effect of exercise for depression: systematic review and network meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ. 2024 Feb 14;384:e075847. doi: 10.1136/bmj-2023-075847. PMID: 38355154; PMCID: PMC10870815.

Tyler J, Podaras M, Richardson B, Roeder N, Hammond N, Hamilton J, Blum K, Gold M, Baron DA, Thanos PK. High intensity interval training exercise increases dopamine D2 levels and modulates brain dopamine signaling. Front Public Health. 2023 Dec 19;11:1257629. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2023.1257629. PMID: 38192549; PMCID: PMC10773799.

Claussen MC, Currie A, Koh Boon Yau E, Nishida M, Martínez V, Burger J, Creado S, Schorb A, Nicola RF, Pattojoshi A, Menon R, Glick I, Whitehead J, Edwards C, Baron D. First international consensus statement on sports psychiatry. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2024 Apr;34(4):e14627. doi: 10.1111/sms.14627. PMID: 38610076.

Mark Gold M.D.

Mark S. Gold, M.D., is a pioneering researcher, professor, and chairman of psychiatry at Yale, the University of Florida, and Washington University in St Louis. His theories have changed the field, stimulated additional research, and led to new understanding and treatments for opioid use disorders, cocaine use disorders, overeating, smoking, and depression.

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May 2024 magazine cover

At any moment, someone’s aggravating behavior or our own bad luck can set us off on an emotional spiral that threatens to derail our entire day. Here’s how we can face our triggers with less reactivity so that we can get on with our lives.

  • Emotional Intelligence
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  1. Home Workout

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  2. 6 Day At Home Workout Plan For Beginners for Beginner

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  3. Boy Doing Homework and Exercise with Teacher Stock Photo

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  4. The Benefits Of Homework: How Homework Can Help Students Succeed

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  5. The Importance Of Homework In The Educational Process

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  6. Doing Your Homework(out)

    do exercise do homework


  1. QUIT Running & Do These 3 Exercises Instead

  2. Weight Loss

  3. When & How to use DO/ DOES/ DID

  4. Workout at Home 10 Effective Exercises

  5. homework #exercise #fitness #workout

  6. Must-do-exercise #homeworkout #relief #relax #exercise #back #movement #must #mobility #breathing


  1. Why You Should Exercise Before Studying, According to Science

    A little aerobic exercise before studying or working can get the juices flowing. Before you sit down to study or get started on a big project for work, you might want to consider hitting the gym ...

  2. How to Do Homework: 15 Expert Tips and Tricks

    Here's how it works: first, set a timer for 25 minutes. This is going to be your work time. During this 25 minutes, all you can do is work on whatever homework assignment you have in front of you. No email, no text messaging, no phone calls—just homework. When that timer goes off, you get to take a 5 minute break.

  3. Top Tips for Juggling Schoolwork, Exercise, and Activities

    Go to practice. Then come home and do my homework until late. Then get up and finish it before school. This process is then repeated for every school day after that.". "Schoolwork comes first. However, I will do some exercising between assignments so that I stay awake and mentally active.".

  4. The Difference: Do & Make (Exercises & Guidelines)

    We also use do for activities (like sports) that do not have their own verb. You do…. exercise. yoga. karate / taekwondo / judo. karaoke. These guidelines can be helpful, but there are exceptions. For example, to make a bed means to put the sheets on the bed neatly. But this is not really an act of creation (we aren't creating a bed).

  5. Do vs Make

    Do usually refers to the action of performing these activities, while make generally refers to the result. Do is usually used in collocations referring to the following topics: Study and work: do homework: I'll do my homework after dinner. do work: Joe does a lot of work in the evenings. do business: They are doing business in Japan.

  6. 12 Ways to Exercise While You Study

    First - crisscross your legs on the seat. Then, only using your arms for support, lift up your body from the chair. You can also use this to fool people into believing you can levitate - as long as they don't see your arms. Ab Swivel. Swivel chairs - they're the most fun chairs around.

  7. 16 Ways to Concentrate on Your Homework

    Get up and walk or stretch occasionally, or even do jumping jacks or run in place for a couple of minutes. Standing up while you work is also a great way to boost your focus. [1] Try sitting on an exercise ball or wobbly chair when you're doing your homework. The movement may help you stay focused.

  8. How to Exercise While Doing your Housework: 13 Steps

    Increase the calories you burn by performing single leg lunges every 2 to 3 minutes. Take a large step forward with your right leg and lunge until your right knee is at a 90 degree angle. Hold the position for 3 to 10 seconds and then step back. Repeat with your left leg. 5. Sweep and/or mop your floors.

  9. How to Do Homework (with Pictures)

    Just make sure to save enough time to circle back and give it another shot. 4. Take a break every hour. Set a specific amount of time you will spend every hour doing something besides homework, and stick to it. Be sure you set how long after the start of the hour, and how long you will take.

  10. Make/Do/Take

    exercise/sports do aerobics do dance classes do martial arts do + noun/adverb do business do a course do your hair/nails/make-up do your homework do paperwork do research do well/badly. Take. use take with particular nouns; Example: Mrs Fisher takes a photo of the cake. Tomorrow, Larry's class is taking an exam. use take with different modes ...

  11. 10 tips for staying focused when learning from home

    3. Do a "brain boost" whenever you find yourself drifting. Take a walk around the block, do some jumping jacks, stretch your limbs, and shake out any muscle tension in ways that feel comfy. 4. Hydrate! Your body naturally performs better when you're fully hydrated. Keep a water bottle on your desk.

  12. Physical Activity for Adults: An Overview

    Recommendations for adults. Physical activity is anything that gets your body moving. Physical activity supports physical and mental health. The benefits of physical activity make it one of the most important things you can do for your health.. According to the current Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults need 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.

  13. Expressions with DO & MAKE · engVid

    The English verbs do and make are frequently confused, so pay particular attention to the expressions below. It is best to learn the expressions by heart. ... to do exercise; to do good; to do harm; to do homework; to do housework; to do nothing; to do research; to do something; to do some letter-writing; to do some reading; to do some studying;

  14. Understanding how exercise affects the body

    Changes in gene activity, immune cell function, metabolism, and other cellular processes were seen in all the tissues studied, including those not previously known to be affected by exercise. The types of changes differed from tissue to tissue. Many of the observed changes hinted at how exercise might protect certain organs against disease.

  15. How to Create a Home Workout Routine

    At the early stages of a periodized program, you may want to do three to four sets with 10 to 12 reps. The weight you choose is based on your level of fitness. If the final rep of 12 is easy, you should increase the weight. Perform this rep range for two weeks. Then progress to two to three sets of 8 to 10 reps.

  16. Do / Does / Am / Is / Are Exercise 1

    19) we need to hurry? [ . 20) he usually work late? [ . Do you want to master English grammar? Click here to read about the membership. An exercise about choosing do / does / am / is / are in present simple questions.

  17. Are At-Home Workouts Actually Effective?

    To kick your at-home workouts up a notch, Salinas recommends trying one or more of the following: Add more exercises or rounds into your workout, or limit rest time between exercises. Try to beat last week's times or reps. Add in resistance bands, light dumbbells or kettle bells. "If you want to get faster and/or stronger, start by setting ...

  18. Make or Do

    Julie likes doing exercise, especially running. an exercise: The teacher asked us to do a lot of grammar exercises over the holidays: ... Have you finished doing your homework? housework: Let's do the housework quickly this morning, then we can go out for lunch. the ironing: My mother listens to the radio while she does the ironing.

  19. The 10 Best at Home Workouts (No-Equipment!)

    For example, if your workout includes squats and push-ups, you could do a couple of minutes of generalized movement to get the blood pumping, like marching in place, arm and leg swings, etc., and then follow that up with some assisted squats and countertop push-ups. This will help you do exercises properly and help prevent injury.

  20. Grammar: When to Use Do, Does, and Did

    Consider the following examples: We did our homework last night. She did her homework last night.. Auxiliary Verbs. Auxiliary, or helping verbs, are used with another base verb to create negative sentences, questions, or add emphasis.Here's how do should be used as an auxiliary verb:. 1. Negative Sentences. Following the same subject-verb pairings introduced above, we combine the ...

  21. Should You Exercise in the Morning or the Evening ...

    Exercise makes insulin more effective at lowering blood sugar levels, which in turn fends off weight gain and Type 2 diabetes, a common and devastating consequence of obesity. "In the evening ...

  22. do, have, make or take

    or. take. - Exercise. do, have, make or take - Choose the correct word. Do you need help? Please your homework this afternoon. Hey Mark! You've a mistake. Do you sugar in your coffee?

  23. 125 DO or DOES English ESL worksheets pdf & doc

    A selection of English ESL do or does printables. Log in / Register. Worksheets. Powerpoints. Video Lessons. Search. Filters. Browse Topics: Grammar Topics General Topics. SELECTED FILTERS. Clear all filters. English ESL Worksheets. Grammar Topics. DO or DOES. 125 DO or DOES English ESL worksheets pdf & doc. SORT BY. Most popular. TIME PERIOD.

  24. Make or Do Exercise 1

    Make or Do 1. 1) John worked hard and his best at his job, but he still wasn't promoted. [ . 2) The teenagers were such a noise that the neighbour called the police. [ . 3) She a payment on her debt every month. Soon she'll have finished paying it off.

  25. Using colours to do homework

    Personal online tutoring. EnglishScore Tutors is the British Council's one-to-one tutoring platform for 13- to 17-year-olds. Find out more. Listen to the presentation about using colours to organise homework and do the exercises to practise and improve your listening skills.

  26. If You Only Do 5 Exercises, a Physical Therapist Says These Are the

    When you're looking for exercises to prevent injuries, Mallory Behenna, DPT, a physical therapist with Brooks Rehabilitation in Florida, says you want to do moves that "work the main muscle ...

  27. Exercise Is Medicine aims to get your doctor to assess your ...

    Created in 2007, the initiative encourages health care providers to assess patients' physical activity during visits, plus include regular exercise when designing care plans. The amount and ...

  28. What School Subjects Do Teens Need in High School?

    Electives. Picking high school courses is an exciting process. Core high school subjects like math, science, and language arts are required, but a range of others can be selected. Finally being ...

  29. Nine Benefits of Doing Push-Ups Every Day

    Improves upper body strength. The push-up helps to build muscle and improve strength throughout the upper body. It targets the muscles in your chest (pectoralis major), arms (particularly the triceps) and the shoulders (especially the scapular stabilizing muscles). 2. Contributes to core stability.

  30. How We Can Exercise Away Addiction and Depression

    Exercise helps substance abusers kick habits. Brain chemicals are enhanced and new connections made with exercise. Depression levels plummet with exercise. Exercise is safe and effective, and ...