The Mental Health Benefits of Exercise: How Sports Improve Students’ Brain

Exercise is about staying in shape and feeling great for many students. What many fail to realize is that it has benefits above the neck too. This is necessary for students whose days are filled up with back to back activities. Since it is not a curricular in school, many fail to embrace working out. According to World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 3.2 million deaths worldwide are caused by physical inactivity while 28% of Americans are physically inactive. This makes it the 4th leading factor for global mortality.

As a student, you will, therefore, need to start being active. Involving yourself in numerous sports activities is the best form of exercise. Sporting is a great exercise since it has abundant mental benefits.

Among those many benefits include:

Boosting Students’ Memory

Having a sharp memory is extremely vital in our lives, but more so to students who depend on it to ace their exams. The part of the brain that responds to a good work out is the hippocampus. It lies at the core of learning systems and memory. Whenever it grows, you can memorize things better. Science has made evident that the hippocampus reacts strongly to sporting exercises, therefore, boosting your ability to remember.

 

Reduces Stress

When in school, having a stressful day or two is inevitable. Most of the students have to juggle between school and part time jobs. Many turn to unhealthy ways to deal with these stressful situations. The solution lies in high intensive sportive work out. It is the best, fastest and quickest way to start feeling better. A useful exercise reorganizes the structure of the brain to have a different reaction to a stressful situation. When you work out, it helps with the concentration of norepinephrine in our bodies to increase. This is a chemical of the brain which allows it to deal with stress effectively. It eases current mental tension and long lasting stress.

It Helps Improve Concentration

Are you having a problem with your concentration? Can’t you seem to be able to finish one task at a time? You are not alone. Lack of focus is a common problem for many. With so many distracting channels readily available to us at the click of a button; staying focused is not easy especially since the invention of smartphones. It may be an email, a new friend request, a new feed on your social media accounts, etc. Well, it’s time to do that workout. Working out every day can make you capable of withstanding numerous distractions. When you are physically fit, you increase the control over your ability to focus your attention as measured by a challenging cognitive task.

Exercise Can Increase Self Confidence

Self esteem is a huge problem facing students today. They feel the pressure to have better grades and look good physically while in school. Low self esteem can have a negative impact on a student’s performance. Students tend to lessen their desire to learn and lose their ability to focus. If it goes unchecked, it causes some unhealthy behaviors. When you start to exercise, your body will change. This in return translates to a boost in your self confidence. It may not be your dream shape, but with constant exercise, you will reach your set goal. Make sure to concentrate on healthy eating habits as well.

It Can Boost Your Happy Chemicals

We are only human as they say. Moods come and go although it is typically temporary. Your school days are extremely critical in shaping up your life. As a student, you should try and create as many happy memories to last you a lifetime. For happy memories to exist, you must be in a happy state. You need to start being active in the exercise department. This is because, when you work out, endorphins are released which creates feelings of happiness and euphoria. Studies prove that people who are inactive for years are twice likely to become unhappy than those who exercise regularly.

Helps to Reduce Anxiety

The honest truth is that school life can be stressful. It is quite easy for you to get anxious when juggling family, friends, school, work, and in the same breath trying to figure out your next career path. The worst thing about anxiety is that when you have it, you tend to focus on the things that created this condition resulting of course to becoming even more anxious. Do not worry yourself; research proves that regular exercise decreases the symptoms of anxiety. By just one work out, your symptoms reduce for hours but when you make it a daily routine, it leads to a significant decrease over time.

It Helps to Control Addiction

Falling into addiction is a weakness that majority of students fall into. This is because they regularly face the urge to feel great. Dopamine is the chemical that creates dependency. Unfortunately, there are not many substances that provoke the release of dopamine. The most common elements that trigger its release are alcohol, food, sex, exercise and drugs. Work out is not a favorite choice for many since it involves hard work and discipline. But if you want to choose the healthiest way for the release, you should pick an exercise. It is the best way to control addiction and overcome it.

It Can Boost Your Creativity

Do you sometimes feel stuck with no creative juices? This happens mostly to students when they spend long hours on a project without taking any breaks. Apart from being unhealthy, your brain also tends to shut down, and the productivity levels go low. There is a common saying that says, “If you feel stuck, go for a walk.” This is an excellent method of clearing your mind and relaxing a bit. When you take that walk or jog, it helps to boost your creative thinking, helping you to generate fresh ideas easily.

Helps You to Relax

Insomnia complaints among students have been reported to be on a high. Its association is with a decline in the academic performance. Did you know that moderate exercise can be the equivalent of a sleeping pill? Yes, a useful workout can not only help you fall asleep quickly but also improve the quality of your sleep. The best way to achieve this is to do the exercise five or six hours before bedtime. It will guarantee a good night’s sleep. When you get into the bed, quality sleep is all that you can expect. Better sleep means a better brain.

Can Slow Cognitive Decline

As a student, you will need your brain to stay sharp and healthy all through school into your old age. Staying physically fit is a sure way of keeping your mind healthy. You do not need to practice extreme workouts for this. Just taking a walk three times a week could do the trick. It is advised to start doing these exercises as early as possible so that your body can get used to the regular physical activity.

Conclusion

You can use various forms of sports to achieve the above mentioned brain benefits. If you are considering investing in your physical and mental health, add workouts to your daily routine. This is not only beneficial to students but everyone in general. You should note that to get the most out of your brain, physically or mentally, you must exercise. You will find that mental conditions such as depression, apathy, anxiety among many others will not become a problem to you. It also boosts your creativity and you can even find that you can write a research paper in minutes! You should give it a try the next time you feel stuck.

Whichever sporting exercise that you choose, strive to commit to it. Making exercise a routine just like taking a prescribed medication should be your goal. After all, a workout can be a form of medicine. Which sporting activity will you consider trying out to help you make your brain work better?

BIO: Lori Wade is a content writer who is interested in a wide range of spheres from education and online marketing to entrepreneurship. She is also an aspiring tutor striving to bring education to another level like we all do. If you are interested in writing, you can find her on Twitter or Google+ or find her on other social media. Read and take over Lori’s useful insights!

 

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