Mental Health Benefits of Exercise

October 12, 2018

Most of us are familiar with the physical benefits of exercise: weight control, increased energy, and improved physical fitness, just to name a few. But exercise can also improve mental health, and potentially even alleviate or prevent depression.

How can exercise boost my mood?

Scientists think physical activity helps maintain and improve wellbeing in a number of ways:

  • Boosts production of ‘feel’ good chemicals in your brain
  • Distracts your mind from anxious thoughts
  • Helps regulate your sleep patterns
  • Increases your energy levels
  • Promotes a greater sense of self-worth
  • Improves memory and concentration

Getting more active each day– even a small change – can boost your morale, giving you a sense of achievement and help you feel better in yourself.

How can I get more active?

Starting off might feel a bit overwhelming, but getting active doesn’t have to be about running around a track or working out in a gym. It’s important to choose an activity you enjoy that fits easily into your lifestyle.

The Sports Centre offer a range of activities, from Pole Fitness to Intra Mural Football Leagues – don’t be afraid to try something new, you never know what you might enjoy. If meeting like-minded students whilst exercising is more your thing, visit the Students’ Union to learn more about their clubs and societies.

Exercising doesn’t need to be costly, there’s nothing better than exploring the great outdoors (weather permitting!) Wales is known for some of the best walking and hiking routes in the UK; you don’t have to go far to find yourself amongst nature. And if the Welsh weather does deter or you can’t face going to an exercise class, there are plenty of good alternatives you can practise from the comfort of your home:

No matter what activity you choose or what intensity you exercise at, every little bit can be beneficial to help improve your mental and physical health.

Stay committed!

Making an exercise habit stick can be challenging – try scheduling regular exercise into your calendar just like any other commitment. When assignments start flooding in, it can be hard to prioritise exercise; staying active will help keep your stress levels at bay and ensure you do your best.

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