How does exercise help with stress?

This article on using exercise to excel in your studies was updated by the Great British Mag content team on 5 September, 2019

Studying can really take it out of you both physically and mentally. Rushing around from one lecture to another, sitting for hours on end in the library, and not to mention the stress of exams and essays can even break the strongest person.

Then there is the social part of being a student. Obviously, student life wouldn’t be half as fun without partying. But those late nights and maybe the temptation to overdo things can have a negative effect on your body and overall health.

But with exercise, a good diet and getting enough rest you can slay student life and be on top of your game. Krissy Cela is testament to that and swears that hitting the gym helped her successfully manage student life.

She remembers, “When I first started university, I didn’t know anyone. I felt really alone and awkward. One day I was surfing YouTube and found videos of people strength training and talking about the health benefits. Then I just went to the gym and dived in and its been my escape ever since.”

Use exercise to beat stress

Student life isn’t a walk in the park. Studying with anxiety is common. You’ve taken a massive step into independence by moving away from your family, looking after yourself and being totally responsible for yourself. That can be stressful.

Regular exercise can help you manage and relieve anxiety and stress. After a session you may feel completely knackered but if you pay attention to your mood, you’ll notice that those endorphins make you feel better physically and help you feel calmer and even build your confidence.

In fact, research carried out by a team of neurologists at Stanford Medical School studied brain scans of people that regularly exercised and found that they have more grey matter in the prefrontal cortex, which governs stress-management.

Healthy body – healthy mind

Regular exercise can help your mental health in a big way. Starting university has probably meant making epic changes in your life. This coupled with the demands of studying can lead to many students feeling a bit low or even feeling depressed.

Unfortunately, research shows that a higher percentage of international students suffer from depression and anxiety than home students. And a different piece of research carried out by the Department of Health shows that 12% of people who suffer from depression can avoid the condition by regularly exercising.

And that doesn’t mean having to sweat it out in the gym. It can be a brisk walk in-between writing your essay or taking the steps instead of the elevator. This will clear your mind and help you focus better when you return to your desk.