The benefits of exercise for students

Are you a student? Do you know the benefits of exercise for your studies?


What do lecture halls, computer desks, food courts, and libraries have in common?

That’s where university students spend so much of their time in sedentary pursuits.


Although hours of studying burn mental energy, both your body and mind need physical exercise to function at their peak! Not only can exercise help with concentration and focus but also with mental health. Young people are at highest risk. Some 75% of mental health problems emerge before the age of 25. It’s possible that while you are at university you might experience a mental health difficulty.

Exercise helps memory and cognitive function through both direct and indirect means. The benefits of exercise come directly from its ability to reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of growth factors—chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells.

Indirectly, exercise improves mood and sleep, and reduces stress and anxiety. Problems in these areas frequently cause or contribute to cognitive impairment.

We’ve all been there as a student, and on a tight budget and time restricted. But here are some tips to get moving:

• Whether you’re studying at home or at university take a study break every hour and go for a walk and get some fresh air
• Start off with body weight exercises at home as these will kick start your exercise routine without the need for a gym membership
• Use the local park! Many councils have developed an outdoor gym, check out your local council website to see if there’s one for you!
• Grab a friend and go for a jog or walk around the park during your study break; its bound to increase your cognitive function straight after!
• Join independent gyms if you need such as YMCA or personal training or yoga studio as these will allow you to pay per visit.

Always consult an exercise professional such as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist if you have any concerns about starting a new exercise program.