Skip to content

6 health benefits of exercise you may not know about

Exercise helps more than just your physique.

Woman doing yoga
Woman doing yoga

Have you recently found your Instagram feed and TikTok For You Page packed with fitness influencers teaching you how to get a toned body? 

While gym hacks and training tips can be helpful when it comes to getting fit, there are plenty of reasons to exercise that don’t revolve around weight loss or physical appearance! 

From regulating mental health and improving concentration to boosting your social life and sleeping better, there’s so many reasons to find your new favourite way to exercise, especially as a busy student.  

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of exercise you may not have known about. 

Improved mental health 

We all know that exercising improves our physical health, but it’s also a way to improve your mental health. Exercising not only boosts your mood temporarily but, is linked to long-term happiness.  

While exercising, the body increases the amount of dopamine and serotonin released into the brain. These chemicals boost our mood and make us feel happier.  

So, next time you’re feeling a bit down, get your body moving - consider a walk, run, trip to the gym, or some quick laps in a pool. It might be hard to push through the initial lack of motivation, but you’ll feel happier in no time. 

Making friends 

Whether you’re playing a team sport or pumping iron with friends at the gym, there are plenty of reasons why it’s easy to make friends through exercise.  

There is nothing like bonding over a particularly hard fitness class or heading out for a coffee after Pilates on a Saturday morning! 

Meanwhile, team sports create a sense of shared competition. Working together to score goals and beat the opposition brings people together and is great motivation to keep pushing yourself. 

As a nib member, you can access exclusive discounts on select yoga, Pilates, and fitness classes. This is a wonderful way to try a few exercise options until you find the right one for you and your friends, all while maintaining your student budget. Use the nib App to check what is available! 

Sleeping better 

Once you have tired yourself out with all that vigorous exercise, it is time to rest and repair your muscles. As you sleep, your muscles take the time to recover, ensuring you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready for another day. And it is not just sleep that helps you to exercise - it works the other way around too! 

While one strenuous hike or swim may make you physically tired and ready for a rest, having a regular exercise regime is more likely to improve your sleep over the long term. Plus, getting enough sleep is important to help you improve your memory skills, which are critical as a student.  

Speaking of which, exercise also helps with… 

Improved focus and concentration 

Have you ever felt focused and ready to take on the world after a good workout? There’s a reason for that! Endorphins released during exercise can improve our concentration as well as our mood.  

Working out in the morning might be the perfect antidote to that afternoon fatigue, perking you up and allowing you to pay closer attention to your tasks throughout the day. These benefits are especially useful during revision periods or before exams, so consider scheduling regular exercise time into your study timetable.  

Improved energy 

You might think that exercising regularly would make you more tired. Well, we’re pleased to tell you that the opposite is true! Research has shown that there is a link between physical activity and improved energy. 

The best thing about this? Doing a bit more exercise might just make it easier to, well, exercise! 

Alleviating anxiety 

A recent study by the University of South Australia found that exercise is highly beneficial for improving symptoms of depression and anxiety. You don’t have to do super high intensity exercise every day. Only 150 minutes of moderate activity per week is recommended to maintain your general health. 

Certain types of exercise also give you the chance to be mindful. Yoga promotes a strong connection between the body and the mind, reducing stress and increasing wellbeing. 

Exercise can be hard - but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it. Next time you can’t find the motivation to get to the gym, think about how well rested and focused you’ll be afterwards!  

There are so many reasons to exercise, and having a regular routine can help you to live a long, happy life.