"Physical exercise may be benefiting more than just your body," says Marcelo Goldmann. Pic: Fitsum Admasu on Unsplash.com.

Hi, 5 reasons why exercising is good for your student life

For many people, exercise is an intrinsic part of their lives. But if you are like the author, then you have found exercise to be little more than a chore at some point or another. While it is true that exercise takes time that could be used for other hobbies, there are many legitimately good reasons why exercising frequently is not only good for your long-term quality of life, but also for your student life. Hopefully these next 5 reasons will motivate you to go to the gym, go jogging, or do some sports.

In English  | 

Text Marcelo Goldmann

It makes you feel good during the dark months

Kaamos or Polar Night is the period of darkness when the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon. In the very north of Finland, such as the city of Nuorgam, this occurs for about two months between December and January. As you go further south, this decreases to just 4 days in Sodankylä. In Oulu, you will not experience true kaamos, but you can expect daylight as short as 3 and a half hours around December. This can affect people’s minds negatively, increasing feelings of sadness or anxiety. One way to combat this is through exercise. It is known that exercise increases the release of “feel-good” chemicals in your body (such as endorphins), while at the same time decreases the release of stress chemicals (such as cortisol).

It improves your self-esteem

It is no secret that exercise can improve our outward appearance. However, looks aren’t everything. Although self-esteem has an undeniable visual component, the author believes that a more important component is our overall physical strength. No matter which exercise you choose, your strength and stamina will increase through repeated training. This progress will undoubtedly make you feel like you’re turning into a better version of yourself. It is important that you don’t compare yourself to others in this matter. We all progress at different rates, and sometimes the progress can be slow. But the progress is real and will improve your self-image, not only outwardly, but also inwardly. 

It may help you with your grades

Physical exercise may be benefiting more than just your body. Our brains and bodies are not isolated machines, they communicate with each other and relate to each other. Studies have shown that students that participated in fitness activities achieved higher grades that those who didn’t. This doesn’t mean that you can slack off on studying. However, exercise can reduce your stress and increase your focus, which will surely help you study better. Additionally, exercise can lead to better sleep. As a consequence your studying will be more effective, as good sleep is linked to better retention of information in your memory.

It promotes better social interactions

University is not only about studying. Making good and meaningful connections are a significant part of a healthy university life. Additionally, the networks you create become more valuable when you enter your professional life, as they can provide support and advice. One way to strengthen friendships and relationships is by participating in training or sports together. By training with a partner, not only will you be sources of motivation for each other, but also have the chance to bond. Research suggests that team sports can lead to better interactions by the social nature of the activity, while individual training can also improve sociability as a consequence of improved mental health.

It strengthens your immune system

Nobody likes being sick. In the best case scenario, it’s a week of pain and misery. In worse scenarios you end up staying home and missing out on lectures and social events. However, besides dressing warm and having good hygiene, exercise can help you fend off those pesky colds and flus. When you include moderate exercise in your regular routine, your immune system is stronger. Some other reasons may be the increase in body temperature which fights bacteria, the flushing out of bacteria from the lungs and airways, and the decrease in stress hormones. However, if you’re already fighting a cold, perhaps it’s better to first deal with that before starting or continuing your training routine.

 

Read more: Hi, 5 winter sports to try in Oulu

Published 4.12.2019

Marcelo Goldmann

A Doctor of Chemical Engineering from the University of Oulu. "Life is like a rubber duckie, you gotta keep it afloat to see its splendor." Instagram: @marcelogman

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