How Working Out Makes Students Smarter By Improving Memory And Thinking Skills


Physical exercise has an answer for students during the academic term seeking to improve their mental abilities, achieve better grades and perform successfully at the mid-term and final exams. Research shows that exercise has benefits extending beyond stronger muscles and better physical fitness – it can help enhance intellectual capabilities.

It’s more than a feeling, it’s real

Notice how your mind gets clearer after a good workout? It is not all in your head. Exercise actually improves your thinking; and the ability to remember things. The exact manner in which this takes place is not entirely clear, but scientists are making some headway.

Exercise improves brain health directly and indirectly

Research has helped explain how profoundly exercise can impact mental health, directly and indirectly. Directly, exercise does things like reducing insulin resistance, inflammation, and stimulating the generation of brain chemicals that promote the growth of new blood vessels in the brain.

Physical exercises also improve survival of brain cells. Indirectly, exercise improves students’ brain function by giving them a better mood and reduced anxiety. In, you can find out more about a wide range of physical exercises you can perform any time of your day both outdoors and indoors.

Why exercise improves mental performance?


The fact that exercise results in increased blood flow are one of the reasons the brain performs better after physical exercise. With the increased amount of blood, the brain also gets more oxygen and energy; the resources it needs to perform better.

Otherwise, exercise boosts a student’s mental performance by improving the focus and mental attitude and lowering anxiety during their studies. The new flow of chemicals also makes it easier to control your impulse and set priorities. Additionally, workouts improve attention, verbal reasoning, planning, and working memory.

Benefits observed in both old and young

The studies on the impact of physical fitness on brain health and performance have been performed on both elderly and young. For obvious reasons, more studies have focused on the elderly, who face a myriad of mental issues including dementia and reduced cognition.

In both cases, there was a marked improvement in thinking and memory skills after exercise; leading to the conclusion that exercise is an effective and easily accessible mental health therapy. This explains why students have plenty to gain from doing exercises that have been linked to better mental performance and better study skills.

The effects mostly linked to the hippocampus

Not all the parts of the brain were affected by the increased blood flow brought about by physical exercise. In particular, the hippocampus got the increased blood flow. So, the improved blood flow; and the associated benefits of this physiological change, were localized to some areas of the brain.

The hippocampus is the part of the brain that is linked to learning and verbal memory. This area of the brain experiences an increase in size after a workout. In turn, this brings about better cognition and improved ability for students to remember things and be able to write better at the exams.

Some workouts more effective at improving brain function


A few other interesting things were noticed during these studies as well. For instance, some exercises were more effective at promoting improved brain function than others.

Cardiovascular workouts were discovered to have the greatest impact on increased brain power in comparison to other forms of workout. These kinds of exercises were directly linked to better learning and memory skills for students. Basically, giving your heart a workout also gives your brain a workout. Additionally, you can even fight and reduce your stress now with cardio exercise which will also boost your brain power and memory skills in your Degree studies.

Yoga workouts and a selection of other simple exercises have been discovered to offer many of the discovered brain and memory performance benefits. But generally speaking, moderate workouts can start to produce results in just six months.

Other physical fitness benefits worth pursuing as well

Even when being smarter is not the end goal, working out has lots of benefits for a student. For instance, it leads to reduced stress levels, which, coincidentally, also improves mental performance; albeit indirectly.

What can you do with this information?


The best way for a student to work out during his/her university semesters is to find an activity that he/she truly loves. The rewards will not just be physical in such a scenario, but experiential as well, which will make exercise an easier part of your regular routine. Furthermore, regular physical exercise will help you to manage your anxiety as a student and make sure that you feel calm in your head and body.

But even as you find a physical activity that will take your thinking and memory levels to the next level, you should avoid workouts that might not offer brain performance benefits. For instance, resistance workouts and muscle toning workouts do not result in improved cognition like the cardiovascular workouts did.

In Summary

In today’s world, students will often find the need to give themselves an intellectual edge to stand out. And who can blame them? Many students are going to great lengths to enhance their mental prowess, increase their performance during the academic year and of course, write exceptionally well at the final exams. Thanks to research, exercising is now one of the ways you can give your thinking and memory skills a boost.

So, exercise is not just a way to lose excess weight and lower the odds of facing chronic health issues, it is also a means to make yourself smarter.




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