Mental Health Benefits Of Exercise

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Most of us are familiar with the physical benefits of exercise: increased energy, strength and improved physical fitness, just to name a few. But exercise can also improve mental health, and potentially even alleviate or prevent low moods. 

How can exercise boost my mood? 

Scientists think physical activity helps maintain and improve wellbeing in a variety of ways: 

  • Boosts production of ‘feel’ good chemicals in your brain 

  • Distracts your mind from anxious thoughts 

  • Helps regulate your sleep patterns 

  • Increases your energy levels 

  • Promotes a greater sense of self-worth 

  • Improves memory and concentration 

Getting more active each day– even a small change – can boost your morale, giving you a sense of achievement and helping you feel better in yourself. 

How can I get more active? 

Starting off might feel a bit overwhelming but whatever your fitness level there are steps you can take to make exercise less intimidating and more fun and instinctive. It’s important to choose an activity you enjoy that fits easily into your lifestyle. 

Exercising doesn’t need to be costly, there’s nothing better than exploring the great outdoors (weather permitting!) You don’t have to go far to find yourself amongst nature. If the Welsh weather is off-putting or you don't fancy going to an exercise class, USW Sport have a number of activities you can practise from the comfort of your home: 

Or you can try some of these online alternatives: Yoga Wake UpQineticFreeletics BodyweightSworkit

No matter what activity you choose, or what intensity you exercise at, every little bit can be beneficial to help improve your mental and physical health. 

What’s available near me? 


FitZone offers a range of activities, from Zumba to Fighting Fit. All inclusive, gym only and pay as you go memberships are available at student rates. 

The Sport Park has a range of facilities for hire - whether you’re an official sports team or simply a group of friends wanting to get fit together.  


For students wanting to keep fit and healthy locally, Pure Gym and The Gym offer reduced student membership deals. 


Newport Centre is directly opposite the Newport Campus and offers student membership (valid with a TOTUM card). Members also have access to all other Newport Live facilities. 

Stay committed! 

Making an exercise habit stick can be challenging – try scheduling regular exercise into your calendar just like any other commitment. When assignments start flooding in, it can be hard to prioritise exercise; staying active will help keep your stress levels at bay and ensure you do your best. 

#Wellbeing #unilife