Why YOU should start a sport in the New Year

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Sports is often a pastime that many University students undertake throughout their three years of study. Although many people do sports for the passion of it, there are multiple health benefits. 

 

Aside from the physical health benefits of becoming fitter and physically healthier, there are also multiple mental health benefits which could be a reason for you to join a team in January. It has been scientifically proven that regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD and more. Not only this, it can relieve stress, improve memory, help you sleep better and boost your overall mood, which are perfect to help university students. 

Studies have shown that exercise can be just as effective as antidepressant medication for mild to moderate depression, without the side effects. A study undertaken at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health discovered that a fifteen-minute run a day, or an hour walk, can reduce the risk of major depression by 26%. Along with this research, it has shown that maintaining an exercise schedule can prevent someone from relapsing. Exercise is this effective for several reasons: it promotes changes in the brain such as neural growth, and reduced inflammation; it also releases endorphins, which are chemicals in your brain that make your overall mood improve.

As stress affects your body in multiple ways such as tensing muscles and causing insomnia and stomach aches, it can lead to worry and discomfort, therefore creating more stress and a cycle between your mind and body. Exercising can break this cycle. As well as releasing endorphins in the brain, physical activity can relax the muscles and relieve tension in the body. As the body and mind are closely linked, when your body feels better, so will your mind.

Exercise can also improve memory and thinking; the same endorphins that boost your moral also help people concentrate and feel mentally sharp for tasks. It also stimulates the growth of new brain cells and helps prevent age-related decline. 

Having these multiple health benefits are just the reason why you should join a sports team in the New Year, anything from Brazilian jiu jitsu to netball it is always worth a try. 

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