Capetown Student Accomodation

Get Fitter, Get Smarter, Get Better Grades

Exercise is something that everyone can benefit from. That fact has been drummed into us for years – and they’re not wrong.

But did you know that exercising can help you get smarter? It’s true!

Let’s see how and why, and who being fit can help you get better grades.

Exercise Improves Learning

There are three main ways that exercising can improve your learning and help you get better grades.

  1. According to WebMd, exercising helps you to pay attention and motivate you. They say in their article, “When you exercise, your brain releases chemicals called neurotransmitters, including dopamine, which help with attention and clear thinking. The stimulant medicines that are often used to treat adult ADHD work by increasing the availability of dopamine in the brain. So it makes sense that a workout can have many of the same effects as stimulant drugs.”
  2. Second, it aids in helping you retain information more easily. How? Ons study showed that regular aerobic exercise, over time, increases the size of your hippocampus which is the part of the brain that deals with memory and learning.
  3. And third, it encourages the development of new cells which helps with repair damage in the brain. An article on this topic in Scientific American says, “Exercise also promotes brain plasticity by stimulating growth of new connections between cells in many important cortical areas of the brain. Research from UCLA even demonstrated that exercise increased growth factors in the brain which makes it easier for the brain to grow new neuronal connections.”

Mental Health Issues in Varsity

It’s no secret that many students may struggle with mental health issues throughout their student life, whether it’s a panic disorder or just the stress of your latest assignment. While these issues may or may not affect our ability to learn, they can certainly affect our motivation. Here’s a few examples:


In the United States in 2020 to 2021, around 41% of students showed varying levels of depression. The Mayo Clinic comments on this, saying “Research on depression and anxiety shows that exercise and other physical activity can help improve mood, reduce anxiety and improve other health problems.”


Everyone has gotten anxious at some point in their lives. But being anxious when there’s no reason to be is an anxiety disorder and it tends to interfere with your everyday life.  Exercise helps you to combat the symptoms of anxiety. It reduces muscle tension in the brain, which helps you come up with less anxiety-inducing solutions to your problems.


Stress can be caused by a number of things, whether it’s from home, family, university, or elsewhere. It could be from trying to finish projects on time, pressure from others or just the sheer amount of work that needs to be completed. Exercising helps with the emotional as well as the physical side of stress, and aids in preventing and even reversing the effects that stress can have on us.

So whether you struggle with retaining information or the stress has gotten to you, exercising can be of great benefit for everyone. To get better grades and get smarter – it pays to get fitter.