“Movement is a fundamental element of being human. In today’s society, however, we live in a constant lack of movement, ”says Prof. Schneider. Jobs are often only done while sitting, we hardly have to strain ourselves to eat, and we no longer have to leave the house to talk to others. The expert: “Sport is, so to speak, the artificial substitute for this lack of exercise.” And it not only helps to keep the body healthy: the body, psyche and social life all benefit from regular physical activity!

3 effects that sport has on the psyche

  • In the short term: Sport is a stress killer. Prof. Schneider: “For evolutionary reasons, the stress hormones are essential for survival. They release forces that enable us to fight, hunt – or run away as the hunted. Nowadays it is of course not a solution to hand out a colleague or run away when something is stressing us. So this sewerage through movement is missing. But if we do a strenuous workout, then we reduce stress in a very effective and socially acceptable way. “
  • In the medium term: sleep gets better, thinking skills benefit. “Sport makes you tired. Those who are tired sleep better and thus have better cognitive performance the next day. “
  • Long-term: We remain flexible, capable of learning and adapting. “We know that sport leads to neurogenesis and synaptogenesis in the long term, that is, to the formation of new nerve cells and interconnections of nerve cells.”

And social life is also linked to exercise: on the one hand we like to do sports with our fellow human beings, on the other hand interpersonal skills are strengthened by moving together – #nice, right?

How can exercise help you?


Problem 1: Insecurity, little self-confidence, fear of conflict

🤼‍♂️ Solution: (kick) boxing, fitboxing, Krav Maga, martial arts etc.

▶ ︎ Explanation: It was no coincidence that during school days it was always the sports cannons who were bursting with self-confidence: “Climbing trees, playing football and playing catch – we test ourselves physically in childhood, and that gives us confidence in our own body and in ourselves. ”We notice what the body can do, we get to know disciplines in which we are really good – that wipes away uncertainties and affects all areas of life.

“So it is elementary that children try out many different sports, and calmly notice what it is like to fall down and get up again. Practice creates masters. These are physical experiences that also help in further life. Fight, don’t always give up immediately and sometimes fall on your face, in the proverbial sense, but then have the strength and courage to carry on. “

Even in adulthood, exercise can give self-confidence: “Sports such as martial arts, self-defense, etc. should be mentioned here in particular. Even the body language you learn while boxing, for example, signals self-confidence, ”says the sports expert. This feeling then carries over to other conflicts in private or at work. 

Problem 2: Lack of creativity, difficulty in making decisions

🚵‍♀️ Solution: A demanding workout, e.g. cycling in difficult terrain, yoga in challenging poses or jogging, swimming, or the like. at full throttle.

▶ ︎ Explanation: Taking a break from difficult cognitive activities is always good for the brain. If you do sport during a break like this, it has an even more blatant effect: “For movements, completely different brain areas are activated than for pure mental work. So computing power is taken from the frontal cortex (which is mainly responsible for thinking) and sent to the motor cortex (which controls movements). Incidentally, this can be proven electrophysiologically and happens in this way at any age. In this way, the frontal cortex can first regenerate and after this break it is more receptive to logical operations and flashes of inspiration. And the more intense the movement, the stronger the phenomenon! ”Explains Prof. Schneider.

Problem 3: Teamwork is difficult, problems of trust among colleagues

🧗‍♂️Solution: tackle sporting challenges with colleagues: hiking, running, etc.

▶ ︎ Explanation: “Trust in fellow human beings is also created at a young age. Team sports are particularly important for children and their team skills. But even in adulthood, among colleagues, for example, sport can make a difference. And that by simply mastering a sporting challenge with your team: climbing a mountain as a team or taking part in a city run. Once you’ve sweated and suffered together, then suddenly there is a completely different relationship of trust, ”the expert knows. That leads to seeing colleagues in a completely different light, and it will almost certainly have an effect on the work together.

Problem 4: Frustration or anger that you can’t let go of

🏃‍♂️ Solution: Do sports, preferably intensively.

▶ ︎ Explanation: Even angry and frustrated thoughts take a back seat when doing sports. Spirals of thought are broken, negative emotions are weakened. “In addition, the physical ‘pain’ that we feel during exertion re-engages us, making problems or sources of frustration appear in a completely different light,” says the neuroscientist.

And after the sport unit, a feeling of happiness automatically sets in when the physical pain of the exertion subsides and you know that you have achieved something – no more room for negative emotions! And when we are in a better mood, we automatically appear friendlier, so exercise can even make us nicer people!


Problem 5: Lack of motivation and drive

🤾‍♀️ Solution: Do sports – preferably in company!

▶ ︎ Explanation: Movement is always a help for listlessness and sadness. “At the same time, it is of course particularly difficult in this case to arouse the motivation for the sport itself,” the neuroscientist classifies the problem. The recommendation: have the will and immediately make an appointment with someone you trust or, ideally, with a group to do sports. “Once you know that others are waiting for you, it is more difficult to cancel.” And finally, all other positive effects occur in sport: brooding takes a back seat, happiness hormones flood the body, you feel connected to your sport colleagues.

Even if you notice that people in your immediate environment – possibly in or after a difficult phase – have problems motivating themselves: actively approach them, arrange sports dates. This helps you to help the other and yourself alike.


Getting involved in sport on a regular basis therefore has enormously positive effects in many ways. Every single training session (provided you don’t overdo it, of course) is good for us! “And sport is THE retirement provision par excellence. Quite apart from the many good effects on physical health, sport keeps us flexible, enables long independence, adaptability and many contacts into old age! “