Keeping fit at Uni
Exercise is important both for your physical and mental health. According to the NHS, students should do: “some type of physical activity everyday”, “strengthening activities that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms) on at least 2 days a week” and “at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity a week”.
But how do we fit all of that in around our studies?
If you currently do quite a lot of exercise, keeping fit at Uni may not be much of a problem for you. But if you’re anything like I was before I started Uni, the suggestions above may seem very difficult to reach.
The first thing I will say is: don’t get stressed about it.
Doing some type of physical activity everyday is quite easy. If you have something on Uni, going to Uni and walking around will count! If you don’t have anything you need to do, just get up and go for a brief walk around your accommodation or outside and you’ve achieved something!
Strengthening activities could include a variety of activities including carrying heavy shopping bags (yes, this counts as exercise according to the NHS webpage). Taking part in a yoga or pilates session also counts or you could do a more “literal” activity of lifting weights or working with resistance bands.
Aerobic activity requires a bit more space. The easiest and cheapest way of getting this activity is going for a brisk walk or run. If you want to start running but currently don’t, I’d recommend using the NHS couch to 5k scheme as it’s a supportive program to take you from walking to being able to run for 30 minutes. I think there are also groups run by Warwick Sport who do the couch to 5k which you might want to look into joining. If running isn’t for you, you could look into getting a bike a cycling, or perhaps do a zumba or dance lesson (either in a community space/gym or in the comfort of your own living room).
The great thing about Uni though, is that you are not alone. If you find it difficult to motivate yourself to do some of the previously mentioned activities, think about joining a sports club or asking some friends to exercise with you.
There’s a wide variety of sports clubs that you can join and whilst it’s a great opportunity to exercise with others, it can also be lots of fun and can be a chance to try a sport that is completely new to you.
Don’t be afraid to try a sport you’ve never heard of before; you never know, you might find a new passion!