Looking after your physical and mental wellbeing whilst living in the ‘campus bubble’ during lockdown: (Part 2)
Now that we are deep into the exam season, I hope that everyone is coping well with their final assessments. In my previous post, I discussed outdoor activities that have uplifted my mood and enhanced my physical wellbeing during this lockdown period. Hopefully, you have had a chance to check out the nature parks on campus as well as the beautiful walkways within the Warwickshire area. As promised here is part 2 with more ideas that have helped me throughout this academic year.
Using the on-campus bikes (Next bikes)
Whilst I am usually hesitant to ride my bike in public spaces where I am likely to encounter populated crowds and hoards of traffic, one unanticipated benefit of lockdown is that campus has been quite empty throughout most of the academic year. Many students either returned home during national lockdowns or are international students who did not return to campus due to border restrictions.
For me, this meant that I could more confidently ride my bike around campus without the fear that I would crash into an unsuspecting throng of freshers or find my way into oncoming traffic lol. This may seem like catastrophic thinking and I assure you that I have never heard of a case of this occurring with students who rent the on-campus bikes but I personally feel more free and relaxed when riding around a relatively sparse campus. I have been able to visit some of my favourite spots on campus such as the bridges and ponds in Lakeside campus and the lovely nature parks near Bluebell accommodation more regularly and with ease.
When I do not have a large amount of time to do my daily walks which I mentioned in my last post, I feel assured in knowing that I can rent a ‘nextbike’ for 30 minutes (on-campus bikes cost £1 per 30 minute session through the next bike app) and still fit in a healthy dose of daily exercise whilst exploring campus.
Using the outdoor gym
To be honest, I did not realise that Warwick had an outdoor gym during my early time at uni lol. Of course, Warwick has their state of the art gym within the new sports centre which I would highly recommend for students to check out now that restrictions have been eased but conveniently having an outdoor gym has been equally as fun to use during this time. In the outdoor gym, you can use the mini-trampoline whilst surrounded by the comforting warmth of the sun and a light seasonal breeze. Or you can indulge in your inner playfulness on the swings in the evening after hours of being cooped up in the library (this was something that I often looked forward to). Furthermore, the outdoor gym has a mini basketball court and other exercise equipment to choose from. Fortunately, I have found that the outdoor gym is typically less crowded compared to the indoor gym (even before lockdown) so you are unlikely to struggle to find an activity to partake in or equipment to use.
The main outdoor gym that I use is located next to Claycroft accommodation (where I am currently living this year). It sits next to a wide field for those who also like to play football with friends outdoors. This is also a great place to meet new people as a fresher given the nearby accommodation blocks. You will encounter students of all backgrounds here throughout the day.
Evidently, although lockdown may have initially appeared to restrict the opportunities for fun and creative physical activities, there are many alternative spaces and resources both on and off-campus that are easily accessible for students seeking to improve their fitness and their mental health.