Before I came to university, I trained with my swimming club five days a week, and that was simply part of my routine. It was easy to motivate myself to go because I’d been doing it for years and I knew the club really well. When I came to university, I joined the swimming team, but something wasn’t quite the same. They only trained once a week, and it was a lot of money to pay just for weekly training sessions. So I stopped going after a while. I did do dodgeball and ultimate frisbee until Christmas, but then my workload started to build up, so I stopped going to those too.
I have been able to keep relatively fit although I am technically not part of sports teams at my university. Winchester is full of hills, and it takes me about 20-25 minutes to walk to university from my house, so I get about an hour’s worth of exercise just from walking to and from university- that’s unless I come home, then come back to campus again later on. I also try not to eat too unhealthily, which is quite hard when you are completely in charge of your own money, but I just make sure that I keep to my budget, and if I’m doing a weekly shop and I’ve got too much stuff, I will put the packet of Jaffa Cakes back on the shelf. It’s a hard struggle, but it has to be done!
The point of this post is to let you know that it is possible to keep healthy at university, so I’m going to try and give you some tips on how to do so.
- Bring a bike! If you can cycle to and from campus, that a) shortens your journey because you’ll be cycling and b) you’ll be working different muscles. If you’re living in halls, then you can cycle around the area- why not cycle to the shops?
- You don’t have to pay loads to keep fit! If you’re like me, and don’t want to commit to a gym membership, then just go when you can, and pay for the sessions you go to. I have started going swimming once a week with my friend, and the place we go to have student discounts, so we pay less than £2 for a swim.
- Bring a buddy! Doing exercise is so much more fun with someone else to motivate you. Just make sure you spend most of your time actually doing exercise rather than gossiping! I went to a gym class last year with my flat mates as well, which was really fun to do together, and then afterwards we would all go and get food together, so it’s also a really good social activity.
- Do you really need that unhealthy snack? Unhealthy snacks tend to be kind of expensive anyway. To keep healthy and save money, question whether you really need something, or if you’re just getting it because you want to. Instead of getting a bar of chocolate, buy a packet of apples instead! Once you get into the habit of buying fruit instead of chocolate it’ll become much easier. Speaking of, I need to go and buy some fruit…
- Make your own lunch! It sounds really simple, but trust me. If you make your own lunch rather than buying food on campus, you’ll a) be less tempted to spend money and b) you’ll know what’s in your lunch box. Being a student, you won’t want to waste food, so making your own lunch will mean you will use up your bread or your marmite or your fruit or whatever you choose so there’ll be less leftovers!
So those are just a few points from me on how I try and keep healthy at university! It is hard, trust me. Especially when you realise how expensive sports are when you are committed to them! But there are ways around it. You just need to know where to look!