shoes getting tied in park on a bench

Exercising at university on a budget

In the midst of Semester B woes, we are all struggling with our money and the pressures of upcoming deadlines, exams and overall stress are getting out of hand. Something I tend to do, and I’m sure others are guilty of it too, is to resort to overwhelming situations with comfort food. It’s something that makes me feel slightly better in the short term, but a WHOLE lot worse in the long run.

The one major struggle we have, as students conscious of health and fitness, is trying to lead an active lifestyle at university alongside our courses. Therefore,  I’ve compiled a few things I do, cost-free, that help me stay healthier and fitter from the comfort of my accommodation.

My first extremely simple tip would be to WALK EVERYWHERE. One of the many wonders of Lincoln is that the communal factor is a huge benefit; all of our necessities are within walking distance so avoid hopping on public transport or driving your car less than a mile.

You will ultimately be saving petrol money and staying active, it’s a WIN-WIN. Statistics have also shown that walking is one of the best forms of exercise for us; since moving to Lincoln, I walk absolutely everywhere and have not used a single mode of transport once (apart from getting the train to my hometown).

You will end up saving a lot of money and staying active, without the strenuous task of ‘working out’ if you don’t like to break a sweat.

Additionally, I’d highly recommend downloading free apps if you have an Android, iPhone or anything with an app store. There are a variety of apps that help you keep track of your daily activity, as well as diet planning and workouts.

My favourite fitness app would have to be ‘Couch to 5k’ – this helps fitness newbies progress from a low level of activity and stamina to a reaching an incredible 5k run by the end of the programme. This is more than easy to fit into your schedule, as the runs last between 20-30 minutes. Personally, I find going out for an evening jog a wonderful way to relieve built-up stress and return to my work or bed with a fresh mindset.

My flatmates and I also tend to do evening workouts by simply typing ‘home workouts for beginners’ on YouTube – there are so many fitness vloggers out there that will help to motivate you and keep you in shape, without having to pay £20+ a month! ‘Blogilates’ is great for toning workouts; she also creates exercise routines with a variety of time frames to flexibly suit your lifestyle (i.e. 5-minute belly blast’).

It’s quite easy to fall into this crazy fitness trap once your workouts and exercises are embedded into your routine – just remember that your studies are more important and although your health is crucial, do NOT become obsessed with your weight/health.

It can become fairly damaging to shame our bodies so take it easy. It’s also great to compliment someone if you see them working hard to achieve their goals; the next time you see a jogger take a break, stop them and congratulate them for their dedication!