Don’t panic, quick ways to stay fit at university

Heading back to university after Christmas break? feeling slow and sluggish? Can’t get back into the routine of things? New year new you? Here are out top tips to get back to Uni life and getting your fitness back.

Firstly, lets take the pressure off. Sit down with a cuppa and start to write a list of things you want to accomplish in 2023. Bit like a new years resolutions but using the SMART method.

What’s SMART?

SMART is an acronym and stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound. This means targets should be specific to your scenario. Measurable to know when you’ve met it. Achievable with the resources you have. Realistic to what you can do (as great as it would be you shouldn’t set yourself a target to become as fast as Usain Bolt or as strong as the Hulk!) Lastly time-bound which helps you keep focused on the task at hand.

An example of a target that follows the SMART principle could be “I want to lose 10kg in 6months”. This target is specific, can be measured and is also achievable, realistic and time-bound. From this target you can then start your plan of action and get to work in achieving and smashing your goals.

So, what can help?

Joining your university sports club is not only a great way to keep fit, but also a great way to meet friends and be part of a larger community. On average a sports team will train twice a week and have a game day. So that’s exercising three times a week plus the benefit of having fun with new friends.


DIET – scary word but not as restricting as it sounds.

Additionally, a healthy diet plays a big part and is often forgotten about but it is equally as important as exercise. With diet its all about balance: there is nothing wrong in having a few takeaways or late night kebabs every so often, just keep it healthy in other ways.

Three meals a day is the way to plan – “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince dinner like a pauper”. So make your first meal of the day your largest to keep you going through the day. Ensuring you have a healthy breakfast is also greatly beneficial and cost-effective. Start your day with foods such as yoghurts, bananas, porridge and eggs is not only good for your health, but also not too hefty on your bank balance.

Upping your fruit and veg consumption will improve your physical health and has also been linked to improving mental health too. You can get lots of recipes for healthy meals online, through social media groups and the local libraries.

Where to look for help?

Take a look at things you can do for free to keep fit. Google is great a tool to find things to do.

Check out if you have any local Park runs in your area. This is a group that arrange 5K runs around the local park. Just sign up and join in and is FREE.

Look in your local park for the free gym equipment, these are very handy if you cant afford the gym membership or have a gym phobia.

Youtube can provide workout videos for those rainy days. You can watch and follow along within the comforts of your own home.

Along with all of the above, take full advantage of the free trials that workout apps offer you, just remember to cancel before it renews.

Here are some we have found:

Nike Training App This app features beginner, intermediate, and advanced workouts ranging in time from 15 – 45 minutes. There are lots of free workouts and many features well-known athletes and celebrities.

Down Dog has yoga practices that flow like a real class. With the free version, you can access the beginning, intermediate, advanced, and restorative sequences. Classes vary from 15 to 90 minutes. Also

My Fitness Pal is great for logging your food and weight so you can actively see what your doing can work.

Finally, remember to be realistic.

Make sure you’re working out around your studies and you’re not burning out. You do not need to work out every day. Your work outs don’t need to be the same length either, often shorter but more intense workouts can see the same results as hours in the gym. Make sure you don’t over excerpt yourself. Your mental health and studies are just as important so, make sure you have the balance.

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