Nouse’s Guide to Navigating Exercise at University


Nadia Sayed (she/her) gives her top tips for how to keep healthy as a Fresher.

Article Image

Image by Lilly Turley

By Nadia Sayed

Dragging yourself out of bed and away from the Netflix show you’re currently binge-watching can be difficult, especially when you are a burnt-out university student. Having to juggle more social interaction than you have time for (not to mention a lack of energy for) along with upcoming deadlines, fitness is probably the last thing on your to-do list. But it shouldn’t be. We all know the benefits of eating well and moving our bodies, and both of these things should remain on your priority list - especially when you’re a student. Now, I’m not saying you should immediately start running marathons (but of course, go for it if that’s something you want to do). What I am saying is that exercising for an hour a day can do wonders for your mind and body. So, here are some of my recommendations for activities you can do in York to keep fit as a Fresher.

Exercise doesn’t have to be extreme for you to start reaping the benefits. In fact, walking is a great way to move your body and get some fresh air, and what better place to walk than in York? York has so many beautiful places to walk along, such as: The walls along the riverside, Museum Gardens, from West to East campus. Your walk could even be a good chance to socialise, so why not invite some friends along with you or join in a group walk? For example, Ramblers is a walking charity which organises group walks and allows you to pick your location and route. Alternatively, if solo walks areyour thing then downloading a podcast or add-ing your favourite tunes to a Spotify playlistcould make your walks even more enjoyable. The University has numerous sports clubs which you can get involved with, again allowing you to enjoy sports in a social way as well as moving your body. Joining a sports society is a fantastic way to make new friends and meet like-minded people. Within your college, you’ll be able to get involved with college sports (we even have a competition against the colleges at Durham University). You can get involved with college sports no matter your level of experience, so it’s the perfect way to try something new. York has many sports clubs on offer, such as: dance, lacrosse, football, rugby and cheerleading.

For those who are interested in competing, joining a sports club means you get the chance to play in one of the largest inter-university sporting events, Roses, which has an atmosphere too incredible to miss! Alternatively, joining a gym is a great way to keep fit as a student, and the fact you have to pay will hopefully boost your motivation to keep going.

Here are a few gyms in York, some of which I have tried and recommended, with their monthly cost for students.
On-Campus Gyms: York Sport Village on Campus East £35, and York Sports Centre on Campus West £26
Off-campus Gyms include: Pure Gym: £16.99; The Gym Group: £24.99 Ultra Flex: From £36.70

As a student, it is easy to fall into poor eating habits. I am guilty of excessive snacking during essay and exam seasons, but I definitely never feel energised afterwards.

Eating well doesn’t have to be boring. Cooking meals from scratch means you know exactly what is going into your meal. My favourite things to cook at university include: stirfry, salads, pasta dishes and rice and lentils

If your budget allows you to, I definitely recommend getting an air fryer to use at university. For those of you who don’t know what one of these is (and you’re missing out if you don’t), they cook your food so that it tastes and looks like fried food does, but without actually frying anything. It makes your food crispy and is way quicker than using a uni oven.

Meal prepping is also effective in ensuring you eat well at university. Making dinners in batches will not only save you from having to cook every night, but it also helps deter you from ordering takeaways every night.

Buying frozen fruit and vegetables is also a great way to make your ingredients last longer, and as they are ready to use, they will save you from having to chop all your ingredients up or keep buying them fresh.

It’s important that you don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Remember, your health is a valuable thing and looking after it will make your time at university all the more enjoyable.