Staying fit and active in Leeds
I personally wish I could outsource my exercise but the thought of getting strong enough to pummel my younger brother (yes, he’s freakishly strong) into submission keeps me going. Although life at university is rather hectic, there are ways you can keep fit without your wallet taking a hit.
Second year Aishwarya tells us more.
Your daily 60
With all the uphill paths in Leeds, it’s difficult to not develop glutes comparable to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s. If you’re not a fan of walking then you can rent cycles at the Bike Hub (located between EC Stoner and Roger Stevens) for a week or even the entire academic year. They also provide bike maintenance, cycle training, safety advice and route information. The most common option is the 3-month bike loan which costs £22 and a £100 deposit.
Try getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity in a day. It could be walking/biking to uni, mini-workouts, hikes or chasing after your dog who keeps trying to run away. Additionally, walking back with your weekly supply of groceries counts as weight training.
If you live in a university accommodation then you’re in for a nice little surprise. You get a free gym membership at The Edge for the duration of your contract. It’s also handy as it is on campus and easy to go before or after studying.
If you live elsewhere, no need to fret, you can easily avail loads of gym memberships for cheap with your student discount. Most gyms even offer free one day or one-week trials which I urge you to use and see which gym you want to hand over your money to. Some popular gyms near university are PureGym (£10 for the first month and then £20/month), The Gym (£15/month without any joining fees) and JD (£10 for the first month and then 20/month).
If you’re not a fan of the outside world then why not just workout in your room? There are a ton of fitness videos online you could follow and who knows, maybe you might end up a fitness vlogger yourself. The Edge also offers a series of live classes and workout videos on their website. These include workout videos, Pilates, yoga, exercise forms, P90X, mobility, yoga and even reflexology techniques! There are numerous blogs on how to look after your physical wellbeing, diet and nutrition, improving sleep and so many more.
Pro tip: try scheduling your workout when your flat-mates aren’t there so that you don’t end up sweating on them.
GOGA (Get Out, Get Active)
A program aimed at providing everyone (Yes! Literally anyone can join their activities) an opportunity to try out a number of activities on campus and exploring the stunning British countryside. They organize walks to places including Yorkshire Dales, Lake and Peak District, Ilkley Moor and many more along with climbing and running sessions indoors at The Edge.
These trips are a great way to meet new people and sometimes befriend a goat or two on the way. The price for tickets are also much cheaper than the amount you’d shell out if you organize it yourself and is a fantastic opportunity to explore new places without breaking the bank. The primary means of transportation on all these trips are coaches and cost around £10-£13. Yoga sessions cost £4, climbing sessions costs £6 (covers the cost of loaning climbing equipment) and running sessions are free of charge! Students can also sign up to be volunteers for these trips.
What’s on at the LUU
The Leeds University Union runs a plethora of wellbeing events for students as a means to meet new people and have fun while keeping fit. One of the most interesting event is Wellbeing Kung Fu with in-person and virtual options. It covers a combination of modern and traditional techniques and forms derived from Shaolin King Fu and is suitable for all levels of experience. Other events offered are HIIT and Core full body workouts, Pilates and Wu Qin Xi which aims to relax and destress the mind by movement and breathing coordination. The best part about these sessions are that they’re all free of cost and just need to be booked via Eventbrite! These classes usually take place in Jade Studio at the LUU building.
Sports clubs and societies
There are loads of sports societies and clubs that you could join such as Akido, Basketball, Badminton, Football, Boxing and more than 70 others if you’re interested in becoming a Leeds Gryphon and representing the university.
In summary, the internet is packed full of actionable advice and workout tips and there’s something for everyone at the University of Leeds to improve fitness.
Remember to have fun on your fitness journey and don’t feel guilty if you sometimes end up with an empty ice cream carton and a dirty spoon.