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10 ways to stay in shape without the gym

By FreshSocial 28 Sep 2016

You probably already know by now the health benefits of continued exercise...

It helps us destress, releases hormones (endorphins) that make us feel good, delivers oxygen and nutrients around our bodies to help us function effectively, and it can even improve memory retention.

Time to hit the gym then?

Not everyone can afford expensive gym memberships, and some of us just really hate the thought of the gym - but that's not a good enough excuse to not exercise.

So, if this applies to you, take a look at these 10 alternative ways to keep fighting fit at university...

  1. Fitness classes: Pay-as-you-go classes are a fun way to keep moving. With a variety to choose from, it's easy to find one that suits your exercise needs- why not go with a friend and spur each other on?
  2. Join a club/society: If you struggle to motivate yourself, joining a club is the solution. Plus, if you fancy something more competitive you can push it to the next level!
  3. Use your legs: Round up the troops and get walking: to lectures, into town, and if possible, to nights out (not forgetting to coat up!) Once you get chatting it won't even feel like exercise...
  4. Plan days out: Explore your new town, get on board with city tours, go for a walk in the countryside, cycle out into the sticks...the views or things to do will make you forget you're even exercising.
  5. Make the most of your resources: Sprints up the stairs, do calf raises against the wall, use the floor for press ups or plank...tins and heavy course books make for great weights too- 1,2,3 LIFT! 
  6. Sign up/volunteer to a challenge: A 10k run? An obstacle course? (e.g Yorkshire Warrior & Tough Mudder) Or, why not try the 30-day squat challenge! The countdown will make you want to keep going.
  7. Dance the night away: Embrace your inner Beyonce or Channing Tatum (more Step Up than Magic Mike) and spend less time at the bar and more time on the floor!
  8. Find a hobby: Swimming, badminton, tennis, karate. Why not learn something new with a friend? You might find something you really enjoy. You know what they say- friends who exercise together, stay together.
  9. Get researching: The World Wide Web (your new course best friend) is also a fantastic resource for workout videos, fitness articles, and DVD suggestions that can have you exercising from your room. 
  10. Invest in workout tools: They're cheaper than the gym and can have you sweating just as much. Skipping ropes, mini weights, swiss balls. Just remember to do them in a suitable place!

Aside from these, the smartphones of today allow us to download health apps. These help you to set goals, track your daily steps, research new exercises and even track your daily intake. With updated articles helping you to discover new ways to improve your health - all without the gym!

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