Why is exercise so important for students?

Despite having busy lifestyles, it is really important we find the time to exercise in any form. Not only is it great for our health and fitness, but it is also a brilliant way of keeping you calm and controlling your stress levels during exam time or the days leading up to deadlines, thereby helping you perform better. Our age group are recommended to get at least 150 minutes of activity every week, so maybe 20 minutes everyday or 50 minutes 3 times a week of moderate physical activity will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Get fit without breaking the bank

Unfortunately, gym memberships cost a fortune and very few students can afford such a price. However, here are a few tips and tricks that can help you, even on a student budget, to get fit and healthy for 2014!

  • Fitness DVDs: There are tonnes of them in the shops at the moment, often at special prices too. Maybe do a bit of research to find the right DVD for you, e.g. the type of workout and intensity, to make sure it’s worth the money. It’s worth having a rummage in charity shops too, you could find some bargains. Here is also a link for a home workout, have a look or maybe search for yourself on YouTube for online workouts or classes: 10-minute legs, bums and tums home workout

  • University Offers: Have a look into any special offers or discounts your Uni or student union has laid on for students, whether it’s free classes or discounted memberships at your local gym or facility centres – it’s worth having a look.

  • Sports Societies: Your student union may be putting on a refresher’s fair this January, which is a great opportunity for you to sign up to any clubs. There are usually all manner of sports meaning there is something for everyone, so there’s no excuse! Plus joining a society is a great new way to socialise with new people.

  • Workouts you didn’t even know you were doing: So dancing on a night out, depending on your style obviously, can burn up to 500 kcals an hour! But that’s not an excuse for you to go out every night, although you might be more motivated to keep the flat tidy if you knew you can burn nearly 50 kcals every half hour simply doing the vacuuming. Changing your sheets (for once) for around 15 minutes can burn up to 70kcals, and probably the best of them all is a big 8 hour kip can burn up to 360kcals – now that is a great excuse!

  • Avoid Expensive Brands: If you want to look the part and invest some money in workout gear, I suggest buying non branded clothing as they can be incredibly expensive. Many think you are paying for fantastic quality, but I got myself kitted out for under £25 shopping in the likes of Primark and H&M sports section, and have had no compromises with the quality!

Don’t waste your hard work with a poor diet…

If you really want to start living a more active lifestyle, then there is one big bit of advice I can give you…Abs are made in the kitchen! A healthier lifestyle consists of 70% diet and 30% exercise. Bearing that in mind, here are a few of the best fitness foods to put your active lifestyle into the next gear! What’s more, most of the following foods are often found in many student shopping baskets but also all are at an affordable price.

  • Bananas: These little beauties are full of potassium which help prevent muscle cramps, and also have a high amount of energy which is great for refuelling after, during or before your workout.

  • Beans and Pulses: Because we digest them slowly, they are a longer lasting source of energy than lots of other foods that will keep us going throughout our workout.

  • Sweet Potatoes: Much more nutritious than your normal potato, and I believe have much more flavour too! Like bananas, they have great levels of potassium therefore keeping you cramp free and on track.

  • Tomatoes: An amazing fruit full of antioxidants, vitamins and also a weight loss hormone called leptin – a type of protein that can help us regulate metabolic rate.

  • Milk: The protein found in just one glass can help heal your muscles, keep your bones strong and keep your appetite satisfied.

I hope this week’s blog inspires you to get your running shoes on, do you have any tips or workouts for students trying to get fit? If so, please share on the Studentrecipes.com Facebook page – www.facebook.com/studentrecipes!

Also, if you have any filling post-workout meals you swear by, don’t forget to upload them to the Studentrecipes website!