Keeping fit on campus

It’s easy to forget to take care of yourself when you’re in the middle of your university life. I know that when all my assignments and exams come around in January and May, my favourite way to get through them is by binging on comfort food. Unfortunately this doesn’t leave you feeling too great afterwards. Luckily, the University of Manchester has loads of brilliant facilities for exercise and fitness to help you get into shape post exam time (or during!).

The University has four fitness centres, all located close to or within a few miles of the University campus – the Armitage Sports Centre, Sugden Sports Centre, Wythenshawe Sports Ground and the Manchester Aquatics Centre.
I chose to become a member of the Aquatics Centre last year because of how close it was to the University (it’s literally a two minute walk from the main campus). I go after my lectures and seminars, which doesn’t take up too much time as I don’t have to go miles out of my way. It also offers a great discount for both University of Manchester students and staff, costing £210 for a full one-year membership with unlimited access to the pool, gym and fitness classes. A standard membership would cost about £60 more.
I’m not much of a swimmer, but I love the fitness classes the Aquatics Centre has to offer. There are so many options of different classes that run throughout the day, 7 days a week. My personal favourites are Yoga, Pilates and Bodypump, but there also are more cardio-based classes for the people who want to burn those pounds away. In addition, because it’s so close to the University campus, I can go at off-peak times, which means I never have any trouble finding a treadmill in the gym. The staff are also friendly and helpful. You’ll probably find that a friend has a membership there too – take advantage! Working out is always a lot more bearable if there’s a friend next to you going through the same exertion.
Now, if the gym isn’t your kind of thing, but you still want to keep fit, SPORT Manchester offers many activities to help you do this.  Other than the dozens of sports teams and societies you can join at the Students’ Union (everything from Quidditch to pole dancing), there is also a programme called ACTIVE Manchester, which provides classes, courses and activities to help you keep fit on campus. The programme has a fitness class timetable that changes every term and is available online – be sure to check it out!
The Wellbeing Room is also worth looking at. It’s here that workshops such as Meditation and Calming Your Busy Brain are held to remind you to take a small break from your hectic life every now and again. And if you want something a little different, there is also a timetable for the Wednesday Workshops held in this room, with activities such as Burlesque and Laughing classes,
Keeping fit and healthy can do wonders for both your academic and personal life. It keeps you feeling happy and your head feeling clear. I’ll be the first to admit that running until I’m red in the face, sweating and in pain is not appealing at all, but I know how good it makes you feel afterwards, besides it doesn’t always have to be the same old boring workout. Manchester alone offers tonnes of ways to make getting healthy fun, so give it a go.
All the information and timetables for the activities mentioned are available at: