The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Feeling fit for the summer

Sunshine means showing some skin. Amy Bowden gives her exercise tips on feeling fit, healthy and confident this spring and summer

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Although we should try to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle throughout the year, there’s something about the bittersweet bikini/speedo season that prompts most of us to start dieting and exercising more. Yes, as the weather begins to improve, layers of clothing gradually peel away and before you know it, there’s exposed toes and bare legs everywhere! Being body-confident during the summer months isn’t the be-all and end-all, but exercise can help with your self-esteem, boost your energy levels and reduce stress.

Cycling adventures can be really worthwhile. Next Saturday morning (if you’re not hungover) why not pack some lunch, grab your bike and maybe a friend and head out for a few hours? There are many great cycle routes in Manchester. Manchester Cycleway is a nice route if you’d like some peace and quiet, taking you to most of the main spots in Manchester. However, if you find it easier, cycling to uni is just as beneficial fitness-wise –- although perhaps not as tranquil during rush hour.

Good at running or just like doing your bit for charity? There are several Manchester runs coming up, giving you the opportunity to support some fantastic causes as well as shedding some pounds. I have taken part in Europe’s biggest 10K race, the Bupa Great Manchester Run, and raised money for Wish upon a Star. This year the run takes place on Sunday 18th May, giving you enough time to start training so that you are fit and ready for the race and beyond. Setting yourself a goal like this can help you to build your fitness levels and commit to working out more regularly. Runningdiary.co.uk will keep you up to date with running events across the UK, but here are some noteworthy ones coming up in Manchester:

Epilepsy Action Easter Bunny Hop (5k fun run)
Saturday 19th April 2014 at 10am
Heaton Park, Manchester (M25 2SW)
£10 in advance, £12 on the day

Bupa Great Manchester Run
Sunday 18th May 2014 at 10am
Manchester (M4)
£38

We Love Manchester 10k 
Sunday 13th July 2014 at 9:30am
Etihad Campus, Manchester (M11 3FF)
Early bird attached – £14.00
Early bird unattached – £16.00 

Whether you’ll be lying on a beach or partying at a festival this summer, we should all prepare our bodies for the sun, alcohol and our wardrobes. So, why not make an early start?