One of the most popular new year resolutions every year is to lose weight and whilst this can be incredibly beneficial, sport and exercise is not just about losing a few pounds. Keeping your body active and healthy works wonders for your mind and overall wellbeing.
For many of us here at university, the new year truly starts when exams have finished at the end of January. Until now, many hours of 2018 have been spent slaving away at home or in the library, revising and working towards the final exams and assignment deadlines of the semester.
Despite the well-publicised benefits of exercise to de-stress and stimulate the brain, it can appear impossible to fit regularly around a revision timetable. Nevertheless, January is now over and with a new semester already underway, there are plenty of different ways to enjoy sport both on and off campus. Here’s a look at what you can get involved with!
Firstly, it’s not too late to join any of the AU University Sports Clubs. If you missed the refreshers fair last week, there’s still the opportunity to try out and join a team. Many clubs have recreational sessions as well as a competitive team so there’s no need to feel intimidated if you’re new to a sport.
From Canoe and Swimming to Athletics and Cross Country, a full A to Z list of clubs is on the UoM Sport website complete with further information and contact details.
At different sites across campus, Sporticipate is a free university programme aimed for complete beginners or for those wanting to try something new. With access to a broad timetable of sports and exercise activities, including women’s only classes, everyone is sure to find something that suits them.
You can register to Sporticipate at any time and is easy to do online at the UoM Sport website — just search “Sporticipate.”
Hall Sport is a similar programme to Sporticipate whereby a weekly timetable of classes is available across the Halls of Residence. You don’t have to be living in halls to take part though — anyone can go along and join in! More information and the full timetable is available alongside Sporticipate online.
Another great way to get out and keep fit is by taking part in Park Runs. These are free, 5 km timed runs available to anyone of any ability. Found in countries all around the world, there are 499 different park runs every Saturday morning in the UK.
Our nearest event is at Platt Fields Park in Fallowfield (called the South Manchester Parkrun), but you can search for other locations at www.parkrun.org.uk. Once registered, you are given a personal barcode which allows for the time and placing of each of your runs to be recorded. It’s a fantastic way to track your progress whilst running with the local community.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for something a little different, how about heading over to the velodrome at the UK National Cycling Centre.
Pre-booked 1-hour taster sessions are available, including bike and helmet hire, for £20 (£17.50 for concessions) and you can register to book these online at www.nationalcyclingcentre.com. The nearest Bus and Tram stop, Sportcity, is easily accessible from Piccadilly Gardens.
And if you don’t mind the cold, how about a visit to Manchester’s very own indoor real snow slope Chill Factore? Opposite the Trafford Centre, this 180 m long slope is easiest to get to by car or bus — you can catch one from Piccadilly Gardens.
Both skiing and snowboard taster sessions are on offer from £27 per person or if you already have experience on the slopes, lift passes start from £21. Check out www.chillfactore.com for more information.
With such a range of keep fit opportunities on offer around Manchester, what are you waiting for? It’s not too late to get your friends together and try something new this year!