Monday 15th January 2024

REFRESH | How to Kickstart the New Year with an Active Lifestyle

Embrace a Healthier You in 2024: New Year, New Active Lifestyle

Embrace a Healthier You in 2024: New Year, New Active Lifestyle

As we usher in the new year, many of us are contemplating resolutions and goals to make positive changes in our lives. For students looking to kickstart 2024 on a healthy note, adopting an active lifestyle can be a transformative choice. Whether you’re starting fresh or rekindling good habits, incorporating exercise into your routine can contribute not only to physical fitness but also to mental wellbeing.

Benefits of Regular Exercise: Unleashing the Power of Movement

The college or university experience is a whirlwind of excitement, change, and new beginnings. For many students, it marks a period of significant lifestyle shifts – moving away from home, making new friends, and, of course, hitting the books. Amidst this exciting journey, it’s essential for students to carve out time for physical activity and exercise. The benefits extend far beyond just physical health; they play a vital role in maintaining mental well-being and academic success.

The Multifaceted Benefits of Exercise

1. Relieving Stress:

Student life comes with its fair share of stress – academic pressures, social adjustments, and the general hustle and bustle. Exercise serves as a powerful stress buster, releasing endorphins that act as natural mood lifters and stress relievers.

2. Enhancing Mood:

The connection between exercise and mood improvement is well-established. Engaging in physical activity triggers the release of neurotransmitters like serotonin, contributing to a more positive state of mind.

3. Improving Memory:

As students juggle lectures, assignments, and exams, a sharp memory is invaluable. Regular exercise has been linked to improved memory retention and cognitive function, which can significantly aid in academic performance.

4. Improving Concentration:

Staying focused during lengthy study sessions can be challenging. Exercise has been shown to enhance concentration and cognitive abilities, allowing students to absorb and retain information more effectively.

Prioritising Exercise in a Packed Schedule

While it may seem daunting to find time for exercise amidst the myriad of student activities, dedicating just 30 minutes, three times a week, can make a substantial difference. Consider incorporating the following into your routine:

  1. Join a club: Join one of the amazing sports clubs that your College or University offers.
  2. Gym Sessions: Hit the campus gym for a mix of cardio and strength training.
  3. Fitness Classes: Join group fitness classes – a fun way to stay active while making new friends.
  4. Swim Sessions: A refreshing swim not only offers a full-body workout but is also a great stress-reliever.
  5. Physical Activities you Enjoy: Whether it’s playing a sport, going for a run, or dancing, choose activities that bring you joy to make exercise a sustainable part of your lifestyle.

The Transformational Impact of Regular Exercise

Committing to regular exercise during your college years doesn’t just contribute to physical fitness. It has a profound impact on your overall well-being. Expect to feel less stressed, more energised, mentally sharper, and physically fit. As you navigate the exciting and challenging aspects of college life, prioritising your health through exercise will undoubtedly set the foundation for a successful and fulfilling academic journey.

So, lace up those sneakers, find an activity you love, and make exercise an integral part of your college experience – your body and mind will thank you!

Ways to Get Active Near You: Tailoring Fitness to Your Lifestyle

Regardless of your fitness level or experience, there are numerous ways to get active, especially as a student. Consider the following options to kickstart your fitness journey:

  1. University/College Resources: Speak to your university’s or college’s sports union or sports facility to discover the variety of facilities, classes, and support available to you.
  2. Couch to 5k Programme: Set a personal fitness goal with the Couch to 5k programme – a structured plan to guide you from the couch to running 5 kilometers.
  3. Park Runs: If you’re interested in running and want a supportive community, join your local Park Run. It’s a free, weekly event that welcomes runners and walkers of all levels.

Mindfulness: Nurturing Your Mental Wellbeing

Transitioning back to university or college life can be overwhelming. Mindfulness and meditation can be powerful tools to manage stress and enhance your mental well-being:

  1. Headspace’s Stress Guide: Navigate stress with Headspace’s comprehensive guide.
  2. Headspace’s Meditation Benefits: Understand the multitude of benefits that meditation can bring to your life.
  3. Headspace’s Mindful Eating: Explore the connection between mindfulness and your eating habits.
  4. Headspace’s Breathing Exercises: Learn effective breathing exercises to calm your mind.

For a more immersive experience, check out Headspace’s interactive guides on Netflix.

As we embark on a new year, let’s commit to a healthier and more active version of ourselves. Whether you’re hitting the gym, lacing up your running shoes, or practicing mindfulness, taking these steps can lead to a more balanced and fulfilling 2024. Here’s to your health and well-being in the new year!