Active at Oxford is a University of Oxford campaign, which is all about getting students involved in sport and physical activity.
While Oxford has an extraordinary sporting history and reputation when it comes to sports, the benefits of simply adding a little more physical activity into your lifestyle can be huge.
You don’t need to be a gym addict to enjoy the benefits of getting active. Making small, positive lifestyle choices can have a huge impact on your wellbeing.
We call these active choices – simply making little adjustments to your routine to fit in a little extra physical exercise. Fortunately, Oxford is a truly beautiful city, and making these choices will give you even more of an excuse to get out and enjoy it.
Oxford’s a nice compact city, so it’s easy to get about on foot. Could you take a break from studying to walk through one of Oxford’s green spaces? Or could you walk to get your lunch from a different location? It might take a little longer, but walking is a great form of exercise.
Head out to explore one of Oxford’s many beautiful parks. If the sun’s shining, taking a walk to break up your study periods can keep you focused and productive for longer.
Oxford’s also a fantastic city for exploring on two wheels. You’ve probably noticed that there are bikes everywhere you look in the city, and that’s because it’s an unbeatable way to get around.
With lots of opportunities to hire bikes on the spot using apps and plenty of places to lock up your own bike, it couldn’t be much easier to make active choices for short journeys around the city.
You can always enjoy exploring those parks and river paths with a short jog too. Running is free, and requires minimal equipment, making it a great way to enjoy a real workout. It may seem counter-intuitive, but it can also be one of the best ways to cope with stressful periods, giving you an important break to mentally process challenges and think things through.
Evidence also suggests it can help you to think creatively, making it a no brainer.
Committing yourself to fitness classes
We all know how easy it is to stray from your fitness goals over time, but one easy way to stay committed is to join a group fitness class. By exercising with others, you’ll have a regular, scheduled time for exercising, and will know that you’re letting others down if you don’t show up.
This kind of self imposed psychological pressure can be really helpful for encouraging you to stick at your fitness goals.
Joining a sports club
Sports clubs are often perceived as only for those students interested in competing. But not all university or college sports clubs are competitive. Some even offer beginner sessions or casual opportunities to participate in sport that require no commitment. Clubs are also a great way to meet like minded people and stay motivated to be active.
Find out more about the university clubs on offer here or speak to you college sports representative to find out about college clubs.
Getting enough sleep
It may not seem like it, but even getting enough sleep can be an active choice. If you’re feeling tired and lethargic during the daytime, the temptation to unwind on the sofa with some junk food is likely to be higher, and your good intentions will be harder to fulfil.
Getting enough sleep will help you to approach the day with more energy, which means you’ll be more likely to get active!
This post is part of our Active at Oxford campaign, to encourage more students to enjoy the benefits of sports and physical activity. See here for more information.