While travelling abroad, it is incredibly tempting to blow money on a ton of flights, amazing foods, and once in a lifetime experiences that each place of your travels has to offer. HOWEVER, when you get back to your studies, you may want to hit the gym or keep a healthy lifestyle, but it in a way that doesn’t break the bank. So here are a few tips I got for you.
- Join an active community in your area.
What’s awesome about studying abroad in the UK and Ireland is that there is generally a strong sense of community within cities. There are SO many ways for meet people who want to get active too!
Ones I recommend:
Good Gym – A community that combines getting fit with doing good. It usually involves a 5-10k run as well as performing a good deed such as making social visits to the elderly or performing tasks for community organisations such as cleaning up gardens or planting trees.
Community Sports League – These leagues provide opportunities for busy people to play competitive sports! You do not have to have any prior experience playing the sport, just the willingness to try!
Types of sports include tag rugby, rollerblading, roller derby, basketball, swim, badminton, tennis, football, track & field, volleyball, kick boxing, cycling, and so much more.
University societies – Through your university there are groups you can join where you find other students with your similar interests as you! This can range from active activities like general sports, quidditch, surfing, rock climbing and axe throwing to artistic and intellectual interest groups like book & wine club, university radio, instrument clubs, etc.
Whatever you’re interested in, there’s a chance you’ll find other people who are interested in it too!
- Use the Meet Up website. To exercise or just find people who have the same interests as you!
Meet Up is a platform for finding and building local communities. It’s a way for people to meet new friends, learn new things, find support, get out of their comfort zones and pursue their passions, together. These groups range over an incredibly wide range of interests.
Join a movement. Learn to cook. Train for a marathon. Hike a mountain. Practice a language. Build a mobile app. Walk some doggos. Try a new sport. Join a dance group. Meet industry professionals. Discuss your interest and the issues you are passionate about.
If you’re interested in meeting some new peeps here’s the link!
- Take advantage of ALL the free workout trials and day passes.
Below I’ve provided a list of websites and apps that will provide you free trials of their products! Might as well save all the money you can and stay active doing it!
Another app to try is called RIG, which shows all of the discounted workout classes in your area! Depending on when you sign up, there may be an offer for a few free classes so give it a gander!
- Search for cheap gym memberships (they do exist!!!!)
There are SO MANY expensive gyms out there, however, there are a few lil cheap gems out there. Sure, they may not have the most advanced facilities, but they get the job done. Some of the gyms I recommend looking into are:
The Gym Group
Your university’s gym (they may have a student discount for you!!)
- Invest in some cheap workout equipment.
If going to the gym isn’t your thing, try looking into some less-pricey home gym equipment on Amazon! For example, a set of resistance bands can range from £5-25! So look into a set of dumbbells or ankles weights or medicine balls or whatever you are interested in!
- Go to your cheap local markets and fruit & veg stands.
DON’T GO TO THE REALLY BOUJEE SUPERMARKETS LIKE MARK & SPENCERS, SAINSBURY’S OR WAITROSE. Even if it is just a little out of the way, Aldi, Lidl and Tesco are the places to shop to save money. It’ll be all worth it when you have some extra cash in your account when you are travelling.
In your area, there will be fruit & veg stands that are REALLY CHEAP. Some will only charge you £1 for a decent size bowl of produce. Anecdote time: I once went home with at least 20 lbs of produce for £6. One of my biggest accomplishments in the UK to date.
- Exercise in some of the most beautiful parks in the world!
The UK and Ireland are known to have the greenest parks with the prettiest of flowery gems. Take advantage of these beauties while you have them and reward yourself with some views while you get a sweat in.
What’s great about training in the park is that the types of exercises are limitless (with the except of heavy weight exercises of course). You can go for a run or do high
Drinking water (or the super hydrating coconut water) is one of the best favors you can do for your body. It keeps your skin looking healthy, helps energize your muscles, and it aids in kidney recovery (especially after those nights out).
With the war on plastic becoming a HUGE concern, it is 100% a necessity to get yourself a refillable water bottle. Not only to play your part in diminishing plastic waste, but to also spare your wallet from buying single-use water bottles.
- Walk places. Skip public transit if you can.
While public transit is EXTREMELY convenient, a good way to get your heart rate up is to walk around your city. And as you walk, you’ll probably notice some great spots that you haven’t noticed before, like a tasty looking falafel place or an interesting museum you may want to try.
- Do your body a favour and get some sleep.
We get it. You’re out in a new country and you want to take advantage of every moment so you can do EVERYTHING. You can sleep when you’re dead, right? WRONG. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night will allow you to fully enjoy your time abroad SO much more since your mind and body will feel better. According to the all-powerful WebMD, getting the appropriate amount of sleep is linked to having a sharper mind, healthier heart, steadier blood sugar, boost in mood, healthy immune system, and more energy to achieve those athletic goals.
SO do yourself a favour and relax between trips. Let your body recover so you can have the time of your life in your future adventures.
^me if I don’t get my 8 hours
- Take care of any pre-existing conditions. Check-in with yourself.
Without seeming like mum (but actually seeming a lil like mum), please watch over yourself. You more than anyone else is going to know what your body needs. While it is so great that you are having a good time abroad, take the time to make sure you are taking the appropriate measures to take care of your mind and body. Take your medication. Register and go to a doctor. Seek the help you need.
- Take advantage of all mental health resources.
All universities will have counselling services provided for its students and if it’s regarding a specific issue, there are groups that can help! If you need help finding the support you need, please do not hesitate going to your local study centre. We got yo back!
- Explore activities that don’t centre around alcohol.
Although the UK and Ireland love their drank and it may be tempting to go out and take advantage of illustrious nightlife in your host city, try doing some of the activities we have mentioned in this post! Or maybe go to a museum! Have a picnic in the park! Go to some of the UC Trust events (if you’re in London)!! Practice photography! Go to a funky gallery or a massive food market! Play tourist in your own town!
The opportunities you have studying abroad are endless, including ones to keep you healthy!
If you have anything to add or if you have any questions about these opportunities, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!