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Exercise well

Exercise has significant benefits for both physical and mental health. Energy levels increase and the risk of serious health conditions such as heart disease or obesity reduce. As well as lifting mood, exercise can also improve concentration and sleep quality.

Fitting in 15 minutes of exercise is better than none, and if you do it regularly over a week you will soon start to feel the benefits.

It can be difficult for many people to find the time and motivation to start any kind of exercise regime. Aiming too high with an intensive routine can set us up for failure. Realistic goal setting is the most important part of sustaining motivation to achieve your goals.

Around campus tryÖ

  • Walking between campuses instead of driving or taking the bus
  • Parking at Coppertops or Riverside and walking to St Johns or City Campus. Itís cheaper and will add approximately 10-20 minutes of exercise on to your day.
  • Using the stairs instead of the lift.
  • Joining one of the University exercise classes
  • Have a look at the Universities recreational programme for classes and team sports
  • Walking the University Mile around the St John's Campus. There's also a DisabledGo access guide for this route.
  • For students, the Students' Union offers you a fantastic range of sports clubs

So you want to start walkingÖ

  • Donít try and do too much too soon, especially if you havenít exercised for a while. Start with a gentle 30 minute walk, perhaps the local park or the racecourse. If youíre very unfit, you should get checked out by your doctor before starting any exercise programme.
  • Increase the distance gradually, about 2 miles each week is ideal. Aim to walk 3 times per week if you can, with a rest day between each one.
  • Eat sensibly, especially as you progress to walking longer distances.
    • To give you energy need to eat complex carbohydrates such as wholemeal bread and brown pasta/rice or potato.
    • Supplement these carbohydrates with white meat or fish and plenty of fruit and veg.
    • For breakfast, porridge, Weetabix and Shredded Wheat are also good sources of slow release energy.
    • Donít forget about water, hydrate yourself properly by drinking 2-3 litres per day.
  • Sensible footwear will help avoid blisters and sore ankles. A pair of running shoes or walking boots is ideal Ė not flip flops, ĎTomsí or Wellington boots. Whatever you choose, make sure they fit you properly and are well broken in. If you do get a blister, just cover it with a plaster and carry on if you can. Do not be tempted to burst it or pull it off.
  • As well as walking the university mile, why not get involved in some of the local walking networks around Worcester and meet other individuals looking to get fitter and take in the beautiful Worcestershire scenery.

So you want to start runningÖ

Deciding to start running, or getting back into running, can be an intimidating prospect. Walking to running can seem like a huge leap. If you introduce regular short distances of running into your walking route you will soon be able to increase the length of time you run and shorten the time you walk until one day, youíre going out for runs!

  • Donít try and do too much too soon, especially if you havenít exercised for a while. Start with a gentle 20-30 minute jog around your local park or the racecourse. If youíre very unfit or have any medical conditions, you should get checked out by your doctor before starting any exercise programme.
  • Make sure you have good running trainers. Trainers that support your ankles, have cushioning on the heel and support your arch will prevent injury. Some running shops will analyse your running style for free and recommend certain types trainers.
  • Beginner training programmes are available online or alternatively speak to an instructor at your local gym, or talk to a university trained professional (see below) to get an individualised programme. Aim for a programme which includes a mixture of training types such as interval training and longer runs to avoid boredom. Also change your route every now and then and take in some different scenery.
  • Keep motivated! Enter a local 5K or 10K run dependant on your ability or find a running partner or club. People with all sorts of abilities join running groups so donít be put off.
  • As with the walking you should eat sensibly, especially as you progress to running longer distances.
    • To give you energy need to eat complex carbohydrates such as wholemeal bread and brown pasta/rice or potato.
    • Supplement these carbohydrates with white meat or fish and plenty of fruit and veg.
    • For breakfast, porridge, Weetabix and Shredded Wheat are also good sources of slow release energy.
    • Donít forget about water, hydrate yourself properly by drinking 2-3 litres per day.

Get some professional support

You can have expert advice and support from a trained, professionally qualified personal fitness coach who is studying here at the University. The aim is to help colleagues improve their own fitness and health and to learn how to Exercise Well.

Personal training sessions can also be held as appropriate in the St. Johnís Campus Fitness Suite or the McClelland Centre at the City Campus. For more information please contact the St. Johnís Campus Fitness Suite at sportscentre@worc.ac.uk

The content of our Exercise Well page has been reviewed by our Physical Activity Champion, Kelsey Coward