Beginner’s Guide to the Sports Centre

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Always told yourself that University was the place you were finally going to join the gym? Yeah, well me too. Before now I’d never been one for much exercise – I’d enjoyed the occasional team sport such as netball or hockey, but the idea of actually going for a run filled me with utter horror. Why would anybody want to run in a big circle back to where they started and get sweaty and out of breath? Or, even worse, not actually even go anywhere on a treadmill and get sweaty and out of breath.

Then I figured it out; if you’re always aware of trying to improve yourself and you’ve got a slight competitive edge, seeing your run time/distance/fitness improve week on week is something that can’t be beaten. I joined the campus gym in late Michaelmas term last year and never looked back.

There are lots of different things the campus gym offers including: two fitness suites; a 25m pool (with a sauna and steam room!); a variety of classes from kickboxing to spin to yoga; a studio with it’s own fitness equipment; and of course the climbing wall. There is so much to do you can’t possibly fit it all in, and I’ve had to pick and choose what I want to partake in – or not partake in as the case may be! I took one look at the new addition of outdoor bootcamp last term and decided that that definitely wasn’t for me.

There are also many ways you can get involved; there’s the different types of membership, the benefits and prices of which I won’t go into here (it’s on the sports centre website!), but you can also do pay as you play if you feel that you can’t commit to a full membership. This allows you to test lots of things out without having to feel tied down or obligated to use that £££ membership. When I started out, I started on a silver membership, which allows you to have unlimited access to the gym and the pool, but means you have to pay for classes. This year I chose to upgrade because I was going to enough classes to make it economically worthwhile.

Stating the obvious, joining up to the gym has a lot of benefits. I guess this is the case with most exercise but it gives you more energy, makes you feel better (endorphins for the win!) and of course it makes you fitter. I was amazed at how much I began to enjoy it after I’d been going for a while; though I’m not going to lie, the first few weeks of exercise were a bit of a shock to the system!

So if you’ve been wondering what the brick-like black building is down by the lake – or have been wondering whether or not it’s for you – go check it out! As I said, there’s something for everyone and plenty of ways to test the waters before you dive in.

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