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The article and cover photo by Paola Bianchi  

When I arrived in Australia one of the first things that captured my attention was how well were exercise and fitness integrated into the Aussie lifestyle. People were waking up (ridiculously) early to train or spending their time off doing exercise (and having brunch afterwards obviously). I immediately felt inspired to implement a healthy routine.

Keeping your body in movement and your mind oxygenated has so many benefits for everyone, and students should not dismiss this from their lifestyle. I got to know first-hand that doing exercise, especially during exam periods, helps me focus and release tension. Not to mention the overall increased on my good mood and the opportunity to meet new friends.

As a student on a budget, getting fit does not need to be a big issue. There are many free or low-cost options to give a try and to maintain your favourites exercises in the long term.
RUNNING or WALKING

Once you have a good pair of running shoes, there are no excuses not to run regularly or walk at a good pace. You do not need fancy clothes nor expensive gadgets. Running and walking can be done almost ANYWHERE and it’s FREE!

2 Running

Photo by aquachara on Unsplash

APP WORKOUT

There are free and paid apps to help you with a fitness plan. Those exercises can be done not just at the gym but also at home or in a park as they require little equipment. Maybe you need a mat, a bench, a skipping rope or some dumbbells. Even on YouTube, you can find good classes but the app gives you a proper program, a schedule and tracks your progression.

3 AppPhoto by Bence ▲ Boros on Unsplash

FITNESS TRAILS

It’s like an outdoor gym that has stations for different types of exercise. Sometimes it’s called Parcourse, often have explanation signs and is used as a complement of other activity like running. They are FREE and can be found in parks or biking/running paths.

4 outdoor gymPhoto by GMB Monkey on Unsplash

 

MEETUP ACTIVITIES

Again, technology is on our side. The Meetup app is great to find events, classes and regular meetups for diverse activities. This is a FREE app, although some meetups require a small contribution. The most popular fitness groups in Australia are for Hiking, Bushwalking, Biking, Yoga and even beach Volleyball.

5 meetup

SKATING

This is also a FREE activity. Just need to practice your balance and get a nice skate. Then find a skate park and have fun! There are plenty of YouTube videos with tips and tricks. Of course, you can also skate to commute on a daily basis!

6 skating

If keen on investing on yourself without breaking your wallet, the following is for you:

INDOOR BOULDERING & INDOOR CLIMBING

This is by far one of the trendiest yet misunderstood fitness activity. It is by no means an ‘impossible mission’ just for fearless people. Climbing will challenge you in a physical and mental level, but because it’s such personal training each one can climb at their own level.

Bouldering is climbing in small rock walls without any ropes, as the maximum high is usually safe. Plus, there are lots of mattresses to fall onto. You just need a pair of climbing shoes to get started. And maybe some chalk to have a better grip in your hands.

Indoor Climbing is more well known by the general public than Bouldering because it’s Rock Climbing first offspring. The walls are pretty high so you definitely need to hang from your harness attached to the rope.

If never tried any before, I strongly suggest that you do an introductory course first. They are usually given for free in any indoor climbing gym. They also rent all the equipment you need but If you really like this sport, it’s better to get your own gear. Always get the most quality gear you can get as it can last for years. Shoes and harness are the basics to keep you climbing for a long time.

Even though it requires some investment in the beginning, later you can get monthly or yearly passes and each visit to the climbing gym will be less expensive than just paying for the day. Students usually can get discount by proving your ‘student condition’.

The benefits are countless. Because it’s required to be %100 immerse at the moment, it has some of the meditation benefits – stress reduction, improved concentration, increase self-awareness and boost your immune system. It also has some therapeutic effects and that’s why it has been recommended for depression patients! I would say it’s perfect for anyone. You can actually be fully present, overcome your fears and get so much confidence!

7 climbingPic by Paola Bianchi

It is easy to get caught up with climbing, sure I did! You can get more gear, a professional rope and even get outdoors. Rock climbing is IN-CRE-DI-BLE empowering!

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