Christian Burgess smiling on green field wearing blue Portsmouth Football club kit

  • 28 January 2020
  • 4 min read

Student life can be tricky to navigate. Deadlines, lectures, seminars, coursework, dissertations, socialising and somehow you need to find the time to stay fit and healthy. This student money week we wanted to show you staying fit and healthy on a budget is possible. Take a look at our six ways to stay healthy on a budget. There is also a talk you can attend with practical ideas from Portsmouth FC footballer, Christian Burgess.

To get involved with Student Money Week, find out all that the Student Finance Centre have going on. Student Money Week runs from 3 – 9 February.

1. Running and parkrun

Southsea is great for running due to it's flat landscape and once you get to the seafront, a lack of traffic. From the library to Canoe Lake, taking the scenic seafront route is just over 2 miles. Why not make that your goal? If you can't make it all the way there, build up by using seafront landmarks to track your progress. Count lampposts, or use larger landmarks like the Hover Craft Terminal, Blue Reef Aquarium, Southsea Castle. If you want to ramp up your run, head back through Old Portsmouth, there's multiple sets of steps to challenge you, plus photo opps for sweaty selfies.

If you want a bit of competition, or more accurate timing for your runs, parkrun offers a free timed 5k event from Southsea Seafront. You'll need to register before your first run, but it's a great way to stay fit. You can go at your own pace, or go for the course record. You'll see plenty of prams and dogs taking part as well, so it's not all serious runners. Register at the parkrun website.

2. Circuits at home or on the seafront

Your house is a great place to workout on the cheap. Follow this Home Workout, 2-3 times a week that can help you stay healthy without the cost of a gym membership. Try to keep challenging your body by making the exercises progressively harder by either adding weight, increasing reps, adding extra sets or increasing the time of the exercise as you go on. After 4-6 weeks of doing the same thing your body will get used to these exercises so you'll need to keep challenging your body.

There are also exercise stations positioned along the seafront you can take advantage of. There are machines opposite the D-Day Museum and at Canoe Lake. They use body weight to create resistance but are a free way to workout, just make sure you take your gloves.

3. Cycling

If you have a bike in Portsmouth. There are multiple cycling routes around Portsmouth from along the seafront to the top of Portsdown Hill. Tracking apps like Strava can be useful to see how you're performing against other cyclists and can be useful to see segments where cyclists have been. There are also challenges you can participate in for free to keep you motivated. If you're looking for cycling routes, a site like Sustrans can be helpful to plan your route before heading off on a ride.

4. Cost effective gym memberships

Our Health and Fitness Memberships are all inclusive, and being run by the University we're a safe space to exercise and have links with other university departments including student wellbeing and student finance. Our Health and Fitness Memberships include gym use, fitness classes as well as racket sports. There is always something for you to do at Sport and Recreation. With memberships from £13.99 a month, it's a cheap, effective way to exercise and stay healthy. To join take a look at our other membership options.

5. Sports club membership

Our sports clubs are a great way to stay healthy over the course of the semester. We currently have 50% off of sports clubs membership, bringing our 'Play' memberships down to £30. Our 'Play' memberships are a lost cost, low commitment membership that allow you to drop in and stay fit, without the need to train for competitions. If you're interested, take a look at our sports clubs and join one for the rest of the semester.

From student to professional footballer: Q&A with Christian Burgess

Following on from our tips, why not hear from those that have been there and done it. Christian Burgess, graduated with a BA Hons in History during his time at Middlesbrough Football Club so knows what it's like balancing studies with staying fit.

Hear from Pompey first team defender Christian Burgess how to keep fit on a budget. Find out what it's like to be a professional footballer, exercise regimes, the environment, and managing money at university – and grab a selfie with the star.

Join him on Thursday 6 Feb at 1.30pm in the Third Space at the Students' Union.

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