Tag Archives: exercise

3 reasons to add exercise to your exam prep strategy – and win a PushMe session!

What’s your best tip for nailing your exam prep?  Energy drinks and coffee might be the common go-to, but they’re really not the best choice!      

Just think about how you’ve felt immediately after exercise?  Focused? Energised? Motivated?  Had some of your best ideas to solve that unsolvable problem?  That’s no accident!

Exercise kick starts the brain and releases proteins that improve your cognitive performance. It also releases endorphins which decrease your stress levels and make you happier – leveling your mood state.  Finally, it boosts your energy levels.  I know, that sounds counter-intuitive, but really, you’ve good to spend energy to get energy!

So, rather than reach for the caffeine, we suggest getting some cardio in. Any kind of cardio, just as long as you get your heart rate up! Get a little puffed.  Go for a quick 15 minute walk up around the campus, or if it’s wet, up and down the stairs. Hey, if that seems too much, take the lift up and walk down the stairs to start with! If you’ve got more time, stick to your usual routine – be that a jog/run, hitting the gym or shooting some hoops.

All that exercise is going to use fuel and cause you to sweat. To make sure you don’t get ‘the tired’ later on, make sure you stay hydrated (with water!) and eat throughout the day. If it’s a big exercise session, then eat a good meal (like your lunch or breakfast) within 30 minute of exercise finishing. Water water water all day! Those extra trips to the bathroom will get you moving a bit more, which is a good thing!

Tell us your best tip for exam prep by leaving a comment below, and we’ll pick one person to win a PushMe session with one of our trainers.


Jump for health

We’ve all heard the recommended amount of daily exercise is 30 minutes, done at least five times a week. But what is the best way to get fit? High-intensity? High frequency? Here’s your chance to find out!

PhD student Tane Clement from the School of Health Sciences is investigating how low-dose, high-frequency exercise on a trampoline affects aerobic capacity and common health markers such as blood pressure, cholesterol and weight.

Join in this research study for a chance to learn more about your health. The study involves completing 100 bounces of a trampoline three to five times a week, over a period of eight weeks. So about two minutes of exercise per day. An application will be used to record your jump height each day, with the goal being to improve the total jump height over the eight weeks. The trampoline is located in the Robert J. Scott Atrium (Mechanical Engineering building), so is nice and convenient for anyone who comes into uni each day anyway.

If you’re interested in volunteering for the study, contact Tane for more information and to sign up, email tane.clement@pg.canterbury.ac.nz

 The project is being carried out by Tane Clement, under the supervision of Nick Draper (nick.draper@canterbury.ac.nz) and Keith Alexander (keith.alexander@canterbury.ac.nz). Nick can be contacted at nick.draper@canterbury.ac.nz. He will be pleased to discuss any concerns you may have about participation in the project.

Christmas time is nearly here!

I really can’t believe how fast this year has gone… it’s almost Christmas. For me Christmas is a time for family, friends and food. So I’m going to share with you one of my favourite recipes for a delicious (somewhat healthy as it contains no butter or oil, and has reduced sugar) chocolate sponge cake.

Christmas is the time to indulge, and enjoy yourself, however we all know how difficult it can be to keep the kilos off over the holiday period. This cake is the perfect addition to Christmas dinner and will be sure to please your family; especially once you let them know they don’t need to be afraid to have more than one slice!

Olive oil cooking spray for greasing
Egg whites from 4 large eggs
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs (whole)
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g caster sugar
2 apples, peeled, cored and grated (Braeburn apples work best)
100g self-raising flour
40g cocoa powder

For finishing the cake:
150g raspberries (strawberries or blueberries also work)
75g icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 170 °C
2. Use cooking spray to grease 20cm/8inch non-stick cake tin.
3. Beat egg whites with the pinch of salt until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.
4. In another bowl whisk together the 2 whole eggs, vanilla extract, and caster sugar until the mixture has doubled in volume, is a pale colour and the sugar has dissolved.
4. Fold in the grated apple, flour and cocoa powder, and then fold in 1/3 of the egg white mixture. Once this is combined well, fold this into the remaining egg white mixture.
5. Spoon mixture into cake tin and bake for 30 mins. The sponge should bounce back when pressed lightly if it is cooked. Move it to a wire rack and leave it to cool.
6. Once the cake is cool, cut it in half horizontally to create two separate layers. Mix 2/3 of the raspberries and one tsp of the icing sugar and spread this mixture over the top of one of the pieces of cake. Then place the other half of the cake on top.
7. Mix together the remaining icing sugar and enough water to create a thin icing. Drizzle this over the top of the cake, and add the remaining raspberries.

Delicious! Enjoy this cake, but don’t forget to eat healthy this summer and continue to exercise… after all you don’t want to put on the dreaded ‘fresher 15’!