All posts by kfh24

How do you keep moving when it’s really cold outside?

Winter is perilously close, which means it gets a little harder to motivate yourself to exercise outside!  There are lots of strategies you can try, but when you get down to it, what’s your why?  Grab some paper and pen, and let’s make a list…

1. What brings you joy? 

Think about the times you’ve exercise that you’ve absolutely loved it.  You know, when time flew and you were possibly even unaware you were actually getting your heart rate up?  Can you spend hours in the gym, zumba class or out on a run?  Are you sad when your sports game is over?   What is it about those situations that brings you happiness – the people, the competition (or lack of), sense of accomplishment, being outdoors/indoors?  

2. What brings out your sense of dread? 

Now think about the times you have had to dig really really deep to just turn up?  Those situations you really just didn’t want to go to for exercise?  What is it about those activities that makes you want to curl up under the covers?  Quite likely, it’s the opposite of what brings you joy when exercising! 

3. What’s your why? 

Looking at your lists, can you see any obvious patterns?  When have you given up easily? When have you persisted through literal rain and snow?   What is it that drives you to exercise? 

Now that you’ve got a a few lists, can you see any obvious themes or patterns?  Steer clear of activities that don’t get you excited or energised, and search out those that do.   

Remember, there is no universal right or perfect answer.  There is only the answer that is right and perfect for you. And it might change over time as well, as your skills develop, your confidence grows and your general approach to life changes.  On that, we recommend trying new things every now and then – you never know, what you didn’t like five years ago, you might now like! 

Term 2 at UC Rec & Sport 

The team at UC Rec & Sport aim to provide a diverse range of activities, to meet your needs.  We have new courses and leagues starting next week, in addition to different sport options, group fitness, climbing and the gym of course.     Keep an eye out on insiders for more info, as registrations for some of these close soon (but don’t worry if you’re not ready yet, we run these every term).  All are low fee (below market rate) or free to join for our members.  If you’re not a member, you can still access many of our activities, for a fraction more.    Why not try us out with a free 14-day trial

Ngā mihi
Te Ratonga Hākinakina | UC Rec & Sport 

Good Morning Sunshine! Top tips to build a morning exercise routine

All exercise is good.  That’s a sweeping statement we know, but we firmly believe it’s true. Here’s the disclaimer – not all exercise is created equal. Thus, what is good for one person, may not be the right fit for another person. And how does timing of exercise fit in?

Outdoor bootcamp running tyres
Outdoor Bootcamp with UC Rec&Sport

First up, we’re assuming that you’ve found an exercise or activity that you love to do – be it sport, gym, walking or biking that gets your heart rate up a little each day. Now that you’ve got the right exercise for you, WHEN is the best time to do it?

Morning Exercise – Getting it done!

The biggest benefit of a morning routine is simply that you get it done! As the day goes on, you become more fatigued, other things pop up and all of a sudden, the excuses to not exercise become easier to justify. On a more positive note, it helps to boost your energy, increase your focus and concentration, and improve your mood. All of which, helps set you up for a happy, healthy and successful day.

Top Tips for Success

Let’s face it, not everyone is bright eyed and bushy-tailed in the early hours of the morning. Like anything, it can be learned with a bit of hard work to begin with…

  1. It all starts with a good sleep. Get a solid 8 hours, and move your bedtime earlier to accommodate the early rise if you need to.  Turn off the electronics one hour before that time, to reduce blue light that interferes with your sleep hormones.
  2. Plan ahead so you’ve got one less decision to make. Plan your week out ahead, knowing when/where you’re going to exercise and with whom (being accountable to others is a really helpful way to get out of bed!)
  3. Make it easy on yourself with good prep. Before you go to sleep (that last hour when your electronics are off) why not pack your bag for the next day, lay out your workout clothes/shoes or pre-select your home workout from the Rec&Sport youtube page.  Minimise the decision making which drains the brain!
  4. Start small. Small changes over time are more likely to stick, than one big swooping lifestyle change. Thus, if you add 1-2 morning sessions per week, from zero, that’s a good start. You might try a home workout to make it even easier.
Morning Options with Rec&Sport, RecCentre members
  1. Bootcamp – get an early morning fix twice a week with Gary.  Kicks off at 6.30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, done and dusted by 7.20am. You can be showered and at your desk by 8am, feeling somewhat chuffed with yourself, and deservedly so. Non-member rates available. 
  2.  Gym time – the gym is at it’s quietest in the morning, so you can whizz through your workout with ease, in half the time! We have limited early morning PT sessions available too – email us for info.
  3. Why not Spin or Yoga to get the happy hormones flowing in the morning? Bookings via the Rec&Sport app
  4. Court & equipment hire are both FREE for members before 3pm, as long as you’re willing to just turn up and take your chances. If you want to book ahead, then there is a small charge. So, squash or badminton anyone?
  5. Off-Peak memberships are now available for UC Staff. Designed for those of you who prefer and only train before 3pm, save a further ~40% off the full staff rate (which, incidentally, already has a massive saving from our community rate). Prices start at $75 for 3months for an off-peak membership, or $269 for a whole year of health. You can even try a 14-day trial on us!

Whatever you choose, go well!

Ngā mihi,
Te Ratonga Hākinakina | UC Rec & Sport

Exercise in disguise at lunchtime- try drop-in sport!

Are you looking for something healthy and fun to do at lunchtime that doesn’t involve too much huffing and puffing? Why not try our drop-in sport sessions? You don’t have to be a RecCentre member to join in the fun.

Play badminton, futsal or volleyball with others at drop-in sport sessions at the UC RecCentre.

What is drop-in sport?
  • Drop-in Sport Sessions at the RecCentre are FREE for UC RecCentre members and just $2 for everyone else.
  • Daily sessions are available, check our website for info on days/times
  • Try Futsal, Badminton or Volleyball – all levels welcome!
  • There’s a mix of staff and students at every session with some our staff volleyballers having attended for over 10 years!
How does it work?
  • As a non-member, bring your UC Staff card to our reception, pay your $2 and sign in as a casual visitor
  • Head to the sportshall
  • No-one there? You’re likely the first person to arrive. Head to our reception and we’ll give you all the equipment you need to set up
  • If other people are already there, just introduce yourself and join in

That’s it! No commitment to turn up for a league, but 99% certain to have a few others to play the game with (and let’s face it, it’s kind necessary for games like Futsal, Volleyball and Badminton). If you get really sweaty, you’re welcome to use the showers afterward.

Ngā mihi,
Te Ratonga Hākinakina | UC Rec&Sport

Get 20% off pool memberships at CCC AND Learn to Swim for FREE

Have you ever thought about learning to swim, or improving how far you can swim?  The Rec&Sport team have set up an easy way for you to access 20% off CCC pool memberships, and get free swimming lessons to boot!

All good, but why should YOU learn to swim?

Lots of reasons, but here are our top 4:

  1. New Zealand is an island nation with some beautiful beaches, lakes and rivers to play in and on.   You’ll have much more fun if you’re confident you can swim  a few hundred metres to something cool or to safety.
  2. If you’re new to exercise or injured, it is a fantastic full body, no impact workout to build cardiovascular and muscular strength.
  3. If you’re a regular exerciser, it’s a great recovery tool between hard workouts.  Also, once you ‘get’ the breathing, it can be meditative and calming.
  4. There are some cool water based sports/activities that you might discover and be able to participate in once you’re confident in the water.
How to get FREE swimming lessons – yes, there is a catch

The Rec&Sport team have partnered with CCC, and set up a hassle free way for you to get your hands on a discounted pools membership.  We call it Swim Starter.

  1. Head to our website and click the link to register.  
  2. We’ll send you an email that confirms your registration with us, and your status as a UC Staff Member.  You don’t have to be a member of the UC RecCentre.
  3. Take this email to any CCC facility to enjoy 20% off any pool membership (minimum 3mths).
  4. Now you’re a member of CCC pools, you can book into any Adult Swim lesson.   They’re FREE with pool memberships.

It’s important to note that UC Rec&Sport has no further involvement once you’ve got yourself a membership.  You’ll be booking your sessions and buying your membership with the CCC team directly.

Getting yourself a membership is great, not only for the free lessons, but also to swim frequently to learn this new skill in the best way – practicing!  So, book in as many lessons in a short space of time as you can (the holidays are great for this!) You can also practice in-between lessons, or perhaps just use the sauna, steam room and spa for some relaxation!

Happy holidays!
Te Ratonga Hākinakina | UC Rec & Sport

Three questions to ponder when choosing the best exercise for you

Exercise is a key part of maintaining or improving your health & wellbeing. But what kind of exercise is best for your health & wellbeing?  Here are three key questions you should ask yourself before embarking on your exercise journey.


1. Does it bring you joy?

Quite simply – if it brings you joy, you look forward to it, then it’s the right type of exercise for you!  It’s likely this activity brings fond memories, good feelings when you’ve finished, allows you to connect with others, or simply allows you time by yourself to recharge.  If you dread your planned exercise, its less likely you’ll commit to a routine.  

2. Is it accessible and easy to get to? 

Location is key.  Your exercise routine needs to be handy to home or work.  If it’s not, its less likely you’ll do it, especially if you have to do battle for a carpark when you get there!   Affordabilty is also important.  It needs to fit your budget and what you’re willing to pay, or when things get a little tight, it’ll be the first thing on your savings list.  

3. Will it help you reach your goals?

First of all – define your reasons for exercise?  Do you want to reduce stress, meet others, improve your physical body, reduce pain or improve sleep?  Not all exercise will meet your goals, so when our time is tight, it’s important to choose the right exercise/activity that will serve your current purpose.   Remember to review those goals regularly – we are human, we evolve and change, and so too will your activities.  

The RecCentre is but one of many options on or surrounding campus where you can get your daily exercise fix.    We recommend you try a gym/studio/group out before committing.  Most will offer a free or low-cost trial week or fortnight (we offer 2 weeks free trial for UC and UCSA staff), so you can see if it’s the right fit for you.    Did you know we also offer off-peak rates?  Save even more on your membership, by training before 3pm each day – perfect if you like to exercise before work or during your lunchbreak! 

If you’ve got any questions about exercise or the gym, get in touch!  You can email or chat with one of our team when you pop over.

Ngā mihi
UC Rec&Sport | Te Ratonga Hākinakina