All posts by kfh24

Three great reasons to keep exercising during exams

It’s tempting to sit and study all day, every day when the pressure of exams looms.  But did you know that taking regular exercise will help boost your brain power?  Here’s why:

Person exercising at home

Improve memory and learning

Exercise can increase the size of the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory.  It can also stimulate new brain cell growth and the connections between them.

Sharper thinking and focus

Exercise can improve cognitive function, including executive function, which is responsible for planning, decision making and multi-tasking.   So, if you’re feeling a bit brain fogged, stop for a moment and take a little 10min exercise break to refresh the brain.

Check out the Cleveland Clinic website if you want to get a great introduction to the science of exercise and brain health.

Better mood

Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects that can help combat depression, stress and anxiety.

Check out  for tips and tools for all thing mental health and wellbeing, including exercise.

How much do you need to exercise?

For mental health and brain function, it’s recommended to get at least 75mins of vigorous activity across a week – so getting your puff on!  The good news is it doesn’t have to be all at once.  So, simple math says 10mins a day of vigorous activity will have an impact on how you think and feel.     Here’s some easy things to try in different study environments:

Stairs Study Break – if you’re in a campus building with a good set of stairs, get up and take a walk!   An easy way to get the heart rate up into the puff zone in just 10 minutes

  • Calisthenics EMOM– simply put, body weight exercises.   Try an EMOM (every minute on the minute) of 10 squats, 10 press-ups, 10 sit-ups and 10 burpees in 1minute.   Any time left over at you get to rest.  Then repeat four more times, for a total of 5mins.   This one is probably best at home!
All sound a bit too vigorous?

Totally cool – you’ll still get benefit from lower intensity exercise.

  • Take a walk to refill your water bottle
  • Stand up and do some stretching – ensure you change your environment and step away from the study zone for at least 5mins every hour.

Don’t forget – as a UC Student, you have a free RecCentre membership and access the Rec&Sport app, which has loads of at home activities to try.   This is funded by your study levy, so there’s nothing to lose!  Sign up today (there’s not cost) and start moving!

Ngā mihi
Te Ratonga Hākinakina | UC Rec&Sport

Up your study week game – join our FREE mini-massage workshop for UC Students

Studying all day can be a real (literal) pain in the neck! Rec&Sport have come to the party and are offering a min-massage workshop to learn how to keep yourself (and your friends) pain free and keep you charging during the exam period.

  • Learn some simple techniques for self-care massage to keep your neck and shoulders pain-free during the exam period.
  • Learn how to do a neck, shoulder and arm massage (through clothing) on a study buddy

When:       Friday 7th June, 10.30am – 12pm
Where:     Puaka | James Hight Room 388
Who for:  UC Students only
Cost:           FREE
How:          Bookings essential – via the UC Rec&Sport app
(in the book classes section)

The workshop is being delivered by Tina George, a Massage Therapist with 16 years experience, former massage tutor and current manager of our RecCentre massage therapy service.  You are in good hands!

Just like our group fitness classes, we expect this to be very popular.  So, if you don’t think you can make it, please practice manaakitanga and cancel out of your booking (via the app) as soon as you know, so that someone on the waitlist can jump in.   Normal app booking rules apply.

Don’t forget to checkout our free 10min-massages being offered during study week as well!

Ngā mihi
UC Rec&Sport | Te Ratonga Hākinakina

FREE Neck and Shoulder Massages during Study Week for UC Students

Need a micro-break and a free neck massage during a big study sesh in the library?  We got you!

How to get a free neck and shoulder massage

When:       Tuesday 4th June – Thursday June 6th, 12pm – 2pm daily
Where:     Puaka | James Hight Library Room 212E
What:       10min neck and shoulder massage
Cost:          FREE
Who for:  UC Students only
How:          Secure your timeslot on the sign-up sheet in Rm212E

What you need to know:
  • Our qualified massage therapists (Zoe, Tina and Shane) will be providing 10min neck and shoulder massages for UC Students only
  • Head up to Rm212E and use the sign-up sheet to secure your timeslot.
  • Bookings taken on the day only – a fresh sheet will be put up each day from 11am, so you’ll need to be in the library that day to make your booking
  • As spaces are limited, 1 booking per student only please

Don’t forget to check out our free mini-massage workshop on Friday 7th June to learn some techniques to use on yourself or your friends to keep you pain free!

Ngā mihi
UC Rec&Sport | Te Ratonga Hākinakina