Category Archives: Health and Fitness

Are you ready to move for your mental health?

There’s no denying the evidence – exercise and movement has positive benefits for your mental health and mood.  This in turn will help you cope with stress, anxiety, overwhelm and your overall clarity.  We like to boil this down to a little mantra “Move Better. Feel Better. Think Better”.

Time  & Money – our biggest barriers can be reduced

Time & Money are our biggest barriers to getting the exercise done.  The good news is walking is free, and so is the UC RecCentre (well, free in that you’ve already paid for it in your student levy).   So, let’s kick that excuse out the door.

Time is a little more challenging, when you factor in travel, showering, general chat at the gym etc.  We’ve got a solution there too – exercise from home some of those days!  You can get the UC Rec&Sport App for FREE (as long as you have an active membership with us, which remember is also ‘free’ for students) and there’ll you’ll find a bunch of home workouts of different lengths in the OnDemand section.

Great news, our livestreamed classes will be returning to the app from Wednesday 18th May, 2022.  Simply head to the timetable section and join the livestream option from your home – too easy. 

Livestream group fitness free for RecCentre members

Not quite ready to exercise, but need a little help getting over the line?

You’re not alone!  Did you know that Sport Canterbury offers the Green Prescription service at UC?  They have staff dedicated to our UC community – and yes, it’s free!   Simply fill in a self-referral form online and they’ll reach out to you.

Ready to gym but unsure how to start?

We get it.  It can be a bit daunting to use the gym for the first time.  Why not dip your toes in and book a free 15min chat with an exercise consultant?  They can show you around the gym, answer any questions, and show you how to use the app.     You can book in over the phone or via the app.    Head to our ‘getting started’ section for more tips and advice.

Ngā mihi
UC Rec&Sport | Te Ratonga Hākinakina



Exercise body and mind for a strong exam game

Mid-year exams are rapidly approaching, so now is a great time to get yourself a solid exercise plan to help keep those stress levels down when exams do roll around.  


Mental benefits of Exercise

We know you’ve probably heard it before, but here’s a wee reminder of how daily exercise (no matter how small) can help your study game: 

  • Improves your cognitive health – you can think, learn and problem solve better when you’re in good mental and physical health 
  • It can improve your memory, that’s certainly helpful! 
  • It can help reduce anxiety, be that exam specific or in general life
Physical benefits of exercise 

There are loads of physical benefits including managing health conditions, disease and bodyweight.   But did you know that you’ll also:

  • Sleep better – it can help you fall asleep faster, more deeply and for longer.  Just be careful not to exercise too close to bedtime, or it may perk you up too much to sleep 
  • Improve your mood – it amps up your happy hormones, helping you to feel better about yourself, lowering stress and anxiety 
  • Feel more energetic – those hormones again!  As your heart and lung health improves, daily tasks will feel easier 

Putting all that together, it seems a no-brainer to prioritise daily movement to flood your body with happy hormones and reap the mental benefits for more successful study. 

How much for health?

Not as much as you think!  If your goal is to improve your brain game, then:

  • 150mins per week of moderate activity (intentional brisk walk, biking, or swimming or
  • 75mins per week of vigorous activity (running, heavy lifting, aerobics/group fitness) 
  • Ideally, a couple of strength training sessions per week wouldn’t go amiss.    

Spread these minutes over the week preferably, and you’re looking at 30mins a day across five days.  If 30mins at once is still a bit daunting, then break it up into 10min snacks across the day.  Too easy!    

If you have a more specific goal, such as weight loss or performance related, then you’ll need a bit more than that.      

Not sure where to start? 
  • Keep it simple – a walk around the block is perfect
  • Check out the on demand section of the UC Rec&Sport app, currently free to all UC Students.  There’s a big range of styles in there ( Barre, HIIT, Yoga, kickboxing….) and session lengths starting at just 10mins.   Bonus – our livestreaming will be reconnected soon, so you can join in our RecCentre classes from wherever you are
  • Get some free advice from our staff – book a spot via the app in the fitness services section.  We have 15min slots available to show you around the gym, answer any questions, or show you how to get the most out of your app.    You can even do this remotely,  just select the ‘livestream option’ when selecting your timeslot. 
  • Finally, you could check out our YouTube channel, where we have some excellent classes saved for you to play again and again

To access the app, you’ll need to do two things: 

  1. Get your UC RecCentre membership online  
  2. Download the Rec&Sport app

Please use your UC student email for BOTH, it’ll make it easier for our Bot to connect the accounts and get you started.  It can take up to 48hours, please contact us if you still aren’t connected after that. 

Ngā mihi
UC Rec&Sport | Te Ratonga Hākinakina 



Easter and Anzac Day Reduced Hours at the RecCentre

If you’re making the most of your holiday to get your health and wellbeing journey underway, you’d be devastated to turn up to the gym and find it closed for the holidays!

Good news – we do stay open, but just at reduced hours:

Good Friday           April 15th      CLOSED
Saturday                  April 16th     Normal hours 9-5pm
Sunday                      April 17th       Normal hours 9-5pm
Easter Monday    April 18th      8am – 12pm, 4pm – 8pm
Easter Tuesday    April 19th     8am – 12pm, 4pm – 8pm
Anzac Day              April 25th     1pm – 9pm.

Rec&Sport App

Download and use the Rec&Sport app to view the group fitness timetable and to book.   While you’re there, why not check the Online Services section, where you’ll find OnDemand classes, currently free for all UC RecCentre members.  Once we get our livestream reconnected, you can also join our live classes from the comfort of your home.

Have a restorative holiday!
Ngā mihi
UC Rec&Sport | Te Ratonga Hākinakina