Category Archives: Health and Fitness

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

Reset with 2hr Deep Restore with Heart and Mind Yoga

It was such a success in Term 1, we’ve brought it back!  Why not try a 2 hour Deep Restore yoga session to nourish your nervous system and reset you for the exam season? 

Yoga student in supported reclining butterfly pose
Reclining Butterfly pose in a Deep Restore class
Deep Restore with Heart and Mind Yoga 

We’ve collaborated with Jo Jarden of Heart and Mind Yoga to bring you a heavily discounted Deep Restore experience.    Utilising science-based relaxation techniques and deep stretches, enjoy a gentle guided practice to relax the nervous system and unwind. 

Absolutely no experience is required, just an open mind and willingness to experience guided relaxation for 2hours! 

How to book

Spaces are limited to just 40 people, so we would suggest making your booking as soon as you can!   Bookings are via the Rec&Sport app, and your place will be secured once you’ve made payment ($8) at the RecCentre.   

When is it?

Sunday 26th May, at 11.15am to check in and get your space set up.  Class starts at 11.30am.   For all the info, visit our Specialty Classes webpage.

Ngā mihi
Te Ratonga Hākinakina | UC Rec&Sport 

Get Ready to Move (and Win) with the Coffee Culture UC Group Fitness Challenge 2024! 

Calling all UC students – Are you looking to crush your fitness goals, try something new, have some fun, and maybe even snag your share of over $3000 worth of prizes? Then look no further than the Coffee Culture UC Group Fitness Challenge 2024! 

This epic challenge is all about pushing yourself, trying new things, and getting the most out of UC Rec & Sport’s amazing group fitness classes. Whether you’re a seasoned gym rat or a complete beginner, there’s a class for you. From heart-pumping HIIT to zen-inducing yoga, there’s something to get everyone moving. 

Here’s what you need to know: 

    • It’s FREE.  Yep, you read right.  Just sign up via the app, and you’ll get a BOGO voucher for Coffee Culture – just collect from our reception team.  
  • It’s going to be EPIC!  This year’s challenge is bigger and better than ever before, with over $3000 of prizes from Coffee Culture, Mobil, PaknSave and Daphne’s Restaurant – just for showing up 
  • Compete with your friends!  Find yourself on the challenge leaderboard and add a layer of friendly competition  
  • Try new classes! The challenge is a perfect excuse to step outside your comfort zone and discover your new favorite group fitness class.  
  • Starts Wednesday 1st May!   You’ll have 20 weeks to notch up 50 classes for maximum prize draw entries (but don’t worry, we have spot prizes, 25 class prizes and coffee giveaways for everyone).  

So, what are you waiting for? The UC Group Fitness Challenge is the perfect way to shake up your routine, get fit, and have a blast with the UC community. See you on the dance floor (or yoga mat, or spin bike…) 

Head to our website to read up a little more about the challenge, including the bonus bingo card for bonus prizes!  

Ngā mihi
Te Ratonga Hākinakina | UC Rec&Sport