Category Archives: Health and Wellbeing

Kia Mataara | Think First – Winter Wellness

Winter can be tough. It’s cold, the days are short, and it can be hard to motivate yourself to stay active–sometimes you just want to eat some comfort food, curl up on the sofa and turn Netflix on. However you’re feeling, here are a few ways to help get you through the winter staying healthy and well: 

Schedule down time and get plenty of sleep 
Lack of sleep and stress make you more susceptible to illnesses. Getting a good night’s sleep allows your body to recover and fend off infection, while time spent relaxing and doing activities you enjoy will help you feel less stressed. If you feel overwhelmed with study, try planning your week ahead and include time for leisure. 

Although the cold weather and short days really decrease motivation, exercise actually helps to build your immune system. Get out into the sunshine and breathe in some fresh air. Even a short walk around the block is helpful. Check out the UC RecCentre and see what’s on offer at UC Sport. 

Eat a balanced diet 
In the winter, it is tempting to eat stodgier comfort foods but it is important to stock up on plenty of fruit and vegetables. Fresh produce is pricier in the winter, which can be difficult on a student budget. Frozen or canned fruits and vegetables are more affordable while still offering the same health benefits. 

Open windows 
Living in a cold, damp flat can make you sick. Open windows and air out the house for a short time everyday, especially when cooking or showering. This will decrease dampness and mould, and make the house easier to heat. 

Stay home if you’re sick 
If you’re feeling a bit under the weather the best thing to do is stay at home. Going to that party this weekend might be tempting, but you could pass the virus to your friends and whānau. Stay home, and make sure you and your mates are well enough to enjoy what winter has to offer. The UC Health Centre is here to help you stay healthy and well while you’re studying.  

Kia Mataara | Think First: Cycling at UC

Cycling can be a great way to travel to UC. However, with reduced daylight hours and wet weather, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you and your bike are prepared for riding this winter season. 

Check out our safety tips below! 

Be seen 
Put white front lights and red rear lights on your bike at night and in low light conditions. 

Wear something bright or colourful – avoid wearing dark clothing, even during the day. 

Use a backpack cover with reflective strips to improve your visibility.  

Ride to the conditions 

  • Wet weather makes surfaces slippery. 
  • Beware of road markings, manhole covers and leaves – try to avoid braking or turning sharply as you cross them. 
  • Ride slower in wet conditions to keep control. 
  • Watch your following distances. 
  • Maintain a good road position and don’t ride in the gutter.

Use the right gear and equipment 

  • Gloves – help you maintain a good grip in cold and wet conditions. 
  • Rain jackets – although make sure it won’t get caught in the chain or other moving parts. 
  • Mudguards – they can help keep you cleaner (and a little drier) on wet roads.  

Look after your bike  

  • Check your tyres. Make sure there is good rubber for traction in the wet and there are no cuts or glass in them. Got a flat tyre? Check out where the air pumps are on campus. 
  • Check your brakes work well, as they can wear down quicker in wet and dirty conditions. 
  • Store your bike securely and under cover. Use one of the three electronically accessed, video-surveillance monitored bike parks around UC 
  • No matter where you leave it, always lock it. We recommend using a good quality D Lock to deter potential thieves. 
  • Does your bike need some winter TLC to get it road ready? Bring it along to Dr Bike, our free weekly bike service outside C Block lawn on Thursday afternoons from 1pm – 2.30pm.  

Think First – Winter Safety

Welcome to Semester 2! There’s lots of people back on campus, so here’s a checklist to keep yourself safe when you’re out and about.   

Before you get here 

  • Allow time to fully defrost your car it’s really hard (and also illegal) to peer through a defrosted section the size of your hand. 
  • If you are walking, scootering or skateboarding take care on painted surfaces and in areas that don’t get sun during winter. Consider your footwear, use handrails when you can and if it would be safer walk on grass during frosty mornings.  

Keep an eye on your surroundings 
It’s easy to put your head down and quickly check your phone while you’re on the move, so make sure to check where you’re going, or who might be coming towards you. Watch out for crowds in between lectures and look up when you’re crossing roads. 

Keep your emergency contact details up-to-date 
Take a minute to log into myUC and check if the person you’ve listed as your emergency contact is still correct. 

Call Security on Te Ara Pourewa o Ngāi Tahu | UC Help Point Towers 
Have you spotted the Help Towers on campus? There are 13 in total, and you can use them to quickly call Security – push the black button for information and the red button in an emergency. 

Save UC Security’s number in your phone – 0800 823 637 
The Security team is on campus 24/7, and they’re the people to contact if you: 

  • want to report suspicious behaviour 
  • want to report a hazard 
  • are lost and aren’t sure exactly where you are on campus 
  • have an accident or near miss 
  • are injured or have a medical emergency.