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July 30, 2007 | by  | in Opinion |
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Exercise your Body and Energise your Brain

We hope things are going well for everyone out there in Salient land. In this article we will write about the real benefits of physical activity and what resources are available at Victoria University, apart from walking up the hill to the Kelburn campus.

Physical activity is one of the ways of protecting and enhancing your health. Physical activity is a rather large subject but the main thing we would like to mention here is that the body likes to move. In fact the more you move the easier it becomes and the better you will feel. This is because not only does physical activity benefit your body but it also enhances brain function and emotional health too.

Sometimes it can be difficult to fight against inactivity. The life of a typical student invariably involves sitting for hours whether it be in lecture theatres, studying at the library, or in front of a computer screen.

A lot of thinking and limited physical activity can leave you feeling exhausted and contribute to symptoms of stress and fatigue. People often try to cope with these types of symptoms by reaching out for nicotine, strong coffee and other stimulants. However, recreation is an effective option, which is frequently overlooked. Fortunately at Victoria University we have the Recreation Centre, which is an amazing facility on campus that offers a wide variety of activities, which are fun and on top of that also promote wellness. The main centre is at Kelburn with smaller centres at Karori and Pipitea Fitness, which is located in Rutherford House. The staff at the Recreation Centre are experienced, knowledgeable and very approachable. They really do make you feel welcome. The facilities they have to offer include indoor spaces for table tennis, volleyball, badminton, netball, cricket, basketball, and a climbing wall, outdoor spaces for rugby, ultimate, rugby league, touch, tennis, soccer, netball, two fitness centres providing a wide range of new weight training and cardio equipment, extensive group classes, including X55 and Fight-Do, sport equipment for hire, organised sports leagues and outdoor adventure excursions. They have an activities programme full of exciting and interesting things to do including scuba diving, quad biking, horse trekking, mountain biking, paint ball games, snowboarding and skiing trips, sea kayaking, canoeing and groups walks around the Wellington region to places like Otari bush, South Coast, Colonial Knob, Mount Kau Kau, Orongorongo tract, which is a great way to find out more about the our local environment and to meet other students. They even have classes in cocktail mixing, wine appreciation and salsa and tango dancing.

Aerobic exercise is great as it improves the oxygen capacity of the lungs and heart. It also improves blood circulation to the brain. Exercising for just 20 to 30 minutes a day, three to four times a week can improve your aerobic capacity. The most accessible form of aerobic exercise is walking. The beauty is you can walk indoors and outdoors, alone or in a group. Over time you should increase the intensity of walking to continue receiving benefits.

Mind & body exercises are also very beneficial for the brain. They are fantastic at calming and reducing stress, improving clarity, and energising the body both physically and mentally. The Victoria Recreation Centre offers a fantastic mind and body programme that includes classes in Yoga, Pilates & Oxigeno.

We often forget that the brain is part of the body; it has its own physical needs. Following some of the tips above will help you achieve a dynamic and well functioning brain. If you would like any more information on the programmes offered by Recreation Services please drop by, call 463 6614 or visit our website.

(Catherine from Te Ratonga Hauora Tauira Student Health Service and Meredith from the Recreation Centre.)

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About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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