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July 12, 2010 | by  | in Opinion |
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Excercise

Exercise—some people love it, some people hate it, but we all know it’s good for us. It elevates our mood, gives us energy and reduces our susceptibility to illness.

Research shows that regular exercise can help maintain emotional well-being and
lift our mood if we’re feeling down, and little or no exercise can increase the risk of depression.

For lots of us, starting university can mean that we stop participating in sports and recreational activities. With a change in lifestyle it can be more of an effort to exercise, and for a lot of us with the cold, short days of winter upon us, finding the time and motivation to work out becomes more of a challenge. And finding something that fits within the budget adds to the difficulty.

Some ideas:
– Take an exercise class—the uni Rec Centre has a range of classes and activities available for a reasonable cost for students, or check out your local community centre or church for other options.

– Make exercise a part of your day—wash the floor, walk to the train station, use the stairs.

– A walk with a friend is a great way to make sure you don’t isolate yourself too much. And Wellington has so many walkways on offer—check out the Information Centre in town for route maps.

– Join a sports league—netball, football, squash, tennis, cricket are all popular and accessible in Wellington, and social leagues are great for meeting new people and not feeling under too much pressure to perform.

– If organised exercise sessions are not something you enjoy, then maybe more unstructured activities are your thing. Using a Wii, swimming, dancing and jumping around the living room to loud music are all great exercise. (But less so if you have a drink and cigarette in hand!)

– Enter an event like a charity walk, half marathon or triathlon that you can use as a goal to keep yourself moving throughout the winter. www.coolrunning.co.nz and www.triathlon.org.nz have links to most of the short- and long-distance events in New Zealand. Committing to an event—particularly if you can get a friend to do it too—is a great way to make sure you stick to an exercise plan.

Ref: www.depression.org.nz/content/cause/lifestyle

Brought to you by the Counselling Service

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