Monday, May 20Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

So you don’t like the gym?

Is getting in more exercise one of your resolutions for this year? Iren talks us through alternative ways to stay fit if you’re not a fan of the gym.

Trying to balance a social life with your studies can be daunting while at university. Many of us will be persuaded to try out the gym and gym classes at the beginning of term, but this may eventually fizzle out by the time your course starts.

Speaking from experience, I am not a ‘gym person’, meaning I’m not confident in using any of the apparatus and once I do try it, I’m not motivated to do any of the exercises for long. I’m not that fit or healthy, and I stress a lot and knew I needed to do something that could make me feel physically and mentally well. So I decided to give the gym classes a go!

The benefit of going to classes is that you have a professional instructor showing you how to exercise properly, and more importantly someone to motivate you!

A body pump class in action!






Classes can range from toning and strengthening classes, such as Body Pump (pictured above) which are great as you can go at your own pace by using the weights you are comfortable with. Although it may seem intense to some, the instructors are very helpful and motivate you throughout the class to push yourself and enjoy it!

In addition there are classes such as Zumba which takes place on a Wednesday and Sunday, with Wednesday’s session being in the SU. These sessions are lots of fun and something great to do with a friend.

Another alternative can be YouTube videos. When you’re not in the mood to leave your home to go to the gym or a class, then why not try working out at home? Youtubers in general have now been able to make a career out of their videos which range from gaming to lifestyle. There are lots of different exercise videos online which are aimed at specific areas, such as “flash abs” videos, or videos which are full workout routines.

Unlike the gym these are free so may seem a lot more appealing than going to classes. However the classes offer a great positive environment with lots of motivation to exercise, which you may not get at home. As well as also having a professional ensuring you aren’t doing anything wrong!

Doing any form of exercise while at university is beneficial due to the amount of stress we are put under, so even if these alternatives don’t suit you then hopefully this will persuade you to look for one that does.