For the vast majority of us, university is the first time we live away from our family. With that new-found freedom to do as we please, without any parental discipline (yes!), it can be easy to slip into Netflix binge sessions and living off pot noodles and beans on toast.

Staying fit while at university might prove to be a little tricky, but it can be a great time to be healthier than ever! Here’s a couple of tips on how to get started.

Join a sports club

Not only will you get the chance to be active and exercise, you’re very likely to make a bunch of new friends by joining a sports club. There’s a whole range of sports clubs to choose from! From mainstream sports, think: football, basketball, netball, American football and rugby, to something a bit more left-field, such as Quidditch or underwater hockey.

Students canoe Airthrey Loch

Not into sports?

If sports aren’t really your thing, there are still lots of ways you can incorporate some exercise into your daily routine.

Cycle or walk into town from campus instead of taking the bus, or simply get off a couple of stops before your destination. A 30-minute walk to campus and a 30-minute walk home, is an hour of exercise without really trying or stepping foot in the gym! Be sure to always take the stairs instead of the lift where possible.

Get outdoors

Autumn has truly arrived in Scotland, so it can be quite tempting to stay in your room or even study from the comfort of your bed. However, being outside can lower your stress levels instantly!

Lucky for you, Scotland is blessed with beautiful landscapes and our campus is pretty impressive. Go for a wee wander around campus. Long or short, just get outside, get some fresh air and enjoy the sights.

A group of students walking on campus

Get your five-a-day

Put the pot noodles down and step away from the microwave.

Sure, getting a pizza delivered to your door might sound like the best option after a long day at uni, but it won’t do you – or your wallet – any good.

Fresh fruit and veg is often cheaper than a ready meal, so cut down on the takeaways, do a big shop and stock up on lots of fruit and vegetables. Certain foods can also help relieve stress and anxiety, so making sure you are putting healthy food in your body will help you stay calm and might boost your brainpower too!

Drink water

You might already be nailing this healthy eating business, but what else are you putting in your body? The NHS Eatwell Guide suggests we should drink six to eight glasses of fluid a day. Water, lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks all count towards your daily intake. Try and stay clear from drinks that are high in sugar and caffeine.

Catch plenty of Zs

Between staying out all night and doing emergency late night study sessions, it’s understandable if you have odd sleeping hours as a student. However, having a good night’s sleep consistently will make the world of a difference. When you sleep your body repairs itself, so you won’t function quite as well either physically or mentally if you’re sleep-deprived.

Get to know the University’s support services

University is all about finding your own way – but that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. From your personal tutor to the Student Support Services Hub, there are a number of people you can turn to if you need support over money worries, social issues, academic pressure or anything else you may be struggling with. Find out more about the support services at the University of Stirling here!

Group photo of the Student Hub team at the University of Stirling