When you mention the gym to someone you tend to get one of three reactions: a grimace usually accompanied with an exclamation of why someone has not been inside one for years and how they can never think of anything more awful; a nod of appreciation followed by the standard when, why and how often roll call of questions; or, and this happens most often, a shrug and the answer “No because I do (name of activity/sport here) instead.”

Yet some love nothing more than spending an afternoon pounding the treadmills, or trying to anyway, but any activity can be substituted and the general three answers remain the same. In St Andrews, people tend to find a way of exercise they like and stick to it. There is nothing wrong with that and making use of the old adage: if it works why fix it? Well, they say boredom is the downfall of many a healthy regime and you never know, by trying something new you might find something you enjoy unexpectedly! Here are some ideas to get you started:

The surrounding town and countryside
Go running or jogging; it’s something you can start with easily and build up over time. Fife has 300 miles of cycle routes along quiet country lanes, disused railway lines and forest tracks as well as commuter routes in towns that take you through some absolutely lovely scenery especially now that spring is here.

You may not believe it but walking is exercise, especially when you are a harassed student running from one end of the town to the other a few times a day for class, meetings or pub visits! The town has some beautiful little nooks that can only be explored on foot, like parts of lade braes, so grab your sunglasses and go hunt them down!

Town classes
St Andrews has a huge amount of exercise classes. You have probably seen posters advertising Town and Gown Yoga, but there are also jazzercise, zumba, boxing and pilates classes just to name a few. Details about town events can be found here.

Sports centres
Between the University Sports Centre and non-university owned gyms such as East Sands Leisure Centre you are spoilt for choice if you like your exercise in one place. These facilities offer modern gyms (hold the groans) a variety of fitness classes (take a friend, nothing better than having someone else to laugh with) and personal training sessions for people who want a routine drawn up for them. East Sands also has a swimming pool – the best type of exercise for both working out the whole body and relaxing at the same time.

Sports Clubs
With the large amount on offer it would almost be a crime not to try one of them out. You will probably have a good laugh, if nothing else, whether you take your two left feet to dance class or attempt something substantially more daring like Shinty or Trampolining.

With the dreaded exam period coming up again (oh hello library) exercise is one of the methods for keeping on top of stress. Regarding such choice, there really is something for everyone – it will give you an hour of useful procrastination at the very least.


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