Have you ever caught yourself getting tired walking between two classrooms or spending dollars on getting a pizza delivered from a shop a few metres away because you were feeling too lazy to walk down? If this has happened to you, chances are that you are not paying attention to your physical fitness.
Exercising regularly can not only help you get fitter, but also fight diseases, maintain a good mood and mental-wellbeing, and boo, and boost your energy and efficiency in day-to-day tasks. But it is even more important for students. Several studies have shown that exercising can help, improve attention, concentration, motivation, and memory. Turns out you should not be ignoring it during exam days!
Melbourne’s student cohort is made up of students from around the world and diverse cultural backgrounds. We understand that many women might face barriers in joining a regular fitness program or gym and that restricts them from working on their fitness. Keeping this in mind, Melbourne University Sport launched a women's only gym program at Lincoln Square Fitness this semester. The sessions run on Saturdays from 9am to 12pm and are free for the University of Melbourne students.
We caught up with Alina Ouyang, who has been coming to these sessions and enjoying the experience. “It’s been really good. I really look forward to these sessions because it is a nice break from Uni and studying. It is nice to have a comfortable space where you feel safe and you can work out with other women,” she said.
Another student, Wangshu, said she likes the abundant space and the variety of equipment at Lincoln Square Fitness. “I have been using the treadmill and the weights and really enjoying working out here. It is getting hot outside, but inside it’s very cool,” Wangshu said with a little laugh.
Both Alina and Wangshu stressed upon the supporting environment of the sessions. “The highlight has been finding gym buddies and helping each other improve our form. I think that is something hard to do by yourself as you cannot see your form properly and you don’t feel comfortable asking strangers in a public gym sometimes. It is definitely a better environment to find gym buddies and they make you feel more motivated to put more work and effort into your workout,” Alina said.
“There is some equipment in the gym that I don’t know how to use. But I have been learning by watching other women use it. It has been inspirational. If you are working out alone in the gym, it can be boring, but thankfully, we have many other “Strong Women” here,” Wangshu added.
With the final exams getting underway this week, it is important to remember to take care of one’s health and fitness in between the study time. For Wangshu, the free gym sessions have been a good way to get refreshed as she prepares for the exams.
We encourage women from all backgrounds and faiths to try out a free Strong Women gym session this Saturday. Bookings can be made online on the group fitness timetable. Walk-ins are also welcome.