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[Photo: Elizabeth Andrews]

Staying Fit in Reading

WHEN moving-in day arrives, the term begins, and the student lifestyle (comprising of parties and pot noodles) begins once again. As a fresher, it’s your first time living away from home, and you can smell the freedom. Your loan has come in, and what’s the first thing you spend it on? Food and your Freshers’ wristband.

Food shopping is simple – it takes less than 10 minutes and comprises merely of carbs, pasta sauce and the cheapest booze available. You and your new flatmates boil some pasta in a pan and the introductions begin. After a couple of drinks everyone is merry and doesn’t notice the slightly crunchy pasta and lukewarm sauce they are tucking in to. Everyone gets changed for the fancy dress theme, drinks continue to flow, and the people in the flats above and below come and introduce themselves. Let the drinking games begin!

You head on to the bar with your new group of friends, and you all bundle in to a taxi in to town where you meet hundreds of other new freshers, all dressed as silly as you. You party until the early hours of the morning when you all decide to head home, via Chicken Base…. This cycle of events will continue for the first 2-3 weeks of term until freshers flu kicks in.

It’s no secret that students don’t lead very healthy lifestyles, and in early stages this is fine. However, this ‘Carbo-Vodka’ diet is not healthy as a long-term lifestyle; an average student puts on 11.8lbs in weight in their first year at University. There are many facilities in Reading which will help you stay fit and active, and burn off the booze from the night before! With a range of activities available, there is something for everyone;

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1) The new Bike Scheme – sign up to the ‘Ready Bike’ Scheme which has just been introduced all around Reading. With 15 new bikes you can hire on campus for just £1 an hour, cycle your way to and from lectures. Click here for more details.

2) SportsPark Membership – with the new Sportspark on our very own Whiteknights campus, this is the perfect chance to get fit! With student membership starting at just £20 per month, you have access to fantastic facilities, including a fully-equipped gym with treadmills, cross trainers, resistance machines and weights, squash courts, sports hall and dance studios, as well as outdoor football, tennis and netball courts. There are also up to 15 exercise classes a day for you to choose from, perfect to take a friend!

3) Swimming – with the Central Reading Swimming Pool students can swim for as little as £2.65 per session. And very close to the town centre for you to treat yourself with a nice dinner afterwards!

4) Sport – of course, as a university, there are over 60 different sports clubs to choose from for students to join. From Netball or Football, to Scuba Diving and Fencing, there is a wide range of choice for new students to try out!

About Elizabeth Andrews

e.d.Andrews@student.reading.ac.uk'
A third year Food Technology Student, currently on a year's placement experiencing the Big Wide World! Loves researching flavour combinations and recipes, test cooking and, of course eating!

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