Staying Active: Student Alternatives

1001 Fanshawe College Boulevard, London, ON, Canada / CFRL

Recreational Alternatives for Staying Active


In an increasingly fast-paced world, finding the time to exercise regularly is by no means an easy task.

For university and college students, it is even tougher trying to balance academics, social relationships, and part-time jobs, with a healthy active lifestyle. Compound this with the fact that campus weight rooms and workout facilities often simply do not have the resources to accommodate the thousands of young students using the amenities and your left with a recipe for disaster.

2nd year Bachelor of Management and Organizational Studies (BMOS) student, Austin Blades works out frequently at Western University’s Student Recreation Centre (WSRC) and shares his experience with the facility,

“Depending on what time you go to the gym you can find different crowd sizes and availability of equipment.”

Austin elaborates that understanding peak gym hours is important to planning your workouts,

“If you manage to go in between classes earlier in the day you can sometimes find a period when the gym is a little less busy but generally there is still a good amount of people.”

He goes on to say that there is certain time slot that really discourages him from using the gym,

“I try to avoid going around the hours of 5-8 pm because that’s usually around the time people are finishing class for the day and they head to the gym for a quick workout before returning home for the night. During that 5-8 [pm] period I have to wait long periods of time for equipment I need for my workout and it really throws off the rhythm of my workout because sometimes even my backup plan is occupied by another student.”

While it is encouraging to see that Western students are exercising regularly and in such great numbers, many students that are not as experienced with the workout facilities may find the overwhelming demand for speed and efficiency in the WSRC to be intimidating.

However, not all workouts need to be just brute strength training. As Lee Boyce, trainer and writer for Men’s Fitness magazine writes,

“[If you’re looking at] maintaining existing muscle mass and keeping body fat to a minimum, you’re going to need to make a focus on balancing both cardio and weight training. The key is to make sure that one complements the other. Focus on 3 to 4 lifting days and 2 to 3 cardio days in order to promote the results you’re looking for in this respect.”

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that people ages 18-64 should have 2 and half hours of physical activity a week in order to greatly limit the risk of over 25 chronic conditions, including:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Hypertension
  • Breast cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Osteoporosis.

There are endless ways to stay active for students in London without having to step foot in campus facilities. The City of London boasts 43 public tennis courts, multiple community centres and local schools with basketball hoops, and many long streets fit for any cycling, boarding, or running endeavor.


So if you’re searching for ways to reach your weekly goal for physical activity regardless of if you use campus facilities or not, don’t hesitate to Google local facilities/locations fit for the activity you desire.

Commitment and routine to physical activity is important, but finding alternatives when facilities are busy may be beneficial in a student’s busy schedule.

Explore your options, have fun, and stay active!


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