Headshot of Lucy Smith

How to kick-start your health and fitness

Lucy Smith, Active Lives Coordinator at the University of Edinburgh Sport & Exercise, shares an excellent wellbeing related blog post on why it’s important for the University community to stay physically active. Read on for some motivation…

In 2017, I made one of the best career decisions to date; to start working for Sport & Exercise at the University of Edinburgh, within their well-established gym team service. I joined the team after a rather big career move, having served three years as a Police Officer for Police Scotland. I left the police as my fitness and wellbeing suffered due to the strain of shift work. Upon leaving, I knew I wanted to work within the fitness industry. I understand the benefits physical activity and exercise can have on our mental and physical health, and so became qualified in personal training.

Five years on and I’m delighted to be a Coordinator for our Active Lives programme at Sport & Exercise. We believe physical activity can improve our physical, mental and social wellbeing. Our activities aim to encourage our University community to move more and more often. Importantly, we try to engage with staff and students who are not already engaged in physical activity or sport, and who would benefit from our activities, for example, those who are inactive and/or socially isolated.

The power of sport and physical activity can change lives. As a student, participating in sports clubs or physical activity programmes, can provide a sense of belonging to the University community, with an opportunity to make friends, build self-esteem, confidence, and improve general wellbeing. All of these things can have a hugely positive impact on your University experience.

Our Active Lives activities are open to everybody at the University and provide a platform to have fun whilst being active. We are here to support staff and students who would benefit from physical activity and offer a number of ways to get active, whether it’s by joining a walking group, learning to run, or even tree planting!

For instance, a student who attended one of our recent ‘Just Play Sport’ sessions commented:

“I think the idea of the Just Play session – to overcome financial barriers to sports is really great! These are things that people don’t really talk about but really form a barrier to better mental health and better social integration, especially for international students.”

If you are interested in our Active Lives programme, or would like more information about how you can get involved in physical activity and sport at the University, visit: https://www.ed.ac.uk/sport-exercise

Thanks Lucy for highlighting the huge value in undertaking activities alongside your studies.

(Image credit: Andrew Perry)



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