Fitness & Health

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Activities available throughout campus on a weekly basis at no cost

THE IDEA OF fitting a regular workout into one’s schedule can be a daunting task for students bombarded with school, work, and extra-curricular activities. But the benefits of regular exercise include improved stress levels, increased energy, and improved sleep and digestion.

Studies show that people aged 18 to 25 require on average 45 to 60 minutes of exercise a day.  The University of Ottawa provides plenty of options to meet your needs. Apart from the exercise room with standard equipment like treadmills, stationary bikes, elliptical machines, and weights, there are several drop-in activities throughout the week. These are really easy to squeeze into your 90-minute break between classes—there’s a free activity for everyone.

Activities throughout the week include martial arts, badminton, adult lane swim, basketball, hockey, skating, soccer, and volleyball. Activities like badminton and basketball are the most popular sports at the Montpetit Hall gymnasium, with pick-up games available for all skill levels throughout the week.

“The games are really easy to join, there’s a wide range of skill, and it’s one of the better places to play pick-up basketball,” says Warren Sun, a fourth-year biochemistry student and frequent visitor at Montpetit.

Whether you want to play in a full court, half court, or you just want to shoot the basketball, the gym is open Monday to Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.

You can play badminton Monday to Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. The games consist of 30-minute time periods and you are encouraged to play with a partner.

Lane swimming happens at various times throughout the week and the open swim is currently the only drop-in activity available as an evening activity. There are also female-only options for swimming available throughout the week.

Drop-in soccer takes place at Matt Anthony Field located outside the Minto Sports Complex on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:50 p.m.

If you don’t have the necessary equipment, don’t worry. The Montpetit gym offers free rentals of basketballs, volleyballs, footballs, and soccer balls for a three-hour period. There is also a $2.50 rental fee for badminton and squash racquets for each drop-in activity.

“The drop-in activities are a great way to meet people and have fun,” says Shiden Haile, a former U of O student and current employee at Sports Services.

A complete list of activities and details can be found on the Gee-Gees website.

Sport Services makes physical activity more available and accessible—it doesn’t have to be expensive. With the variety of options available throughout campus, its difficult to not find something suitable for you.  It’s hard to avoid and it’s rewarding; even just a few minutes a day can improve your health and generate feelings of well-being.  Two essential aspects of any succesful student’s life. f