Fitness & Health

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Three tips to keep in summer shape throughout the fall

Photo: Kim Wiens

As the new school year quickly approaches at the University of Ottawa, many students will mourn the loss of our summers and the new healthy habits they’ve picked up. Soon the daily stresses of lectures, midterms, and exams will make that extra hour at the gym or that weekly hot yoga class seem beyond your reach. However, it’s still paramount to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle throughout the school year—for the sake of next summer at the very least. There are plenty of activities going on all the time during the school year, and with that in mind here are some key tips to staying active this upcoming semester.

The Gym:

The University of Ottawa has two gyms, a larger one located in the Minto Sports Complex on the corner of Templeton and King Edward, and a smaller one in Montpetit Hall. Every full-time student with a student card has access to these facilities, so it would be smart to take advantage of this resource as much as you can.

However, it’s important to mention that at certain times the gym can get packed, normally during evening hours after work or school and on weekends. If you prefer to work out in solitude and want to avoid waiting 15 minutes for a machine, try to sneak in a quick gym session in the mornings before class or mid-afternoon. The Montpetit gym facility is much smaller. Most times it’s busy, but it’s in a slightly more convenient location.


The U of O offers a number of different intramural leagues for a variety of sports. Currently, the university offers ball hockey, basketball, dodgeball, flag football, ultimate, hockey, soccer, and volleyball.

There are three ways to experience intramurals; you can form a team with your friends, colleagues, strangers, etc. and compete in the male or female leagues; or perhaps you may prefer the different style of gameplay that occurs in the co-ed leagues. If you’re more of a lone wolf, you can always sign up as an individual to be placed on a team.

Some sports are available in different streams according to the intensity of competition, titled “grey” for intermediate leagues and “garnet” for competitive leagues. It’s worth noting that these leagues are extremely popular with students, employees and alumni—so make sure to register early!

Grocery Days:

One of the perks of being a student is the 10 per cent student discount at Loblaws and Metro, both on Rideau Street, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This deal is perfect for the health-conscious type who wants to squeeze for that organic option. Just make sure to bring your student card as proof of your status!

Again, because of the popularity of this deal it can get rather crowded at the stores, so steer clear of the ‘lunch rush’ and the sometimes clogged post-work lanes.

Instead, go at midnight when the aisles are empty or early in the morning when the produce is being re-stocked for the day. Remember, a nutritious and balanced diet is a key ingredient to a healthy lifestyle!