How to keep fit on the cheap in York

The new sports village has benefited indoor water sports
The new sports village has benefited indoor water sports

As a student, you will probably not be splashing out on a personal trainer to stave off the dreaded fresher’s fifteen – no matter how many calories worth of triple vodka Vimto you manage to consume on a night out. On a budget, even a standard gym membership at York might seem like a hefty chunk (roughly £30 a month at the newly built Sport Village, or £20 at the old but functioning Sport Centre).

But, having said that, there’s no need to confine yourself to a permanent state of vegetation. A number of societies offer classes at a fraction of the price you might expect off campus. Aerobics Society offers at least an hour’s worth of bouncing around (albeit to slightly questionable music tracks) for just £1 most nights of the week, and Yoga Society provide different styles of class for beginners and more advanced yogis too. Not to mention the host of other sport-related clubs and societies listed on the YUSU website if you are more team sport oriented or fancy something a bit different. Usually these are (again) pretty good value, from Triathlon Society to Cheerleading with the York Hornets. Although some societies do require a lump sum before you join, you quickly make it up in organised training sessions and more importantly in priceless Wednesday night sport socials.

If you are an absolute fanatic and STILL have some energy left, or need to burn off steam after lectures, there are running and cycling routes worth exploring. The golf course and 22 Acres near Halifax College are firm favourites, as are the paths alongside the River Ouse. If, like me, you aren’t a regular swimmer but occasionally fancy a dip, you can pay to use the pool at the Sport Village on a one-off basis (unfortunately only members have access to the privilege of the steam and sauna rooms, but there you go).

One more option is to check out the boot camps organised around York by independent instructors, such as Insane Fitness York. These are ideal if you are mildly masochistic and enjoy being shouted at.