Uni Life

Staying healthy on exchange – Part 2: Exercise

In Part One, Tess shared her tips and tricks on how to eat healthy and nourishing food while on exchange. 

Hi again! You may have come straight from the first article of this 3-part series dedicated to guiding you through your exchange in the healthiest ways. If you have just stumbled upon this post, here are a few tips on how you can stay on track or get started in fitness whilst still having the time of your life as an exchange student, or any kind of student, really!

Part 2: The curse of exercise

Whether you are a sporty person or not, getting into working out while you are on exchange in a foreign country can be difficult. You start procrastinating, telling yourself you’ll workout when the weather cools down, when you find a work out buddy or that you’ll get back on track when you get home. Although this seems acceptable considering you’re living a once-in-a-lifetime experience, your fitness level can start dragging you down, physically and mentally, and that’s a shame since exercising is one of the best ways to feel confident. Your exchange can be an opportunity to get in shape!

“Exercising is expensive”

Sure, gym memberships can be a real strain on your wallet but there are hundreds of alternatives that will hardly cost you a penny – just come with your sport shoes. You’ll feel like you have to use them so that you didn’t bring them for nothing. Go for walks, jogs, runs, even if for just a few minutes; the most important thing is getting started!

Sport shoes: the first step of getting into exercise! (Get it? “first step” – okay, I’ll show myself out)


I would also recommend getting some weights and an exercise mat (I got mine from a thrift store for less than $10) to follow along with YouTube workout videos in your room. There are videos to work out your abs, legs, arms; anything and everything you’re after is there! You can also learn to do yoga! If you can’t find a mat and weights, use water bottles and do strength training. YouTube is a gold mine for no equipment workouts that’ll get you sweating just like the gym.

You can browse anything, from cardio to yoga, dance lessons, abs and leg circuits… The world of fitness at your fingertips!


Personally, I bought a bike on Facebook Marketplace and used it to get around. It was a great way to be active and gave me far more mobility to explore my surroundings. I also saved a lot of money on tram fares!

My trusty mountain bike took me anywhere I needed to go and got my cardio going!


“It’s too hot/cold to work-out”

If it’s too hot during the day, you can go for a swim or find a shaded area to walk (a forest, a park, a shopping centre). Working out in your dorm is also a good way to stay out of the rain or burning sun! You’ll also find that once you get started, the temperature doesn’t affect you as much.

A good old yoga mat and weights are all you need to exercise in the comfort of your home. You can even use water bottles instead of weights!


“I don’t know what to do on my own”

YouTube is a the perfect resource for this! Thousands of quality videos by certified trainers are at your fingertips. All you need to do is type in what kind of workout you’d like to do and follow along!

A good trick can also be to find a workout buddy. Talk to people you meet about wanting to exercise or post a message on your uni’s Facebook group. Also, look into your uni’s sport societies; they are a great way to socialise and give you access to facilities for a cheap price that can get your sweat going!

Hopefully some of these tips can apply to you and motivate you into achieving or maintaining fitness goals that help you to feel your best. Exercising will also help you clear your mind, produce happiness endorphins, balance your hormone levels and adopt a regular sleep pattern. While we’re on the topic of sleep patterns, stay tuned for part 3 of this series!

– Tess

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