Health Sport Wellbeing

Burn off your Easter Feasting

We hope you had a lovely Easter weekend and had the chance to enjoy the traditions of a Sunday roast, hot cross buns and Easter eggs. It’s great to indulge in a few Easter treats, but if it’s left you wanting to burn off a few calories we’ve got some simple ideas to help. You don’t always need a gym to be active and burn calories – activities done at home or out and about can be quick but really beneficial – take a look at some of these.

As you may know, the wellbeing spotlight has been focused on Be Active this March and April. No matter how big or small, being active is great for your wellbeing, and beneficial both mental and physical health.

An Easter egg contains between 400 to 1,400 calories depending on size. But if you want to offset those extra calories, here are some great exercise routines you can try:

Walking and jogging (at a medium pace)

Walking and running can be really great for your wellbeing, allowing you to take a break from your studies and reduce stress hormones.

If you’re still in Manchester for the Easter break, you can take a walk around campus during your break instead of sitting on a bench. One lap of the Ali G Quad will burn around 17 calories. Or, why not walk to and from University? Walking from Fallowfield to the Students’ Union will burn around 125 calories.

The same can be said for jogging; if you jogged one lap of the Ali G Quad, you’ll burn around 25 calories (although don’t get dizzy!) If you fancied a lunchtime jog, you’d burn 200 calories by doing a lap around Whitworth Park and looped back from University Green (take a look at the map below).

If you want to push yourself on the weekend, a jog from Fallowfield to the Student’s Union and back would burn around 410 calories.

If you’ve gone home for the break, or you want to find out how many calories you can burn through your own route, check out Mapometer, which roughly calculates the intensity of your walk or jog.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Sounds gruelling…but not if you make it enjoyable! There’s a whole range of exercises which you can do at home; if you switch things up and make sure you take brief breaks, HIIT is a really great fitness routine which you can take anywhere.

If you really want to test yourself, here’s a HIIT routine which can burn 1000 calories:

Warm-up -> crunches ->  sit-ups ->  leg up crunches ->  oblique crunches ->  scissor legs ->  high knees ->  side alternate leg kicks ->  weighted Russian twists ->  plank ->  plank jacks ->  cool down stretches

There are plenty of other HIIT routines you can find online too (cue Joe Wicks, The Body Coach…)

Or, take it step-by-step and try out one exercise at a time; for example, you can burn at least 740 calories from 90 minutes of burpees with regular breaks. Just remember – you need to make your routine enjoyable. Otherwise, there’s no desire to do it again!

If you’re unsure about how to do an individual exercise, there are plenty of instructional videos on YouTube.

And don’t forget, as part of the 30 Day Lunge Challenge, we’ve provided our very own lunge tutorial video. If you lunge for 30 minutes, you’ll burn roughly 275 calories.

Cycling

If you’re lucky enough to own a bike (or, if you’ve hired a bike from the SU’s Biko Bikes), you should definitely try cycling the Fallowfield Loop. The 6.5 mile stretch of road devoted to cyclists passes through parklands – a great cycle route for the spring and summer. If you cycled the whole of the Fallowfield Loop at a medium pace, you’d burn around 118 calories.

For some more inspiration, check out some other great cycle routes away from the city, and take a look at some other great ideas you can try on two wheels.

Swimming

Ok, you might need to pay a bit extra to swim, but the Aquatics Centre is right on your doorstep whilst you’re on campus.

Like every exercise that we’ve already covered, the more intense you exercise, the more calories you’ll burn. With this in mind, swimming front crawl (fast) for an hour will burn 704 calories, whilst swimming slower will burn 493 calories.

If you’ve felt inspired to get active see what else is available on campus with SPORTS Be Active classes.

For more information on Be Active, check out the Six Ways to Wellbeing website.