Manchester Sport Wellbeing

Looking after your physical health at university

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Here’s our guide to some simple ways to take care of your physical health while at uni.

1. Register with local health services

If you have already returned to Manchester or are planning to do so, you should register with local health services when you arrive to make sure you can get the help you need if and when you need to. 

You should:

  • Register with a local GP
  • Register with a local dentist
  • Find out how to access uni support services
  • Find out where your local walk-in centre or minor injuries unit is
  • Find out where your local A&E is, just in case.

You can find your nearest pharmacist, GP surgery and other services on the NHS website. You’ll need to fill in a form online or in person to register with a GP. Call or visit your chosen surgery to find out the best way to sign up.

Make sure your doctor knows about any prescriptions you need. Register with a local pharmacy when you arrive and confirm that your prescription will come through on time.

You can see a GP for emergency treatment for up to 14 days if you’re unregistered but you’ll need to register if your treatment lasts longer than this.

2. Eat a healthy, balanced diet

Choosing the right foods will help boost your mood and energy, and help you sleep. Being healthy doesn’t mean cutting out things like desserts or restricting yourself. Start the day with a good breakfast, eat regularly throughout the day, and opt for healthy snacks. 

Try to build a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, protein and fibre. Home cooked food tends to contain less sugar and salt than takeaways or ready meals, and it’s cheaper, so try to cook more of your food at home.

Food safety
Food hygiene is important when you’re cooking at home. This means storing, preparing and cooking your food safely.

Stay safe in the kitchen by washing your hands regularly and before you cook, and using protective equipment like oven mitts and an apron when dealing with hot food. Make sure that food is fully defrosted before you use it and cooked thoroughly. You should only reheat leftovers once.

Keep your food safe by storing food in sealed containers and keeping perishables like milk, meat, sandwiches and ready meals in the fridge. Don’t overload your fridge or it could stop working. Keep cooked and raw food separate, with cooked food stored above raw foods like meats.

Take a look at some tips, advice and resources for looking after your nutrition

3. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is important – even mild dehydration can impact your concentration and mood and make you feel tired or unwell. 

Make sure you drink at least 2 litres of water a day – try keeping a water bottle with you and remember to sip on it throughout the day to help you stay hydrated.

4. Build exercise into your routine

Physical activity supports your fitness, wellbeing and mental health. It’s great for short-term stress relief and improving your mood, as well as improving your fitness and overall physical health. 

You can exercise socially or on your own – consider joining an online class or going out for walks alone for some peace and quiet. If you’re a beginner, try building some short periods of exercise into your normal routine; you could try a 15 minute class in the morning or fit in a lunchtime run. 

UoM Sport
Over the next few months, Sport will continue to be providing resources to support you in getting, or staying, active. Keep an eye on the sections below and follow us on our @UoMSport social media channels to hear about the latest opportunities.

5. Get a good night’s sleep

Sleep is one of the most important things in order for us to be healthy and support our overall wellbeing. Our quality of sleep affects many things including the way we feel, our appetite and how quickly we can recover from injuries and illnesses.

The amount that each person needs is different; however, it is recommended that a healthy adult should sleep, on average, between seven and nine hours a night. The most important thing is to keep your sleeping routine consistent, so don’t feel too bad if you don’t get up as early as your friends!

Tips for sleeping well:

  • Control your bedroom – decide whether you want to listen to music, soothing sounds or silence, how much light you need to sleep, and how warm you want to be
  • Build an evening routine and stick to it – a lot of people enjoy calm activities like reading or meditating before going to bed
  • Turn your phone off or put it on silent and out of reach overnight
  • Avoid caffeine and food soon before bed

Take a look at these tools and resources for improving your sleep.

6. Stay safe on campus

We have safety measures and restrictions in place to limit the spread of Covid-19. For the latest information and guidance, see our Coronavirus FAQs and make sure to check our campus safety guidance to protect yourself, friends, family and vulnerable members of the community.

If you get sick
Most of the time, you’ll recover from colds, flu and similar illnesses on your own. If you catch a bug, let your housemates and tutor know and avoid going out until you’ve recovered. Give your body time to get better by resting at home, drinking plenty of water and eating healthily.

If you or someone you live with have symptoms of Covid-19, please make sure that you self-isolate and book an NHS Covid test if you are showing symptoms.  

Here are the steps you should follow if you receive a positive result: 

  • Self-isolate immediately (follow the NHS guidance on when to self-isolate and what to do, paying special attention to the advice on how long to self-isolate for);
  • If you need medical advice about your symptoms, check the NHS 111 online coronavirus service;
  • If you start to feel very unwell or in case of a medical emergency, call 999; 
  • Notify the University by completing our eForm.
  • If you live in University halls of residence, please also contact your ResLife team to let them know and we can put the right support in place for you: Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, please email Out of hours (Monday to Friday, 6pm to 8am and weekends), please call your Duty ResLife Advisor.

We can offer you support while you are self-isolating. You are not alone. Our self-isolation guidance for students webpage will have our most up-to-date information and support available to those students who are required to self-isolate.