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When faced with the option of a $1 pack of noodles or $10 for some fruit, fruit is quickly forgotten.
As a university student, there are quite a few factors working against us in our goal to stay fit and healthy – mostly for the lack of moolah! It’s a fact that we don’t have a whole lot of spare cash floating around to spend on gyms, personal trainers or fancy, healthy food.
Luckily for us UOW students, Wollongong has a whole variety of free or cheap options to help achieve the goal of staying fit and healthy. As a third-year student, I'm going to share with you five yummy, healthy and CHEAP recipes that I've cultivated in my time here at UOW, as well as five great exercise options that work for me.
Note: these recipes don't include meat because, as you've probably realised, meat is EXPENSIVE. Meat can always be an optional extra.
Sushi rice $3.50 Soy sauce $1.90 Wasabi $3 Seaweed wraps $3.10 Rice wine $2.30 Cucumber $2 Firm Tofu $3.50 Sushi roller $2
Total cost for 5 meals: $21.30 or $4.25 per meal
Extras: try adding chicken instead of tofu along with avocado!
Wraps $2 Four bean tin x 2 $1.60 Taco seasoning $1 Cheese $3.50 Salsa $2 Avocado dip $3 Cucumber $2 Cherry tomatoes $3
Total cost for 4 meals: $18.10 or $4.50 per meal
Extras: add beef or chicken
Eggplant $4 Tin of lentils x 2 $1.60 Jar of tomato passata $3 Onion $0.50 Mozzarella $3.50
Total cost for 4 meals: $12.60 or $3.15 per meal
Potatoes x 3 $3 Leek $3 1L Vegetable stock $1.90 Onion $0.50 1 clove of garlic $0.50
Total cost for 3 meals: $8.90 or $2.95 per meal.
Extras: Toasted bread to have with it.
Lebanese wraps $3.50 Lettuce $2 Cucumber $2 Cherry tomatoes $3 Sweet potato $2 Tzatziki dip $2 Feta $3.40
Total for 5 meals: $17.90 which is $3.60 per meal
Extras: add halloumi and/or chicken
Now that we've covered food, let's address problem number two - actual exercise. Groan. I know.
I've aimed to include mostly free activities, but I have added a few paying options for those of you who'd prefer it. I know that if I've paid for something, I'm more likely to go which is pretty key to my exercise motivation!
Yes, running can be hard and boring but facts are it is the easiest and cheapest way to keep fit and healthy. There is a great app called Just Draw It which allows you to create your own running path and see how far you can run. For those of you who live at Kooloobong and Fairy Meadow, here's some of the tracks I like:
For some exercise throughout summer - or for those who are reeeeaalllyyyy keen in winter - there is a free pool next to North Wollongong beach where you can do some laps.
UOW not only has their own students' sports clubs, they also offer free sporting activities throughout the semester too!
Yes, this is a gym and therefore it costs money. But, if gyms work for you, I would highly recommend the uni gym. You get access to both the campus gym and the Innovation Campus gym. The membership fee is just under $30 a fortnight. Not too bad when you think about it, especially in comparison to others!
This option is the most expensive but I had to add it in because it is such a cool alternative to regular exercise! There is an indoor rock climbing centre called Hangdog in Wollongong, a bit out of the way if you don't have a car, but it's only a few minute's walk from Coniston train station.
Their best membership deal is under $20 per week but there is a student night if you want to try before you buy - unlimited climbing and a free pizza (who can say no to free pizza??) for $15. It is so much fun I promise!