Exercise, fitness, Gym, Health, Sport

Keeping Fit!


We have entered November which means that we’re officially in the final countdown for winter and Christmas time. The weather here in Portsmouth is starting to become a little too cold for my taste, but hey, that’s what Britain is known for, right? Good, old rainy weather! Nonetheless, the weather hasn’t stopped me from keeping my usual routine, which consists of going to lectures and seminars as well as trying to regularly keep my gym schedule, which is what I want to talk about in this post.


When I first arrived in Portsmouth to get everything ready for my course and accommodation, one of the first things I did was to sign up for the Early Bird Membership, which is basically an offer for students that register early at the uni’s gym, at a really cheap price of £119 for a whole year, which is just £10 a month! I signed up at the gym near my accommodation, which is the St. Paul’s Gym but there is also another gym facility at the University called Spinnaker Sports Centre, and it’s near to other housing facilities, so all students can have access to the various health and exercise classes and special offers that both gyms organize such as cardio cycling and piloxing (a mix of pilates, boxing and dance). There is also the Langstone Sports Site, which is used mostly for rugby and football games, among other sports.

I’ve realized that everyone needs to keep themselves fit and healthy as much as possible because being a student and away from home, we all tend to go crazy with our eating habits and consume more than we need to without even realizing it. Furthermore, most students tend to go out quite frequently at the clubs and social events at night and usually go back to their rooms in the early hours of morning, which can be harmful to the body’s metabolism. Therefore, keeping a regime routine in your weekly schedule is extremely important to maintain not only a good body, but also a clear head with the appropriate nutrients and a logical sleeping schedule.

In summary, everyone needs to take care of themselves whilst studying, because lots of students tend to get stressed and anxious about their lessons , but having a programme of how to be healthy is vital and also helps with building determination and discipline. Additionally, you also get to have an awesome beach body in the summer and who doesn’t want that? 😉

So what is your everyday regime of being healthy and fit? Does that include going to the gym?

XOXO Ntina

fitness, Free time, Portsmouth, Sport

Weekend Running

How often do you wake up in the morning and feel like you wish to be more fit? Sometimes not only to feel better with your body, but as well as a matter of health?

There are several reasons why one should choose running out of other ways to keep fit. First, is a very affordable way to practice some sport. You just have to find really good sneakers to endure your practice over time, so that your feet won’t get hurt by the continuous training. Everything else comes with time. Sure it is also important to think on sports clothing, but just to start, you just need something comfortable.

Doctors and psychologists believe that running improves several different areas of body development, since not only is it good for your heart, as it might increase your life span and decreases the probability of contracting some diseases, but also it can be an activity working for your self-esteem, social skills and to run the stress away. And you can run wherever you wish and enjoy the sights as you go. And if you do run, maybe you can join next year’s Great South Run.

Last Sunday Portsmouth was invaded by its usual (Morrisons) Great South Run and several athletes (and non-athletes as well) endorsed by a rather voluminous crowd that took over Portsmouth streets – more than 25 000 participants were seen on the run.

First edition of this Great South Run took place in 1990 and since then it turned out to be one of the Europe’s most crowded races – we all had a good look how crowded it can be, last Sunday!

The race is not categorized as a semi-marathon and it is not a 10 000 m race. It goes for a distance of 10 miles (about 16 000 m). Therefore, it is not a recognized distance by the International Association of Athletics Federations. That being so, many argue that most of the elite athletes were absent this year since they could not get results for their admission for the Olympics in 2016, Brazil.

Nonetheless, one of the most notorious athletes of nowadays showed up to take the winning prize for the woman’s elite – the Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot. After only 51 minutes and 17 seconds she cruised home and we must remember that this athlete has won on several occasions, recently on the 10 000 meters run on the IAAF World Championships, Beijing, this year. It was a great pleasure to see this top athlete in Portsmouth!

As for the elite men, victory smiled upon Uganda’s Moses Kipsiro, 46 minutes, though closely followed by the Kenyans Kipsang (46 minutes, 08 seconds) and Bett (46 minutes and 11 seconds).

Several athletes and supporters appeared on the morning race, though the majority were running for charities. A good purpose to run for. More details about these charities and how to join for next year’s run click here.

If you are interested to get a detailed view on the course of the race, just click here.

IMG_20151025_113748 IMG_20151025_121342

To participate you have to keep up and endure this race (it is not a short one) and to be able to enjoy while you compete with yourself, one should practice a while. There are different starters groups. Colored orange went first, followed by the white and then green athletes upon their personal results/time.

There are some groups running at weekends and you will surely find many people running near the seafront. It can be busy sometimes. Southsea parkrun is advertised in several social networks (in the University of Portsmouth facebook page at least) and it seems a good way to join people who are into running, Saturdays at 9am.

Hope this was interesting and if you missed the chance to cheer for the Great South Run athletes, don’t forget there is more next year 😉


Clubs and societies, Course, Free time, Island Experience, Music, Nightlife, Sport, The city


I remember my first ever experience of Freshers Fayre at the University of Portsmouth – it seems like such a long time ago! Wherever I went there were people in the streets handing out leaflets and free things: a flyer for Ken’s Kebabs, a bag of coupons for a restaurant I’d never heard of, a free can of drink from club I would never visit, a free haircut, lollipops, badges and discount shopping vouchers. It was overwhelming! And that was even before I’d pushed my way towards Ravelin Park!

Already my hands were aching from carrying so many flyers. Then I was hit by the noise and the sheer amount of people mingling in the park. More vouchers were thrust into my hands, and then inside the tents so many societies vying to attract new recruits. It seemed like total chaos, and I remember going home to feel relieved to be alone again.

Freshers Fayre is pretty much like that, but I’ve learned to love it during my time. Rather than getting frustrated at the constant leafleters, I smile and gladly take their offerings in the hopes of finding a free pen or some sweets buried amongst the multitude of leaflets in their advertisement packs. I can feel the music pulsing through me at I get nearer to Ravelin Park, and I sense a twinge of excitement as I marvel at the huge number of sports clubs and societies there are on offer. You could never join them all – though what a blast it would be if you could! And I can’t really complain about queuing for one (or six) free slices of pizza from the Domino’s stand.

What to my younger self seemed like pure disorder has actually become one of my favourite times of the academic year. I now come back from Fresher’s feeling pumped and tingling, enthused to start a new year of study.

I was even lucky enough to spend this Fresher’s Fayre with a great bunch of my friends, representing the Japanese Language and Culture Society. How strange it was to be on the other side of this whole little festival. No longer was I the bemused boy wandering around in confusion – now I was the guy behind the stall, standing with the kimono girls and telling potential members about our great new society. It was a lot of fun!

The moral? Enjoy Freshers Fayre, and seriously sign up to some clubs. Any clubs. There’s no excuse for not finding at least one which interests you. Please take it from me: you will have a load more fun at uni if you get involved and meet some new people!  

Blake's View, Clubs and societies, Course, Free time, Island Experience, Nightlife, Sport, Travels

Blake’s View: It’s Not What You Know

They say it’s not what you know in life, but who you know.

It might seem strangely ironic coming from a University student, but the greatest thing I’ve learned so far is the truth of this statement!

Reading Richard’s recent post ‘Friends will be Friends’ really got me thinking.

You see, like my fellow blogger, I had never really ‘met’ anyone who was not British before. Sure, I had been on holiday to foreign lands. But all the friends I had ever had were British. It seemed likely to continue that way for ever.

Yet, one of the best things about University for me has been meeting new people, people who in my average life I would never have had reason to meet. By joining societies, learning a new language and participating in extracurricular activities, I now have friends from far-flung corners of my own country, as well as a variety of places in Europe, Africa and Asia.

People will tell you that University is all about studying, gaining ‘life skills’ or just getting the certificate to improve your prospects of employment. Certainly these were the main reasons in my mind when I convinced myself to give a University degree a second chance. In fact, they’re all good things about University.

But if you look a little deeper, you start to realise that University provides a meeting ground for a wide range of individuals, with different backgrounds, beliefs and abilities. If you make the effort to join a society, take up a sport or learn a language, you will find that you encounter an amazing array of new people. People who, under normal circumstances, you may never have met.

In the future, the friends I have made here will allow me to have new experiences, visit new places, and learn new things. I’ve really enjoyed studying the Americas in my course. But the best thing I will take away with me will be the friends I have made, the happy memories they have provided, and some fantastic opportunities for the future.

Clubs and societies, Course, Music, Nightlife, Sport, Study, The city

And So It Begins Again

Wednesday and Thursday this week were the induction days for Year 2 students in the School of Languages and Area Studies. The lecturers did not waste any time in getting to the big topic – dissertations! As it turns out, preparation for our 10,000 word final-year piece starts early, and by the end of this academic year I will have submitted my finalised research proposal. Although this will undoubtedly take a lot of time and thinking, at least we have been told well in advance – so I’d better make sure I start researching and write a great dissertation!

There wasn’t time to get too caught-up in such thoughts just at the minute, as I made sure to attend the Freshers Fayre in Ravelin Park on both days. What everyone knows about Freshers is the is the free pizza. I’m not entirely sure of free-food etiquette, so I didn’t see any harm in taking (several) second-helpings! There was some great music blasting out of the loudspeakers and tents were packed with revellers and an astonishing array of clubs and societies. I really could not believe that the University has so many different activities to take part in. The weather was great on both days, and being surrounded again by so many other students in the festival-like atmosphere, I felt right at home.

I’m really pleased to be back. I know its going to be a great year. My work this year could be crucial in determining the grade of my degree, so I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to my studies – lessons start on Monday!

Check out the University of Portsmouth Student’s Union (UPSU) for the variety of Sports on offer and Societies to join. Click here for the University’s sports clubs and here for some fantastic societies, using the links on the left to search different categories.

Free time, Island Experience, Nightlife, Sport, The city

September – Signs of a New Season

It’s September at last, but still a few weeks to go before Uni starts. I’m really looking forward to settling back into a scholarly routine.

The past few days I’ve noticed a some distinct changes which have reminded me that Autumn is nearly here – the new season officially starts on 22 September (the day after the autumn equinox).

The first thing to strike me was the encroaching darkness. It’s now getting dark by 8pm, which is a shock after the late summer nights! Then, on a short walk the other day, I noticed blackberries growing in the brambles – I have good memories of picking these fruits at this time of year. Finally, the mornings are distinctly chilly. It can still get very warm in the daytime, but there is a slight frostyness about early in the day, which is pleasantly refreshing!

The long summer is finally at an end – bring on Year 2!