At two in the morning, with a blank Word document and an ever-approaching deadline at hand, there is no choice but to seek the nourishment of a questionable kebab or something breaded and deep-fried. Hall just does not cater for this kind of dietary emergency and nothing is open at this time of night to dispense wholesome soup and granola bars. Healthy eating is definitely and indulgence of the vac. At home you can eat a dazzling amount of vegetables in all shades of green but Oxford requires comfort food – and a lot of it.
Having established that it is night on impossible to avoid food drowned in fat and sugar during term, it seems that we are all destined to balloon to the size of Aunt Marge. However, I promise that all hope is not lost – with just a few dedicated ‘Oxercises’, you will be well on your way to that buff body you’ve always desired.
Many aspects of the Oxercise routine can be effortlessly included in your daily Oxford schedule. For example, merely walking to and from lectures seamlessly combines study and fitness. This may be an activity in which you are already proficient, so for the serious athlecademics out there, how about adding to this workout? You can increase the intensity, and thus the calories you burn, simply by increasing the number of books you are carrying. With just one copy of The Riverside Chaucer in your hands, you will see your results improve exponentially. In a matter of weeks, your tutor will exclaim how fabulous you’re looking, in spite of last night’s questionable supper of greasy blended meat.
In terms of Oxercise, books are your friends. You’ve probably never looked at it in this way before, but your average college library is an extensive workout space. Don’t be dissuaded by its appearance as a dense underworld of finalists and over-enthusiastic freshers. With a little creativity, it will make your trips to the gym redundant. Added benefits include: no joining fee, no mirrors, knitwear is permitted and due to its proximity to your college there is no added exhaustion pre- or post- workout.
Its most precious resource is (surprisingly) revealed to be its world-renowned collection of books – especially the heavy ones. Take a book from this week’s reading list in your hand and use instead of dumbbells in order to train your biceps. With such classic texts as Colossal Cracks: Montgomery’s 21st Army Group in Northwest Europe, A la recherche du temps perdu, and Another Five Hundred Things You Didn’t Know About Russian Grammar, you will undoubtedly reach the peak of physical perfection in no time at all.
But if you consider the library a bit too out of your way, there are Oxercises that don’t even require you to leave your room in order to fight that flab. Sadly, typing and other lonely computer activities are often ignored as part of training.
However, it has been widely found that those with the best finger, hand, and wrist flexibility lose weight much more easily than their less flexible, more socially adept friends. So whether you are frantically writing an essay or browsing with the company of Chrome’s Incognito window, understand that you are also on the path to fitness.
Lastly, you’ll find that your weekly tutorial proves to be the serious workout of your week, as constantly nodding your head in agreement with your chronically verbose tutor burns up to 200 calories an hour.