Get support from UBC student resources and services on finances, health, immigration, and more.

CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) AND UBC’S RESPONSE: Find the latest updates and resources from the University.

students doing yoga
January 7, 2019
2 mins read

A broke student's guide to staying active

As much as I am all for the “new year, new me” mentality, let’s be real, it’s a hard mindset to maintain throughout the year, especially if money is tight.

Luckily, there are tons of easy ways to fit fitness into your routine on campus, without breaking the bank.

UBC Free Week

Take part in UBC Rec’s Free Week and join in on a range of instructor-led fitness classes—no registration or experience necessary! Try a spin class, learn some Muay Thai moves, unwind with Vinyasa Yoga, or just get active without spending a dime. Check out the UBC Free Week schedule. You could discover your new favourite sport or hobby, and make some friends along the way.

When: January 7 - 13, 2019

Cost: Free

UBC Rec also hosts free events like Yoga Rave, drop-in skating, swimming, and sports, and other cheap and low-barrier ways for you to get your sweat on.

UBC BodyWorks Centre Drop-in

Designed and run by the School of Kinesiology, UBC BodyWorks fitness centre offers classes, and personal training for all skill levels—plus, you’re more likely to nab an elliptical there than at the BirdCoop on a weekday afternoon.

When: Monday to Friday from 1:00 - 4:00 pm

Cost: $3

Move UBC and Walking tours

Take advantage of all the scenic routes on campus and the lush forest right in our backyard. Move UBC will also be hosting a variety of events to counter the infamous sitting epidemic. Take part in a Walkabout Walk: Go on Dog-Lovers Stroll (because who doesn't want to meet some pups?) or try Stair-ing Down to Wreck Beach if you're feeling ambitious—you’d be surprised what some fresh air can do for you.

When: Anytime on your own, or check out their scheduled walks

Cost: Free

Active tips


Anyone who’s trekked to Wreck Beach knows that you don’t need an elliptical when you have nature’s Stairmaster. Take the stairs to class because you may be winded now but your glutes will thank you later.


Eight hours of sitting (and slouching) does a number on the body. Make an effort to get up and lengthen your spine or try some exercises you can do without giving up that coveted seat in Irving. Not sure what to do? Watch this for some tips.

Take advantage of student discounts

When in doubt, ask for the student pricing. GoodLife Fitness offers student rates for gym memberships, and your local community centre is a great hub for affordable classes and gym memberships. (PS. BirdCoop memberships are only $35 a term.)

So whether you’re on a budget or a little intimidated by the gym environment, there are plenty of cheap and fun ways to stay active.