Physical Activity

Physical activity is very important to keep a healthy body and a healthy mind, it has great health benefits and it prevents all sort of diseases including diabetes, heart conditions, strokes, obesity, etc. Being physically active helps you have more energy and take a break from all the stress and worries of everyday life.

Physical inactivity causes health problems. Some points to consider:

  •       Inactivity poses the same risk of heart disease as smoking, having high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
  •       At least 70% of the UK population fail to do enough physical activity, are you in that 70%?

Why start now?

  •       It’s never too late to start being healthier, you will see the benefits in no time.
  •       You don’t have to run 10k every day or go to the gym, you can have power walks or long hikes, go swimming, practice a sport, do some dancing, be social while you do it or take a minute to be on your own.
  •       Trying new things will open doors to a world of opportunities and new hobbies that will only make your life better.
  •       Feeling active and looking great will motivate you to eat better and live a healthier lifestyle.
Aberdeen Sports Village


Membership of ASV

The University provides FREE off-peak memberships for Aberdeen Sports Village to all its employees, enjoy its world class facilities for free including access to pool and sauna and all off peak fitness classes. 

Off peak memberships allow users to access the fitness suite and classes from 06.30-16.30 Monday to Friday (last entry 16.00), and anytime at weekends. In addition, University staff will be allowed entry to Tuesday’s Total Fitness and Thursday’s Sports Conditioning evening classes free of charge. Please see the class timetable for details of times.

On your first visit to ASV, please take your Staff ID card along to reception.  You will be asked to complete a short membership application form and the ASV team will then activate your membership (Staff ID) card for you.

If you refer a friend, their ASV membership will cost just £30 per month.  more information

Upgrade options

Staff can upgrade their free off-peak membership to a peak membership (fitness suite and class access during all opening hours) with a small additional monthly cost. To upgrade, please contact ASV directly on +44 (0) 1224 43 8900 or click here for more information. If you are a squash player or use the athletics area, you may also upgrade to include these facilities with a different price upgrade plan – please call ASV for specific upgrade options.

Sport and Exercise Team

The University of Aberdeen Sport and Exercise Team is based at Aberdeen Sports Village. They are dedicated to encouraging participation, enjoyment and mastery in sport and exercise. They take pride in their teaching and the vast amount of opportunities they offer staff, students and the local community.

Visit the dedicated Sport and Exercise Team website where you will find a network of support that features a variety of services, programmes, and classes. So go on...feel inspired, be motivated and take a step towards a healthier you!

Where to start


How to start being more physically active.


Starting is the hardest part, here is some advice on how to get away from your desk/couch/bed:

Make a decision to exercise: make a conscious decision to be more active, leave the excuses behind and focus on what you want to achieve.

Set a goal:
it can be a small or a very ambitious goal but have a clear achievement in mind: doing a 30 minute walk per week, or going to the gym twice a week or hiking every weekend, it can be anything you want.

Identify available time slots to exercise: monitor your daily activities for one week and try to assign at least three 30 minute slots for exercising. After you have identified your slot put it in your diary or calendar for everyone to see it.

Save time to rest: after you have exercised make sure you take time off to rest, you deserve it!

organise your working out clothes the day before or pack your pre workout snacks so you feel more comfortable and prepared.

Don’t be afraid to try it all:
some people hate walking and running but really enjoy climbing or swimming, try everything until you find the one activity you really enjoy doing, there is so much to try out there!

Start including physical activity everywhere: take the stairs instead of the lift, do your own garden, walk or cycle more instead of using your car.

Join a fitness centre: take advantage of the Sport Village FREE Corporate Membership where you’ll have access to all fitness classes, energy zone, swimming facilities and fitness consultations. 


How to start running


Running is free and you can do it anywhere at any time, it has great health benefits and it is also a good way of meditating, here is some advice on how to start running.

1. If you are overweight, obese or have other health problems it is recommended to see your GP first. If you have not been active in the past you can start by having long walks increasing the speed overtime until you feel you are ready to run.

2. Choose a park or a beach or any place surrounded by nature, this will allow you to breathe cleaner air and have more energy as opposed to running in polluted areas.

3. Get a good pair of running shoes that suits your foot type to reduce risk of injury and don’t forget to change them every 300 miles.

4. Ease yourself into running slowly, start with a slow pace and gradually increase it, push yourself but feel free to take your time and do what feels natural.

5. Take at least 5 minutes to warm up and stretch, this will get your blood flow going and you’ll enjoy running a lot more.

6. Start walking for an amount of time that you feel comfortable with from 10 to 30 minutes or more, then start running in intervals during the walk, start with 2 minutes and keep increasing it until you can run the full 30 minutes.

7. After each run walk slowly for a few minutes and stretch.

8. Be consistent with your running, don’t start running every day for one week and stop for one month because you would lose all the work you put in the first week, it is better to run twice a week every week consistently than stop running for long periods of time.

9. Stay motivated: join a running group or create one, challenge your friends or your partner and set achievable short term goals and one ambitious long term goal, sign up for a marathon or a 10k run in the future.

10. Record your runs in a calendar, a diary or an app that you can see every day to give you some extra motivation.


Running in Aberdeen


Parkrun Aberdeen: 
A FREE event held every Saturday at 9:30 am where people from all around Aberdeen complete a 5k run. The parkrun team will time you and email your results every week. This is a fantastic way to motivate yourself to start running and meet new people. There are several locations for this event including the beach and Hazelhead Park. Join the team for a coffee after. For more information visit: Parkrun

Couch to 5k: 
An NHS initiative designed to give new runners detailed information on how to start running. For more information visit: Couch to 5K

Jog Scotland: An initiative that tries to get everyone jogging by creating groups of people from their own community, it is FREE to join and the schedule is very flexible with different levels of physical activity. For more information visit: JogScotland


How to start cycling 

Cycling is a great option! It is very easy to start, makes your legs stronger and it’s good for the environment! Here are a few tips on how to start.

1. If you don’t know how to cycle or haven’t cycle for a while start by practising in a no traffic zone such as a park, beach boulevard, etc. Do not go onto the road until you feel comfortable cycling single handed so you can make traffic signals with your hands.

2. If you have the opportunity choose out of city natural places to cycle, it will be a more relaxing experience to cycle in a non-traffic zone, especially if you have kids.

3. Get all the necessary safety gear: helmet, comfortable and warm clothing, signal lights, etc.

4. Check the Highway Code.

5. Start with moderate and short rides and gradually increase them, give yourself a challenge every day.

6. Cycling can be an extremely enjoyable activity where you can connect with nature and meet new people, so stay motivated by taking cycling trips or join a cycling group.

7. You can also do a combination of cycling trips and cycling to work, to the gym or the supermarket.

Cycling in Aberdeen

Recreational cycling routes:
Find a variety of scenic cycling routes around Aberdeenshire. For more information visit: Cycling Routes



An initiative based at the University of Aberdeen Campus that offers help to cycling enthusiasts; you can get a used bike for a considerable price, fix your current bike, attend workshops, get spare parts, get advice from experts and participate in their events. For more information visit: BeCycle

Cycling UK: 
A UK initiative to get people across Britain cycling, get advice and attend events and workshops. For more information visit: Cycling UK

Weekly Activities

*All fitness classes and events held on Campus are free for University Staff unless noted otherwise. *To Access all Well-being events visit our Events page

King’s College campus

Join the jogging team whether you are a beginner or an advanced runner.
Every Monday & Wednesday 17:30 – 18:30
For more information Contact Michael Chung.

Walk a Mile:
Get away from your desk and follow the red arrows to walk one mile around campus, it will only take 15 minutes! Just walking for 15 minutes per day will improve your heart rate, help you lose weight and reduce stress levels. Why not try a walking meeting or catch up?
For more information visit: Walk a Mile.

The Medal routes:
The Medal Routes are three short circular walking routes that start and finish at the same location. These routes are designed to take approximately 15, 30 and 60 minutes. Medal routes in Aberdeen include:

Marischal College.
Aberdeen Sports Village.
Seaton Park.

Foresterhill Campus

Suitable for all levels come join a FREE fitness/ dancing class.
Starting date: 18th of July 2016 18:15 – 19:15
Where: Suttie Centre, Room 217
For more information contact Arlene Ray.

Friskis & Svettis: Basic Jymba Exercise class
This class is suitable for all fitness levels; it is a combination of low impact cardio and floor work.
Every Monday 17:15 – 18:15
Where: Suttie Centre, room 217.
For more information contact  Arlene Ray.

Hatha Yoga:

Suitable for all abilities. The class covers the full spectrum of yoga, including physical postures, breathing practices and relaxation.

Tuesday 17:45 - 18:45

Where: Suttie Centre, Room 402, Foresterhill.

For more information contact Arlene Ray.


For more information about events at the Suttie Centre visit