Notification of Annual Monash University Closedown Period

As we approach the end of 2015, this is a timely reminder about the annual Monash University closedown period, which will be effective from Wednesday 23 December, through to Sunday 3 January 2016 (inclusive).

Customers will not be able to use our facilities during this time, our last day of operation in 2015 will be Tuesday 22 December. We look forward to opening and seeing you again in the new year on Monday 4 January.

Please speak to any Monash Sport customer service officer for further information or questions you may have regarding your membership.

Summer Social Sport Registrations - Now Open!

Love Sport? Looking for more ways to keep fit through summer? Want a bit of friendly competition?

Summer season registrations are now open

Registrations close Tuesday 17 November, but many competitions reach capacity well before the close date so get in quick! 

Order of entry into competitions will be based on date of registration so register early to avoid disappointment.

All registrations must be completed online. To find out more please click here.

Beat the Heat and Stay Hydrated This Summer

With the temperatures climbing and the summer sun peeking through, it can be hard to stay hydrated.

Every day, our bodies naturally lose water. Perspiration in the summer months, particularly if you're active, increases the amount of water you lose each day, so replacing this water is incredibly important.

Water is required in a number of biochemical reactions, supplying nutrients and removing waste. It is essential to maintain your blood circulation through your body and your body temperature. Dehydration can be serious leading to problems ranging from swollen feet or headaches, to life-threatening illnesses such as heat stroke.

The amount of water you need varies between people. Thirst isn't the best indicator of when you need to drink either. If you're thirsty, then you're already dehydrated. For athletes a good indicator of how much fluid you need is to weigh yourself before and after exercise to see how much you've lost through perspiration. You need to drink three cups of water (or other fluid) to replace every 0.45 of a kilo lost.
Proper hydration is critical for your body function, but its also important to consume the right fluids. We've outlined some tips on the best way to keep hydrated in summer.

  • Drink enough water to prevent thirst (carrying a water bottle with you is a good way to do this as it's likely you'll mindlessly sip from it throughout the day)
  • Monitor fluid loss by checking the colour of your urine - it should be pale yellow and not dark, too smelly or cloudy
  • Drink water before and after low to moderate intensity
  • If you're exercising in extreme heat for more than an hour, supplement water with a sports drink containing electrolytes and 6-8% carbs to prevent hyponatremia
  • Although water is best, other fluids like coffee, tea, juice (except alcohol) can help increase your water intake (the amount of caffeine in tea and coffee does not discount the fluid in them)
  • Eat water rich foods such as fruit and vegetables
  • Following strenuous exercise, you need more protein to build muscle, carbohydrates to refuel muscle, electrolytes to replenish what's lost in perspiration, and fluids to rehydrate - Low-fat chocolate milk is perfect to fill those nutritional requirements.
Bonus tip:

On average a piece of fruit is usually made up of around 80% water and supplies additional nutrients other than just water.

Apples = 84%
Blueberry = 80%
Rockmelon = 89%
Peach = 89%

Summer Water Safety

Summer is on it's way and offers a great excuse to spend time around water in efforts to combat the extreme temperatures. Typical Australian summer activities such as boating, swimming or trips to the beach, can be fantastic ways to cool off, however it's important to be safe.

Each year, tragic and avoidable water related fatalities occur. Having at least a beginner level of swimming ability can make a huge difference.

In an effort to increase water safety and swimming ability of Monash University students, all current students can enrol in free beginner swimming classes through our Water Wise program. The program is made available free to students thanks to SSAF funding.

Other factors to keep in mind if you're not a confident swimmer:

  • Don't swim alone. Take a buddy even if the area is supervised by lifeguards.
  • Don't drink alcohol around water, it impairs judgement, balance and coordination and affects swimming skills.
  • Wear a life jacket when boating.
  • Lifesavers are only on duty when the red and yellow flags are displayed. ALWAYS swim between these flags.
Term 4 programs have already begun, but you can enrol at any time. The term runs from 5 October to 20 December. More information can be found here.

Ride 2 Work Day at Peninsula Campus

Ride 2 Work Day at Peninsula Campus

By Liam Sharp

The new Velopod lockers and bike repair station were officially unveiled at Peninsula campus last week, to coincide with Ride 2 Work Day.

20 people attended the Ride 2 Work Day event, which included free breakfast and the unveiling of the SSAF plaque for the Velopod lockers and bike repair station by Dr Justen O Connor, from the Faculty of Education.

Cycling gifts and the free breakfast were provided by The Office of Environmental Stability (TOES), and The Office of the Pro-Vice Chancellor provided a $200 gift voucher from Avanti Cycles.

Monash Sport ran a bike and blend station, where participants could blend their own breakfast smoothie. The smoothies and breakfast were enjoyed by all.

Student Evaluations Survey

We're conducting research into Monash Sport's role in the student experience at Monash University. 
We'd love to hear from you about your experience at Monash Sport, and how this has reflected on your time at Monash University. 

This will help us make improvements to our servicing of students in the future, and the offering of Sport services to Monash University students. The survey should only take 5 minutes, and your responses are completely anonymous.

We really appreciate your input!

Celebrate Halloween in style with Monash Sport

On Saturday 31 October, Monash Sport will be celebrating Halloween with halloween costume themed group fitness classes across all campuses.

Come dressed in your scariest costume and celebrate the spooky season with us!

Prizes will go to the best dressed.

Where: Group Fitness Classes, All Campuses
When: Saturday 31 October

Eating for Exams Tips

When you're studying for exams it can be easy to fall into bad nutritional habits. It's often easier to start guzzling down endless cups of coffee or energy drinks, and eat take-away instead of taking the time to prepare food. During exams we're much more likely to snack mindlessly on sugary foods or drinks to try and keep our energy levels up.

Sugar may give you an instant hit of energy, but when it wears off you'll crash and find yourself reaching for the next hit to keep you awake while studying.

Your brain uses more than 20% of your daily energy intake to function, despite only being 2% of your body's weight. Because the energy demand from the brain is so high, the foods we consume significantly affect all aspects of brain function, from memory to mood. Eating proper food will provide sustained energy and make you more productive.

Don't Skip Breakfast

When you wake in the morning you are in a fasted state. You haven't eaten for several hours and your energy-hungry brain needs food to be able to concentrate. Make sure to have a balanced breakfast incorporating plenty of wholegrains for sustained energy and protein for regulation of memory.

Follow the Healthy Eating Pyramid

Eat plenty of vegetables, fruit and wholegrains, choose healthy meats (fish, chicken and lean red meat) and healthy oils. Look for antioxidant-rich fruits, especially berries, citrus fruits and nutrient rich vegetables such as spinach, capsicum, broccoli and sweet potatoes.

Eat Foods that Assist Your Brain and Immune Function

During exam times high stress levels can take a toll on your body's immune system. Adding immune- and brain- boosting foods can help you stay ahead.

Foods that can assist immune function are natural yoghurt, fish, citrus fruits, garlic, ginger, green tea, as well as omega-3-rich foods such as flaxseed, salmon, walnuts or chia.

Foods that can help brain function include whole grains, oily fish, pumpkin seeds, nuts, broccoli, blueberries, blackberries, flaxseed and eggs.

Staying active during periods of high stress is important to not only reduce your stress levels but also helps to increase your body's immune system so you should plan your study days with some exercise breaks.

Avoid Stimulants

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and heightens emotions. If you're already stressed and anxious it's a good idea to cut back on these. Alcohol and nicotine are also ranked as stimulants, and while they may calm your nerves momentarily they tend to increase anxiety. Alcohol is also an amnesiac, and may prevent you from remembering what you've been studying.

Stay Hydrated

Water assists in many of the chemical reactions in our body, including our brain, which is over 70% water. If we get dehydrated we can become sluggish and simple tasks can seem insurmountable. Drink plenty of water while studying and avoid drinking large amounts of caffeine such as coffee and energy drinks as while you may think they will keep you alert, they dehydrate you, make you jittery or anxious and can have an energy zapping effect.

Examples Meal and Snack Ideas

Breakfast: Whole grain cereal and milk, scrambled eggs and spinach with toast, oatmeal with berries, smoothie

Lunch: Chicken Skewers and Vegetables, Tuna Salad, sweet chilli and chicken noodle salad, homemade burger packed with grated veggies on a wholemeal bun

Dinner: Teriyaki Salmon with asian greens and brown rice, grilled steak with beans and mashed sweet potato, vegetable and cheese frittata

Snacks: Low fat natural yoghurt, fruit, raw nuts, air popped popcorn, smoothie, hommus and carrot

Top 6 Tips for Dealing with Exam Stress

Exams are approaching and final assignments becoming due, it's not unusual for students to experience increasing levels of stress towards the end of semester.

Stress is our body's normal response to life's challenges. In small amounts stress can be useful to help you knuckle down and focus however, extreme levels can leave you feeling out of control, anxious and debilitated.

Stress can manifest in many different ways and extreme or prolonged cases of the following can all be indicative of heightened stress levels.

  • Difficulty getting to sleep or waking up in the morning
  • Constant tiredness
  • Poor appetite
  • Lack of motivation or interest in activities
  • Increased anxiety and irritability and/or heart rate
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Decreased immune system

If you feel yourself starting to get stressed there are a number of techniques you can use to help manage your stress levels.

1. Prepare Early

I'm sure you've heard this one already. Your teachers at school and university would have drummed this into you over and over again. Leaving everything to the last minute it a recipe for disaster. You'll feel out of control and may struggle to pinpoint the areas that you should be focusing on.

Start now, work out what subjects you have, when your exams are and how long you have to prepare for them. List which ones you feel more confident in and which you may have fallen a bit behind in and plan your time around this. Even if you don't have any time to start studying until closer to the exams you'll at least have prioritised the areas you think you need to focus on and won't be as overwhelmed.

2. Exercise

Lack of time and feeling overwhelmed during exams can make it hard to make time to exercise during exams. Many students think they should spend their entire exam period with their heads down trying to absorb as much as possible.

Not only does exercise help reduce stress levels, it is proven to boost your memory and brain power. Images from a study conducted by Dr Chuck Hillman of the University of Illinois below clearly demonstrate the effect exercise can have on your brain's activity.
Why not go for a walk, spend some time at the fitness centre or pool or take a group fitness class- yoga is a great way to get your relaxation in while still moving.

3. Eat Well

Your brain needs fuel to function and the more nutritious your food the better you'll study. Stick to the healthy eating pyramid, stay hydrated and avoid junk food and too many stimulants like caffeine. Sugar may give you an instant energy hit but you'll feel worse when the hit wears off. For more specific tips on nutrition during exams click here.

4. Get enough sleep

Stress can make it hard to get to sleep but its important to try to get at least 6-8 hours a night. Getting enough sleep will not only help you stay focused and concentrate more, but it's also important for remembering information you learnt during the day. Your brain assimilates knowledge during sleep which helps you retain the knowledge in your long-term memory so you can recall it during exams.

If you're having trouble sleeping stop revising and go tech-free for at least half an hour before bedtime. Read a book or have a chat to a family member or housemate over a cup of chamomile tea so that your not overstimulated before bed.

5. Meditate

Meditation can be a fantastic way to break free from stress and take a break from study. A quick 10 minute meditation break can help you stay focused and improve mental and physical health to reduce pre-exam stress. Never meditated before? There are plenty of online resources available or apps like Smiling Mind to help you get started.

6. Take a Break

It's important to take time out to relax and do things you enjoy even while you're midway in exams. Try studying for 50 minute blocks and taking a 10 minute break, or two hours and take a half hour break. Reward yourself the latest episode of your favourite TV show, go for a walk with a friend, or use your breaks as scheduled social media time.

Bonus Stress-busters

Play with your pet.
Pop bubble wrap.
Listen to music.
Avoid negative people and comparing yourself to other people.

Circuit Challenge - October 20

Come test yourself in our Monash Sport Circuit Challenge, Tuesday 20 October.

Challenges will kick off in the basketball stadium from 11am and finish at 2pm, there's no need to book so come in anytime. Don't miss out!

Join in and have your fitness tested over a series of personal challenges against the clock including:

Push ups
Pull ups
Rope Slam
Tyre Pull
Deadball Squat
Hanging Leg Raise
Box Jumps

Challenges take no longer than 10 minutes to complete so it's the perfect way to start or finish your workout at the Fitness Centre.

All fitness levels are welcome and the challenges will be varied to suit you. Set your own limits and let us cheer you on!

Complete the Circuit Challenge and go into the draw to win 2 weeks FREE membership at Monash Sport! See any of our staff in the fitness centre for more information or click here.

Caulfield v Peninsula Annual Soccer Match 2015

On Tuesday September 22, the annual Peninsula v Caulfield soccer match took place for the prestigious MONSU cup.

This year marked the 13th occasion of the match which first began in 2003.

With the overall tally locked at 6 wins each, it was sure to be a tense affair.

In the end Peninsula came away with a narrow 3-2 victory, holding off a fast finishing Caulfield. Caulfield trailed by 3 goals early in the second half but fought back late in the game, controlling all play for the last 30 minutes and narrowly missing the opportunity to equalise on several occasions.

Freya Crocker did a tremendous job in goals for Peninsula to fight off the numerous attempts on goal and earn player of the match, whilst Jarred Sultana proved a pillar of strength, mopping up countless attacks in his sweeper role.

Peninsula Goal Scorers:

Daniel Fleming
Nick Mandic
Max Waldron

Caulfield Goal Scorers:

Michael Ligocki

Peninsula captain Ervin Lim, Monash Sport Director Brett Lavale and Caulfield captain Tony Nguyen