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How to stay fit in winter on a budget

If you are an international student experiencing winter for the first time in Aus, here's how exercise can help boost your mood and energy levels

A woman about to sprint from the starting line
A woman about to sprint from the starting line

Cold temperatures and dark days can make it hard to stay motivated and active in winter, particularly if you are an international student experiencing winter for the first time! 

However, maintaining a regular exercise schedule during the cooler months not only helps you maintain your fitness, it can also be an excellent way to boost your mood and energy levels. 

And…you don’t need to spend all your hard-earned money on gym memberships and exercise classes. With a little creativity, you will find there are lots of ways to prioritise your health without emptying your wallet.  

Let us explore eight affordable ways to stay fit this winter on a student budget. 

Work out at home 

If it is too cold to go outside, why not create your own exercise routines at home?  

You can access many free or low-cost workout programs on YouTube and via fitness apps. As a nib member, you have an exclusive discount to The Yoga Collective from the nib App, a platform with hundreds of online yoga classes. These make it easy to exercise in the comfort of your living room, with no expensive gym membership or fancy workout gear required! 

Work out on your lunch break  

As the sun goes down much earlier in winter, we often arrive home from classes or work after dark. This makes it harder for many of us to exercise outdoors.  

If you are at work, try to use your lunch break to your advantage by taking a stroll, even if it is just around the block. If you are on campus, just running between your classes might be enough to keep you fit!  

Many institutions and student accommodation providers around Australia also have their own gyms and may offer cheap deals and discounts for students.  


Did you know you can have endless hours of fun and exercise for the price of one skipping rope?  

Skipping raises your heart rate, challenges your coordination, builds your calf muscles, and improves your overall cardiovascular fitness - if it is good enough for Rocky Balboa, it is good enough for us! 

Embrace the great outdoors 

The cooler temperature does not have to stop you from going outside! Whether it is hiking, trail running, or a walk in the park, you will find plenty of exciting outdoor activities to do over winter. 

Rug up in warm layers, wear comfortable shoes, bring plenty of water and get moving! Not only will getting outside get your heart pumping, but you will even enjoy the mental and physical benefits of being in nature - and it will not cost a cent! 

Community programs 

Community groups offer an amazing range of programs throughout the year to help you keep active and meet new people. Making friends while getting fit? Sounds good to us! 

Check out your local sports clubs and gyms for affordable fitness programs or cheap casual entry. Alternatively, try some group classes or dance lessons, or get a few friends together to play a social sport.  

Rest and recovery 

Rest days are just as important as exercise, and there are plenty of ways to stay warm while you work on your recovery.  

Head down to your local gym or pool to use their sauna, where you can relax while easing muscle soreness and tension. 

If you would rather save some cash, why not enjoy a hot shower at home instead? 

Have a dance party 

Not only does dancing improve your cardiovascular fitness, but it also uplifts your mood and improves your coordination, making it the perfect way to feel happy and energised during the cold months. 

Look for free dance fitness videos online, where you can follow instructors and learn some choreography, or just throw on your favourite party playlist and have a boogie.  

Indoor sports 

Love playing sports but hate the chilly weather? Indoor sports might be for you! 

Throw yourself into a new sport or pick up a game you have not tried in a while! Explore the wide range of options, like ice skating, bowling and indoor bouldering, for cheap activities that you can enjoy all year round.  

Make the most of your rewards with nib 

For nib members, staying fit in winter is even easier! 

nib Rewards gives you access to exclusive discounts on yoga, Pilates, and fitness classes. Even better, you will even get deals on natural therapies and spa and beauty services. 

Staying motivated and active is the key to enjoying the benefits of a fit and energised winter. Visit nib’s The Check Up for more great health and wellness tips.