School can be stressful but taking care of your physical and mental health is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and practicing wellness.
Students who are physically active tend to perform better on tests; it improves cognitive performance, according to the Centre for Disease Control’s website. Physical activity also helps reduce stress and anxiety as well as the risk of cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, and more. According to a Healthline.com article, yoga and meditation also help reduce stress as well as chronic pain, inflammation, and could even improve sleep quality.
It’s clear that physical activity helps keep you mentally and physically in shape, but it can sometimes negatively impact your wallet. Gym and wellness studio memberships can be expensive for someone on a student budget, but many places around Montreal offer free trials and budget-friendly prices.
For fitness enthusiasts, if you’re on a tight budget, why not try out all the gyms for free?
Monster Gym in Dollard-des-Ormeaux offers a one-month free trial and the gym is open 24/7. The large facility includes a bistro, a hair salon, a supplements store, a boxing gym and even a yoga gym. While those are not included in the free-trial, other gyms like Econofitness, Gold’s Gym, and Buzzfit allow you to try their facilities out for a day. Buzzfit and Econofitness are also known for being on the lower-end scale for membership prices if you’re looking to stay committed to one gym for the semester or the year.
If you want something more challenging, CrossFit LaSalle offers a 14-day trial for the low price of $1. Crossfit is not your typical workout; it’s described as a “high-intensity fitness program incorporating elements from several sports and types of exercise,” in the Oxford dictionary.
For easy access, Le Gym on Concordia’s downtown campus (located in the basement of the EV building) offers a variety of classes under $50 per semester. There are several different types of yoga, spinning, zumba, pilates, aerobics, HIIT, martial arts, team and individual sports, and more. For a student-priced membership, Le Gym charges $30 for one month and $70 for four months. Loyola also has gym facilities you can join (the PERFORM Centre), although it requires a separate membership from Le Gym’s.
For those who prefer something more mindful and spiritual, Ashtanga Yoga Montreal offers free yoga classes from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at their downtown studio every Wednesday.
Spin Energie, a spinning studio, offers an unlimited introductory week for $45, or a two-month one class per week pass for $25. Students even get 15 per cent off prices for yoga, pilates, spinning and dance classes. Lululemon also has a varying schedule of free yoga classes at their stores. For the full monthly schedule, call your preferred location.
If you would like to avoid physical activity and/or are unable to do it, meditation is another great way to help heal your mind and spirit. Montrealmeditation.org can be used as a resource website to learn about meditation and find information about free meditation events held by the Sri Chinmoy Centre of Montreal, a centre dedicated to meditation teaching and practice. Free classes are offered on Monday nights from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. from Sept. 16 to Oct. 7. As a result of limited space, the site asks people to register first, and the location will then be confirmed to you personally.
Whether you prefer to sweat or sit still, Montreal has a ton of great budget-friendly alternatives to help keep in shape and practice well-being.
Photo by Laurence B.D.