Ideas to Get You Moving

  A student doing stretching exercises guided by a virtual instructor Copyright: © Hochschulsportzentrum

The following offers will help you get and stay active

University Sports

The University Sports Center has a vast selection of sports offers in store for you. Whether in the form of a course or a self-directed workout in the RWTH Gym, whether you want to improve the cardiovascular system or increase muscle strength, whether you are interested in learning a new sport, want to simply to feel good or socialize with other people while doing sports, you will certainly find an offer here that’s right for you.

The University Sports Center, or HSZ for short, also offers some great events throughout the year, such as:

and many other events

Student Pausenexpress - When body and mind need a short break

If you are exhausted and need to recharge your batteries quickly, it's time for the Student Pausenexpress. The Student Pausenexpress is a 5 to 7-minute active break during a lecture that is led by qualified coaches of the University Sports Center. You’ll get a boost of energy that helps you follow the remainder of the lecture with renewed focus.

Our team of coaches will teach you mobilization, strengthening, stretching, and relaxation exercises. Afterward, you will be in a much better frame of mind, ready to absorb the course content.

Tips for people who shy away from physical exercise

If exercise or sports are not (yet) an integral part of your everyday life, try to change that and get more physically active. Answer the following questions in as much detail as possible to keep up your motivation:

  • Why do I want to be physically active / do sports?
  • What do I like about it?
  • What do I expect from myself and the sport?

Tip: Choose a sport or form of exercise that gives you pleasure and satisfies an inner need. For example, if you would like to maintain social contacts or experience something with like-minded others, then look for a sport that you can practice in a group. If you feel the need to grow as a person, then go ahead and learn a new sport.
Fixed dates and appointments are always very helpful at the beginning to avoid falling back into old habits.

Eventually, physical activity or sports will become a regular habit and an integral part of the daily routine, just like many other things in everyday life. Small rewards (a tasty meal afterward, new sportswear, or similar) can also be beneficial at the beginning to help your motivation. In the end, the kind of sport you choose is secondary - it is, however, vital that you start doing something for yourself and your health at all. At the end of the day, only the training that you follow through with is effective.


How to get moving in your everyday life

  • Ride your bike to the university or walk.
  • If you take the bus, get off one stop earlier.
  • Don’t sit down on the bus or train; instead, keep standing.
  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator (even if you have to go up to the 6th floor).
  • Go to the toilet on another floor.
  • Change your sitting position frequently.
  • If you can, interrupt a sitting activity every 30 minutes with a short activity break  and loosen the neck and back muscles.
  • Get up and stand while talking on the phone.
  • When watching TV as a break from other activities, use the time to do some strengthening, stretching, and mobilization exercises.
  • Take walking breaks – not coffee breaks.
  • Set up a standing desk or workstation.
  • Keep your trash can and study materials out of reach, so you'll have to get up from your desk more often.
  • Set reminders on your computer to take activity breaks.
  • The World Health Organization, WHO for short, recommends taking at least 10,000 steps daily. Simply use the step tracking feature on your mobile phone to get an idea about  the number of steps you've taken. Or borrow a pedometer at the university sports center. The small deposit required will be returned to you in full after use. The German health insurance fund Techniker Krankenkasse offers a  Step Count Challenge for those who need a little extra motivation.
  • Attach a resistive exercise band, or TheraBand, to your desk leg and use it regularly for strengthening exercises.

Sports clubs in Aachen

Here you can find an overview of all clubs and associations based in Aachen in case you don’t find what you are looking for among the university sport offers or are looking for other, or additional, training times and locations.

Joining a club is also always an excellent way to meet like-minded people and make new friends.

Memberships in most sports clubs are inexpensive, and in general, you’ll be able to take part in a few trial sessions before you commit.

Online resources to help you get more active

You can find an entertaining film about creating an active office – whose ideas can certainly be adapted to students’ everyday  lives – on the following page: Activ fürs Büro - IN FORM.


Walking, running, cycling along the Aachen science trail

Boredom was yesterday! The new "Sight Running NRW" app developed by the NRW Chamber of Architects combines fitness trails with audio guides to provide users with interesting information about the architecture of selected city buildings. In Aachen, a trail of almost nine kilometers loops around the buildings that play an essential role in the city’s bustling research and innovation hub. It takes runners, cyclists, and walkers from the city center – where the university was once founded – to the new area of Campus Melaten and back, offering lots of interesting facts about the origin and architecture of the buildings along the way. The route, graphics and audio guide are available in German on the Sight Running NRW website.

Try standing!

  • Listen to the podcast produced by students of the Heidelberg University of Education about time spent standing and sitting in everyday life featuring the song Steh doch mal auf by Anna Philoan.
  • The Heidelberg University of Education has also compiled several other interesting podcasts created by students for students. Have a listen – for example while taking a walk in the fresh air ...
  • We know that we are far too passive in our everyday lives and spend way too much time sitting.
  • Students, in particular, spend a very high proportion of their daily lives sitting – a direct result from activities such as attending courses, writing, researching, and reading. Too much sedentary activity can lead to weak, fatigued, and tense muscles, as well as metabolic disorders and weight gain. The risk of developing a chronic disease such as diabetes mellitus or cardiovascular disease is also much higher.

Do you know how much time you spend sitting?

Create a standing desk, cheaply and quickly, to switch up your sedentary lifestyle.

It can be so simple: why not put your laptop on an ironing board? Or stack one or two boxes on your desk and place your laptop on top. This way you can switch between sitting and standing.  
We have a few ideas for you on how to quickly make a standing desk yourself, including how to build a “beer bar table.” Note: It is, of course, not absolutely necessary to cut out the middle if you only want to place a laptop or a book on your desk. This makes it even easier for you to create your own standing desk!