Welfare Advice

Here At DCBC we take your general well being at the highest priority. Life in Cambridge is full on and full of lots of exciting opportunities. It can ,however,be overwhelming. Especially in the first term, while you’re getting used to it all, it’s important not to burn yourself out and to listen to your body! We want everyone to have a really fun and enjoyable first term and we would love if rowing can be a part of that, but ultimately we only have so many hours in the day and only so much energy. If you’re constantly falling asleep in lectures or you’ve got an ache that just won’t go away, try and drop something. Doing too much at once will only lead to you getting injured or seriously ill. We’ve had our fair share of injuries and illnesses and wouldn’t want you to make the same mistakes!  

If you have any Rowing related health concerns any of the Lower Boat’s Captains would be happy to talk to you or you can contact the college nurse at eg541@dow.cam.ac.uk. You can also visit Lensfeild Road GP for anything more serious.

Below you will find a few tips on staying healthy while also rowing and enjoying the Cambridge life to the full!



drink lots of it! Normally you should be consuming around 3 litres of water a day without exercising but this needs to be increased when doing sport. Doing sport and sweating for an hour quickly dehydrates you and you need to drink about another litre of water to replace the fluid lost. Water is the most important thing as it will help your health, prevent you from getting ill and keep you more alert for your supervisions and lectures – trust us, the struggle is real!



Obviously you are starting uni and it is very much expected that you will potentially be going clubbing, to the pub or to events where there is a lot of free alcohol. This includes many boat club run events!  Just bear in mind that alcohol further dehydrates the body so after a night out have two large glasses of water before you go to bed, not only will it help with the hangover but it will stop you from getting ill.



Everyone finds it hard to cook cheaply and healthily at uni, and a busy schedule makes it very tempting to keep going for fast food. Now there is nothing wrong with the occasional 11pm Dominos, in fact we would encourage you to eat more food than you would normally if you haven’t been used to doing lots of exercise before taking up rowing (rowing is a very strenuous sport and your body will use up a lot of calories which need to be replaced!) but don’t have a takeaway every night. We are very lucky here at Downing to have such a good range of food provided at ‘slops’ which removes the hassle of cooking and provides you with food (Like Vegetables!) that you might not normally buy! alternatively try cooking for yourself a few times a week. This like going to slops, can be a very social Activity! Vitamins and minerals are key to maintaining cell chemistry and keeping you healthy. You can even try replacing the snacking on cookies or crisps with fruit.



 While it may seem obvious – make sure you get a sufficient amount of sleep! With early morning outings, going out clubbing and the occasional necessity to work late, it’s easy to just not get enough sleep. If you’re not going out in the evening try and get a slightly earlier night, otherwise consider napping in the afternoon. If you are fortunate enough to have your lectures recorded you can consider if it’s really worth going to that 9am hungover and exhausted or just to catch it up that evening – but be careful, this is a slippery slope and we STRONGLY encourage you to go to all of your lectures.



Again this might sound a bit obvious but worth stating. Often people will end up getting wet and as the weather can be notoriously british, it is worth investing in a pair or two of sports leggings and a light waterproof jacket. Please always bring a water bottle to training sessions and a sensible pair of shoes. It’s not worth the risk of slipping falling and potentially breaking a wrist. There are showers and changing rooms at the boathouse so do bring a change of clothes in particularly dire weather.


Stretch – 

Before going out rowing it is very important to warm up properly and make sure all your muscles are stretched and loose so you don’t pull anything and injure yourself. Equally after having done any training it is as equally as important to also stretch, this will stop you feeling stiff the next day!