Spotting a Durham health freak

Avocados, bright trainers and unpronounceable food items and you’re on

This is the life of the Durham health freak: donning colour co-ordinated sports gear, sipping home made smoothie whilst jogging to their yoga or S&C session at the gym. 

Swapping toasty makers for Nutri Bullets, joggers for lycra and Jägerbombs for herbal teas, these health freaks have swarmed the cobbles of Durham.

Lying in bed hung over from SNK you are met by the hash tags #foodporn and #instafit and realise that the health freak tribe have been up and in action since the early hours.

But how do you spot a Durham health freak? It’s simple really.

Get the look

First things first – you must look the part. Durham health freaks don’t adorn pink trousers or boat shoes – they wear gym kit accompanied by Nike ticks and Adidas stripes which match their luminescent trainers.


Or to be more specific, they bleed Palatinate in their purple stash.

Not only do they wear the top and the trackies but also have matching hats, thermals and bags. Colour co-ordination is key.


So many activities

As second and third years relax into their new pads, positive Feng shui can be created when furniture is reorganised for activity space.

Alongside key things such as the television and the remote, a health freak would include their yoga mat. Simply going to a sport session is not enough, they find their inner chi doing the upwards-facing dog in their living room.

Health Freak 1

Their stomping ground – the gym. Running machines, gleaming mirrors, mats and weights – a fitness freak’s paradise. Either at MC, college gym or Shaping Futures, gym bunnies can be found in abundance here.

All university guides boast about the beauty of Durham, the cathedral and the castle simply take your breath away.

This provides for perfect morning runs alongside the river before your day starts. Wake up early enough and you’ll find the health freaks here.


All the gear and no idea

That moment when you walk into a health freak’s kitchen and feel alienated is a terrifying one.

Scavenging the surfaces you find foreign objects such as soup makers and spiralisers – normal pasta doesn’t cut it these days – it has to be made out of courgettes.


As you open the cupboard, strange and wonderful ingredients like chia seeds, coconut oil, oats, lentils and a bottle of Fry Light welcome you. Normal balsamic dressed chicken salads are so last season – it’s all about super food quinoa salads with tahini and lemon sauces.

If there’s one thing a health freak has to own it is their best friend the avocado.


Deep in the land of no return (a boy’s bedroom) one can also find bags and buckets of protein and supplements.

Powder, pills and chocolate protein flavour mix, it’s not just the girls getting on the hype. Try not to trip over their Perfect Push Up kit in the corner.

Health Freak 3

Not sold in Dunelm

Even Tesco can be a struggle when stocking the fridge with your favourite items. The attendant doesn’t even know what cacao is let alone what aisle it can be found in.

Dunelm simply can’t even be considered for the perfect healthy shop.


When following new healthy recipes supplied by vegan goddess Deliciously Ella it is similar to tackling a foreign language module.

Tamari? Kale? Buckwheat? Where do health freaks go and get them. Back down to Whole Foods in Kensington will have to be the ticket.



Where can you go to get the health and fitness Durham scoop? The most rated spot for students is Durham’s very own Flat White.

With their new menu supplying roasted vegetable and super food salads accompanied by a scrumptious green smoothie it’s a magnet for Durham’s healthiest tribe. Cue Instagram posts and Facebook shares putting everyone else to shame.


New on the block is Durham’s Nudo Sushi. Asian styled food is not only nutritious and healthy but if you don’t go there how will everyone know you’re keeping in shape.

Pick up your miso soup or salmon sashimi on the way back to the viaduct and you’ve got the healthy look in the bag.

Or you can just enjoy Netflix n Chill and block out this health freak world.