My body - physical wellbeing

Taha tinana is your physical wellbeing. It is about how your body feels, moves and develops. Caring for your body not only protects you from illness or injury, it strengthens your mind. Maintaining a good level of physical health boosts your energy level, your mood and concentration skills which are critical to your academic success.

Screening your health

Depending on your age and sex, there are a number of routine health screenings you can do to detect changes in your body. Early detection greatly improves your chances of getting back to normal quickly or managing long-term illnesses. These include:

You can do these routine checks yourself by keeping an eye out for any changes in your body, such as your skin, breasts or testicles. If you notice anything, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

Register with the AUT Student Medical Centre to know what you should be getting screened for and do these tests on

Getting vaccinated

Vaccination makes your body create antibodies for a particular disease, in the same way that it would if you were exposed to a virus. This helps you build immunity against it. Vaccines break the chain of transmission, it is the best way to protect yourself and your whānau from infectious diseases.

You may consider getting the following vaccinations, some of which may be free, through the AUT Student Medical Centre:

  • Flu (especially for the winter months!)
  • HPV
  • Meningococcal vaccine
  • COVID-19
  • Measles, mumps and rubella

Sex and healthy relationships

Whether you are sexually active or not, maintening healthy relationships contribute to a healthy body and mind

Find out more

Sexual health

Once you are sexually active, it is important to look after your sexual health, no matter your age, gender identity, sexual orientation or relationship status.

If you’re a domestic student enrolled at the AUT Student Medical Centre, you can get four free sexual health screenings per year.

1 in 5 sexually active people have some form of sexually transmitted infection (STI). STIs are common, many don’t have symptoms, but they can have very serious consequences if left untreated. That’s why we recommend you get an  STI check at least once a year if:

  • You are sexually active
  • You change sexual partners
  • You have unprotected sex or your condom breaks

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is very common and easy to catch, most sexually active people will contract this viral infection at some stage in their life. You can catch HPV just through sexual touching, without even having intercourse. Many people who have HPV don’t show any signs of it and pass it on unknowingly.

The HPV vaccine protects you against the types of viruses that are known to  cause cancers and genital warts. This vaccine is free for all domestic students aged 26 and under.

If you have a cervix, are between 25 and 69, and have ever been sexually  active, you should have regular cervical smear tests.

If for any reason you can’t or don’t want to see your GP, you can always get free sexual health services in these locations:

Family Planning

  • For any issue related to your sexual and reproductive health. Clinics are open to anyone and consultation is free if you’re an NZ citizen or resident and under 22.
  • Find your nearest Family Planning clinic

Auckland Sexual Health Regional Services

  • Free and confidential sexual health care for all NZ citizens and residents or holders of a 2+ year student visa including:
    • diagnosis and management of sexually transmitted infections
    • gender-affirming health care
    • specialist medical care for adults who have been sexually assaulted or abused
  • Find your nearest Sexual Health clinic
    0800 739 432

Body Positive

  • Peer support organisation for all people living with HIV in New Zealand offering:
    • a drop-in centre open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday
    • free rapid HIV and syphilis testing
    • STI screening and treatment for men who have sex with men (NZ citizens and residents only)
  • View all services
    0800 448 5463

There are multiple methods of contraception available in New Zealand, check them out on the Family Planning website or come and have a chat with the AUT Student Medical Centre team to discuss the best option for you.

You can get free condoms on campus. Here’s where to find them:

  • AUT Student Medical Centre waiting rooms - WB219, AX100 and MB109
  • Rainbow Room - Level 1, WB Building
  • AUTSA - WC210, AS133 and ME109
  • Student Counselling and Mental Health - WB, AX and MB Buildings
  • Māori Student Support - Level 2, WB Building

Drugs and alcohol awareness

Understanding how alcohol and drugs affect your body will keep you safe and help you make informed decisions.

Find out more

Smoking and vaping

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in New Zealand. Smoking-related illnesses are caused by the toxins produced by burning tobacco.

The tobacco in cigarettes contains nicotine which is a highly addictive drug. It takes seconds for nicotine to reach the brain and minutes for the effects to wear off, leading smokers to increase the amount of tobacco they use because they no longer have the ability get that feeling without it.

The best decision you can make for your health is to never start. If you do, here are the 3 best reasons to stop:


Vaping delivers nicotine by heating liquid instead of burning tobacco. It can help some people manage withdrawal effects but it isn’t for non-smokers. Vaping isn’t harmless, it still contains the same addictive substance as cigarettes and the long-term effects are not yet known. People who would have never smoked end up doing it after starting vaping. What we know is that inhaling anything that isn’t clean air triggers an inflammatory response, because that’s what your body’s natural response does.

Don’t vape if you don’t smoke. Only vape to quit smoking.

Facts of vaping vs smoking

No Smoke no vape thumbnail

AUT’s campuses are smokefree and vapefree

It is easier to quit with the help of a coach, you can get this service for free.

Healthy eating

The food you put inside your body plays a huge part in your overall health and enhances your academic performance. Having a balanced and nutritional diet early in life prepares you for a lifetime of healthy eating habits.

The simplest way to have a healthy diet is to eat a variety of food every day and limit your consumption of processed food – choosing a fresh apple instead of factory-made apple juice.

The best diet isn’t low-carb, high-protein, fat-free or what someone tells you worked for them, it is the diet you can stick to. Structure is important because it gives your body information about what to expect and allows it to regulate your bodily functions accordingly.

Eating is a social activity that reflects your culture and allows you to spend time with the people you love. Taking the time to share a balanced meal in good company helps create a healthy eating environment and makes it easier for good habits to last.

This comprehensive video explains why healthy eating is complex and isn’t about depriving yourself of the foods you love, but
focusing on healthy outcomes.

What’s the Best Diet? Healthy Eating 101

Staying hydrated

The human body is made up of about 60% water, which is why staying hydrated is so important. Drinking water makes your body work, it improves your energy levels and brain function. An easy way to monitor this is to check the colour of your urine. Darker coloured urine tells you that you need to drink more fluids.

  • Use this map to find water fountains on campus to refill your bottle.
  • Keep track of how much water you drink with apps like Plant Nanny

Sleeping well

Sleep impacts a number of daily functions such as mood, memory, concentration and performance. How well you sleep plays a significant role in your relationship with others and your ability to study.

Being active

There is a strong correlation between physical activity and increased wellbeing, as well as lower rates of depression and anxiety. Doing some physical activity is better than doing none and it doesn’t need to be particularly energetic to be beneficial. 2 ½ hours of moderate exercise throughout the week will have a positive impact on your overall health.

Free health coaching

Free health coaching

Talk to someone about taking better care of your physical and emotional health
Play sport at AUT

Play sport at AUT

An exciting range of social, recreational or competitive sport opportunities


Each campus has its own gym
Open 7 days a week

AUT Student Medical Centres

City Campus +64 9 921 9992
North Campus +64 9 921 9998

Make a booking

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Self-care routine

Self care routine

Tips and simple exercice routines to do at home to improve and maintain your physical health.

Find out more