Physical Activity

The physical activity page will help you set personal fitness goals, develop an exercise plan, and provide resources on all things fitness.

There are many reasons to make physical activity a part of your everyday routine! Being active has more benefits than just increasing physical strength, stamina, and weight loss. Some of the benefits include:

  • Reduced Stress: The Anxiety and Depression Association of American reminds us that stress is hard to avoid completely, but we can proactively reduce its effects through physical activites like running, biking, and yoga.
  • Boosted Brain Function: Want to keep your memory sharp? Research done at the Cetner for Brain Health at the University of Texas at Dallas found that exercise helps aging adults like you improve memory and brain functions.
  • Improved Mood: When you are active, your brain releases chemicals called endorphins that affect your overall feling of well-being, leaving you happier and healthier!
  • Improved Sleep Quality: According to the National Sleep Foundation, research indicates that physical activity could very well serve as a non-pharmaceutical alternative to improve sleep.
  • Increased Metabolic Rate: If weight loss is your goal, WebMD.com shares a few ways on how to boost your metabolism before, during, and after working out.

Quick Fitness Tips:

  • Schedule a time to work out before your day starts so you know that there is time
  • Try to make it a habit to stretch every day
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Walk or bike to class instead of drive
  • You can break up the workout into different parts of the day (3 ten-minute increments)
  • Physical results can take up to six weeks to begin to show - DON’T GIVE UP
  • Find something you love to do, whether that is running, swimming, dancing, walking, yoga, etc.
  • Find a workout buddy to hold you accountable to your workout times
  • Stay motivated - reward yourself when you meet a goal, such as going to a movie or splurging on a new article of clothing
  • Stretching before and after a workout is crucial - don’t forget this step! It will decrease your chance of injury!
  • Make it a goal to move every day
  • Keep a fitness journal to watch the progress you make

Goal Ideas:

Short-Term Fitness Goals

  • Burn at least 200-300 calories a day from exercise
  • Hit the gym at least four times a week
  • Warm up with a light jog for five minutes before you start your workout
  • Join an intramural team
  • Try a new activity (zumba, yoga, boxing…)
  • Strength Training Goals
    • Focus on form and feel the muscle contraction
    • Perform one set on every piece of weight lifting equipment at the AARC in two weeks
  • Cardiovascular Goals
    • Progressively add an extra mile to your swim, bike or run every week
    • Go for a run down by the river
  • Flexibility Goals
    • Stretch for at least 7 minutes after your workout

Long-Term Fitness Goal

  • Live healthier
  • Lower your BMI
  • Run a 5K (or a half marathon… or a marathon!)

Helpful Links:

What is considered physical activity?

Why workout?

BMI Calculator

How to work out in the residence hall or with limited space:

Try something new: Fitness classes offered on campus!

Intramurals

Be realistic: Set fitness goals for yourself!

Fitness Apps We Love

  • Charity Miles
    • Need a little motivation to get moving? What if we told you that you could earn money for charities you love while working out?! Well, there’s an app for that! Every time you run, walk or bike using the free Charity Miles app, corporate sponsors agree to donate money for every mile you complete. Browse the app’s list of charities, choose the one you support and hit the road.
  • Fitbit
    • You don’t actually need the tracker to use the app! The Fitbit app can count your steps (provided you carry your phone around all day), help you track the calories you consume, log your weight and record other health information. If you do have a Fitbit tracker, this information can be logged automatically.
  • FitStar
    • This free app gives you basic workouts (no equipment needed) to get you moving more. When you first use the app, it runs you through a fitness test so that you can start at an intensity level that is right for you.
  • Jefit Workout
    • Personalize this app by logging your workout routine sets and reps and how much you lifted. There is also a calendar feature designed to help you plan your workout days and rest days. This app isn’t super fancy, but it sure does get the job done and is better than carrying around a crumpled up piece of paper at the gym.
  • The Johnson & Johnson Official 7 Minute Workout
    • Some days it is just too hard to fit in an hour to hit the gym, which is exactly why we LOVE this app! This app helps you squeeze some exercise into your busy schedule at an intensity that is right for you! It coaches you through how to do each exercise as it comes up with a workout that is a good fit for you.
  • Map My Fitness
    • Track the routes you travel doing over 600 activities (running, cycling, walking, etc.) using this app! This app displays length in both time and distance as well as pace, maximum speed and a few other stats.