College can be a very hectic time, and physical fitness is often one of the first things that overwhelmed students will sacrifice in their busy schedule. Remember that college can be a stressful and also very sedentary time- you have probably never sat around so much in your life! Being physically healthy will help you to be a more successful student. It will also help you with stress management, concentration, weight management, sleep patterns and overall well being. Plan on making physical fitness a part of your college life!
- Cardiovascular Exercise- This is exercise that raises your heart rate. Examples are walking, running, biking, surfing, hiking, most team sports, etc. Treadmills and stationary bikes at gyms also provide cardiovascular exercise. It is recommended that you get this type of exercise 3-5 times a week for at least 30-40 minutes each time.
- Weight Training- Lifting weights can help to build or tone muscle, and muscle burns fat! You will not become too big or "muscle bound" just because you lift weights. Lifting lighter weights will help to tone muscle while lifting heavier weights will help to build more muscle. It is recommended that you weight train 3 or more times per week.
- Diet- What you eat is also important to your level of fitness. A healthy and well balanced diet will give you the energy to be more physically active.
- Pick a type of cardiovascular exercise you enjoy or are interested in. It will be a lot easier to stick with something you like. Exercise should be fun and enjoyable for you and not a chore!
- Begin with reasonable goals. Start off with small reasonable amounts of time or intensity and gradually work up from there. If you start off too hard at first, you will be sore or may not meet your goals. When people start too fast and fail, they tend to get discouraged and quit.
- Do whatever you can. Even 5-10 minutes of activity will have a positive effect on your body. Anything is better than nothing, so don't let a busy schedule be an excuse for not exercising.
- Find friends or suitemates to exercise with. You will probably have more fun if you exercise with others and you will be more likely to stick with it if you have friends to support and be supported by. Share your fitness goals with friends so that they can support your efforts.
- Ask your RA to create study breaks that are physical and active- The staff will be glad to support your goals!
- RIMAC and Main Gym- Free weights, weightlifting machines and cardio machines, swimming pools, racquetball and various classes (for a nominal fee) are all part of your student fees.
- Intramurals- A fun way to get active in a variety of sports. Form a team with your friends or your building!
- Student Health Center- A good resource for information on starting exercise programs.
- Student Wellness Program- A free semester long fitness program. Information is available at RIMAC.