Physical Activity

Benefits of Regular Physical Activity

  • Improvement in heart and lung function
  • Reduced risk of hypertension
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • Increased HDL (good cholesterol)
  • Decreased serum triglycerides (fat)
  • Reduced overall body fat and reduced intra-abdominal fat
  • Reduced insulin needs, improved glucose tolerance
  • Reduced risk of colon cancer
  • Reduced risk of type II diabetes
  • Decreased anxiety and depression
  • Enhanced feelings of wellbeing
  • Enhanced performance of work, recreational, and sports activities


Guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association1

30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity 5 days a week


20 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity 3 days a week


8-10 strength-training exercises (8-12 repetitions each) 2 days a week

1Recommendations are for healthy adults ages 18-65 and persons in this age range with chronic conditions not related to physical activity (e.g. hearing impairment). Pregnant or post partum women may need to take additional precautions and should consult their health care provider.

Check out the University Recreation On-Line Exercise System.

The system was developed to help users learn new exercises and perform the exercise correctly. You will also find as a new addition to this site, each piece of cardiovascular equipment that is located in the Student Recreation Center along with a description and video demonstration of its use.


Moderate Intensity: working hard enough to raise one's heart rate and break a sweat, but sill able to carry on a conversation.

Vigorous Intensity: working hard enough to see a large increase in breathing and heart rate, conversation is difficult or "broken"

When planning an exercise program, remember to get FITT.
Frequency: How often
Intensity: How hard
Time: How long
Type: What


What keeps you from being more active? Take the Barriers to Being Active Quiz from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Once you have determined which barriers affect you the most, check out the suggestions to overcoming these barriers on the CDC website.