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Thursday, September 16, 2010
We have all heard about the benefits of being physically fit, but the tricky part is figuring out how to become fit. While it may seem easy to some, many people of all ages and abilities struggle to find a routine that works for them. At UNH, there are many different programs and opportunities to be able to get on track with getting fit. Having a fit lifestyle should be a lifelong goal, not a short-lived fad. Be patient with yourself and let your body take time to adjust to your new routine. Incorporating physical fitness into your daily life will not only help your body run it's best, but it will also help you to feel good about yourself and feel empowered to be able to make other healthier choices.
The US government recommends that adults spend at least 30 minutes a day engaging in physical activity at least 5 days a week. While these are just guidelines, try to make this a goal that you strive for. While 30 minutes may seem like a long time, if you enjoy the activity, the time will fly by! Here are some activities that you can try out at UNH:
- Biking (30 minutes, leisurely): burns about 150 calories and is a great way to get around. Not only is biking great for the environment, but it saves money on gas. Many of the roads around UNH have bike lanes- so it's easy! If you commute to campus, try parking at a lot that is further away and then biking to class, or go for a bike ride in College Woods. Biking has a lower impact on your body and a good way to get in your 30 minutes without having to travel to a gym and back. Also, UNH buses have bike racks on them, so it’s easy to transport your bike if you get a flat. The Diamond library also has a pump at the reception desk that is free to use, just in case. If you don’t have a bike, the Cat’s Cycles program lets you loan out bikes for free, if you are a student or faculty at UNH. To learn more about the Cat’s Cycles program, visit Cat's Cycles.
- Running (30 minutes, 8mph): burns about 450 calories and is an activity to try. If you are a new runner, try alternating running and walking, then build your way up until you spend more time running. Running is especially important for cardiovascular health and is a base for most sports. Jogging or running is easy on your wallet too; all you need is running shoes and a water bottle. UNH has many running trails, ranging from 2-6 miles. To view a map of running routes and trails, visit Campus Recreation's trails and routes. Also, if you are living in a dorm, ask your RA if your dorm has a running club. Running with other people can help you to feel committed to achieving your goals, help you to create friendships with people who have similar interests and can make running more enjoyable.
- Swimming (30 minutes, laps): burns about 250 calories and works many different muscle groups. Swimming is a good option for people who have trouble with activities such as running or jogging. In general, swimming is a more low impact form of exercise, and is easier on the body for many people. UNH has an indoor swimming pool that offers lap swim, family swim, and several different classes in the pool (such as Aquacise). For more information, visit UNH Aquatics the indoor pool schedule. Membership to the pool is free to all full-time UNH students and benefits eligbile employees.
Remember to always first check with your Primary Care Provider before introducing a new exercise program into your life!
*Estimates of calories burned are based on a 160lb adult. The actual amount of calories burned will vary according to your weight, gender and overall fitness level. To learn about the amount of calories burned during various activities, visit the Mayo Clinic's healthy lifestyle guide.
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