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Fitness on the Forty Acres

Click here to view descriptions of different physical education classes.

Regular exercise is one of the foundations of great health. While some of the benefits of exercise appear later in the form of preventing diseases like diabetes, the power of exercise to improve your mood and energy levels while becoming more fit can happen in the short term. The key is finding activities that you enjoy and work with your schedule so you can maximize all the benefits that exercise has to offer.

What are the benefits of exercising?

  • Improves brain function and ability to concentrate
  • Strengthens muscles and bones
  • Provides an energy boost
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Boosts your mood and reduces stress
  • Prevents chronic disease and helps boost immunity
  • Offers a fun way to hang out with friends and meet new students

How much exercise should I be doing?

College students should be engaging in both cardiorespiratory and resistance exercises each week to gain the maximum benefits. Below are the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommendations on how much to work out each week. Even on weeks that you are not able to meet these recommendations, some exercise is better than nothing.

Cardiorespiratory Exercise
ACSM Recommendation: At least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 90 minutes of vigorous activity each week or a combination of both.

To achieve the recommendations, you can do 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days per week or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity three days per week. A Research indicates that either getting it all in at once or breaking it up into smaller sessions of at least 10 minutes will work.

Gradually progress time, frequency, and intensity to reduce injury and increase endurance. Any movement that elevates your heart rate, whether it is dancing, swimming, playing basketball, hiking, biking or running will help you meet these guidelines. Examples of how to get the recommended amount of physical activity into a busy schedule can be found here.

Resistance Exercises
ACSM recommends that every major muscle group be trained 2 to 3 days each week. Two to four sets of each exercise builds strength and power. Repetitions can be varied based on your goal with higher repetitions (15-20) improving muscular endurance and middle repetitions (8-12) improving strength and power. As you continue to gain strength and power, you can switch up your workouts by reducing the amount of repetitions and using heavier weights.

Where can I workout?

Whether it is playing an intramural sport, getting involved with a physical activity, student organization, or exploring recreation areas on and around campus, you can find a range of fun and challenging physical activities the University of Texas at Austin.

The University of Texas at Austin has nine recreational facilities including gyms and weight rooms, an outdoor track and field complex, aquatic complex, tennis courts, and intramural fields. Facility hours are posted here and you can find location of these facilities with this map.

Learning new exercises

This video series, created by and featuring UT students, introduces different types of exercises and recreational classes available on campus. Click on each category to learn how to perform movements that build muscular strength and endurance.

ut rec sports facilities and classes

ut rec sports facilities and classes

ut rec sports facilities and classes

ut rec sports facilities and classes

Resources and Programs at UT

  • RecSports:
    Check out all of the ways that the Fitness/Wellness Program at UT RecSports can help you get and stay fit! Choose from over 120 weekly TeXercise (fitness, mind/body, & aqua) classes, 40 weekly group cycling, Pilates reformer and dance series classes, and several options for meeting with a personal trainer. UT Rec Sports has countless tools to help you get on track and stay active, healthy, and strong.
  • Get Active, Get Involved Guide:
    Physical activity can be more fun with friends to help encourage you. The Get Active, Get Involved Guide is a list of clubs, organizations, and other programs offered by UT Austin that can help you get active by getting involved in a variety of enjoyable activities.
  • Fitness Institute of Texas:
    The Fitness Institute of Texas conducts research, service, training, and educational programs in physical activity, nutrition, and behavioral health. You can sign up for fitness or body composition testing in a state of the art research facility or join Get Fit!, a supervised exercise program that has both a nutritional and activity component.
  • Department of Kinesiology and Health Education:
    The Department of Kinesiology and Health Education offers a wide variety of physical activity classes. Classes range from ballroom dancing to martial arts to weight lifting or swimming.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Sleep Foundation, Mayo Clinic, Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, American College of Sports Medicine.

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