Why Should I Exercise?

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There are plenty of reasons to stay active every day. Not only will incorporating activity into your routine improve your heart health, but it can also:
  • Lower stress and anxiety
  • Reduce muscular tension
  • Improve academic performance
  • Enhance self-esteem
  • Manage weight
  • Improve sleep at night
  • Increase resistance against disease, such as the common cold
  • Decrease or manage blood sugar levels
  • Increase the production of endorphins, which are brain chemicals that can make you happy

Getting Started

Setting an Exercise Goal

Set a SMART goal for yourself to help increase your physical activity.  This means that a goal should be:

  • Specific: Instead of saying "exercise more", say "walk daily"
  • Measurable:  Include a number to reach for, such as "30 minutes, twice per week"
  • Action-Oriented: Choose an action you like-walking, swimming, biking, or dancing are all great examples!
  • Realistic: Be realistic with yourself; choose a goal that is realistic for your fitness level and can easily fit into your routine
  • Time: Give yourself a time frame to meet your goal-1 week, the semester, or even the school year are all great options!
If you're feeling overwhelmed, start small! Even small breaks throughout the day to walk or stretch have benefits for health and wellness.  
General Recommendations

Try to stay active every day!  Ready to challenge yourself? Aim for: 

  • 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity (such as brisk walks or tennis) per week.  This is only 20 minutes per day-the amount it takes to walk from South to North Campus
  • 75 minutes of vigorous intensity physical activity (such as running or biking) per week.  This is only 10 minutes per day.
  • Any combination of moderate and vigorous intensity physical aerobic activity.
Don't forget to throw in some strength training! Lifting weights, resistance bands, or even exercises that use your body weight at least twice each week.  Be sure to target all of your major muscle groups for maximum benefits.

Where to Workout

On Campus

There are many ways to get fit on campus. 

  • Check out the Recreation Center
    • The HLC has a full gym with free weights and machines, a rock-climbing wall, and a running track - all FREE to students!       
    • Group Fitness offers a variety of free non-credit classes featuring everything from Zumba to Yoga to TRX. You just show up when you can! Fun, flexible way to add fitness to your schedule.
    • The FIT program (FIT 100) offers semester-long and 8-week fitness classes for-credit or non-credit offered through the Department of Health Sciences.
  • Go swimming at the Aquatic Center 
  • Interested in group sports? Join a sports club or intramural team!
  • Check out NAU Outdoors - they offer for-credit and and non-credit adventure classes and wilderness medicine courses. Most trips fit into a weekend so you can earn credits while exploring the great outdoors!
In the Community

Flagstaff and its surrounding areas offer a variety of other sports and fun ways to stay active. 

Flagstaff offers beautiful scenery for all sorts of outdoor activities, so you can have fun hiking, trail running, mountain biking, or exploring. Don't know where to start? Check out a Flagstaff Trails Map.