Monday, November 7, 2016

Exercise: Healthy Habits for a Better You

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Several benefits of exercise include:
  • Control your weight
  • Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduce your risk of some cancers
  • Strengthen your bones and muscles
  • Improve your mental health and mood
How much exercise do I need?
How much daily exercise you need depends on your age. Research recommends that 2 to 5 year olds get approximately 3 to 5 hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily. Similarly, 6 to 17 year olds need about one hour of moderate to vigorous exercise activity per day. Research also suggests that 18 to 64 year olds exercise for one hour per day, alternating between aerobic exercises and strength training. The key is to make exercise a habit!
Making Exercise a Habit
·         Find a variety of activities you enjoy

·         Exercise with another person

·         Exercise in the morning or after class

·         Keep track of your progress by logging all of your exercise routines

·         Make exercise a priority

·         Reward yourself

Types of Exercises Aerobic activities are those that increase your heart and breathing rate. These activities can be either moderate or vigorous in nature. Some examples of aerobic activities include: cardio machines, spinning, running, swimming, walking, hiking, dancing, and kickboxing.

Muscle-strengthening activities are those that strengthen your muscles. These activities can work all different parts of your body including your legs, hips, back, chest, stomach, shoulders, and arms. Some examples of muscle-strengthening activities are: push-ups, squats, pull-ups, weight lifting, burpees, lunges, and crunches.

 Bone-strengthening activities are those that strengthen your bones. These activities are especially important for children and adolescents, as these exercises promote bone growth and strength. Jumping, tennis, dancing, and jogging are all examples of bone-strengthening exercises.

Balance and stretching activities, such as stretching, dancing, yoga, martial arts, and tai chi, enhance physical stability and flexibility. These exercises help keep your joints flexible, prevent stiffness, and potentially help reduce your chances of injury.
Can you over-exercise?Compulsive exercising, or over-exercising, is a problem that is seen on many college campuses. Although it may seem harmless, it’s actually just as harmful as an eating disorder. If you or a friend show any of the following signs, please seek the attention of the Health Service, or other professional provider.

·         Maintains a high level of activity and is uncomfortable with periods of rest or relaxation

·         Depends on activity for mood stabilization and self-definition

·         Schedules their life around exercising

·         Misses class or work or ditched friends to workout

·         Prioritizes exercising over relationships

EIU Student Recreation Center
The mission of the Student Recreation Center is to provide EIU students, faculty, and staff with both formal and informal recreational activities, regardless of ability. The Student Recreation Center wishes to promote a safe and enjoyable environment, encourage participation, and promote healthy lifestyles. Visit for a complete list of individual fitness options, group fitness classes, and intramural sports. If you have additional questions or would like more information, contact the Rec at (217) 581-2821.

Additional On-Campus Resources
Health Service
(217) 581-3013

Health Education Resource Center
(217) 581-7786

Counseling Center
(217) 581-3413


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