Physical Wellness for a Better You

Meagan Bess
Staff Writer

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PC: Create

College students across the globe have quite a few responsibilities. Some have to maintain not only four to six courses, but a full-time or part-time job, as well as involvement in student organizations. Stress comes in many forms with demands and deadlines. One place to be relieved of worries is time at the gym.

To maintain a healthy way of living, it’s best to get some type of physical activity of at least thirty minutes every day. Exercising is not just about losing weight and building up strength. It’s an opportunity to improve on what was done yesterday, and to take time to keep the body in shape.

The Department of Health and Human Services has two guidelines for adults who exercise. “Complete at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of both.” Activities that are considered moderate aerobic activity include brisk walking, water aerobics and ballroom dancing.

Making exercise fun always enhances the activity and allows the time to go by quickly. Vigorous activity includes the following: running, jumping rope and swimming laps. It’s important to do a combination of both of these activities, through aerobics such as Zumba as well as high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

HIIT is an intense anaerobic exercise that meets exhaustion with recovery periods that are less intense to allow one to catch their breath. Strength training for all major muscle groups can be completed at least twice a week with about twelve to fifteen reps. To eventually notice muscle gain, adding days of strength training into the routine may be necessary. College students beginning their exercise journey should start with thirty minutes at a pace that is best for them.

UNCG students can start by taking the Spartan Chariot, walking or riding a Lime Bike to the Kaplan Center. Named after Leonard J. Kaplan, this multipurpose gym was opened in Fall of 2016. Since then it has flourished, bringing in students, faculty and others to enjoy its amenities, like the basketball courts, the pool and the sauna.

Students who are motivated in groups can join competitive sports such as club and intramural sports. Undergraduate and graduate students with at least one credit hour can pay the student activity fee to participate. The Kaplan Center also has group exercises with times and days for the workouts such as BodyPump at 12:30 p.m. on Wednesdays. More about other group exercises can be found at

For students who work better alone, locations such as the upper level have free weights like kettlebells and dumbbells as well as ellipticals and cycles. Students can keep up their motivation with a pair of headphones and some workout music to eventually develop results mentally and physically.

Once the workout has ended, it is time to get something to eat. “When you’re working out, your muscles use up their glycogen stores for fuel. This results in your muscles being partially depleted of glycogen. Some of the proteins in your muscles also get broken down and damaged,” Healthline explains. Immediately or fifteen minutes to an hour after a workout is the best time to replenish the body of its carbs, proteins and water.

UNCG has great options such as Tropical Smoothie Cafe, with smoothies that can include protein, located in Spartan Village across from the Kaplan Center. Create, located in the Elliott University Center, has create-your-own salads consisting of protein like chicken or tuna as well as toppings like eggs, carrots, and mandarin oranges.

If you’re interested in building on your physical health, it’s always good to remember that each person at the gym had to start off somewhere and not to compare oneself to another because the journey is different for each person. For more information on UNCG’s Kaplan Center and the amenities it includes for you visit

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