It’s Springtime: Create your exercise routine!

      Top 5 reasons people don’t exercise  : 

1. I don’t have time

2. I don’t have any motivation

3. I don’t have access to a gym or equipment

4. I don’t enjoy exercising

5. I don’t know how to exercise



1. Set specific, manageable goals

The Centers for disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that adults get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of exercise each week. That boils down to 30 minutes of exercise a day for 5 days a week. You could even set it up so you have the weekends off! Easy peasy.

2. Make your exercise time a priority- schedule it into your calendar!

Take a look at your schedule for the week and pencil in 30 minutes of exercise a day for 5 days. Treat exercise as part of your homework or work assignment-if you miss a day you lose points!

3. Invest in some fun workout gear

New studies are showing that it is actually possible to dress for success. The better you look, the better you feel and the more you will want to kick a workout’s butt!

Girls: Invest in a cute but comfortable pair of running sneakers, pair of leggings for cold weather, shorts for warm weather and a couple of your favorite colored workout tops and sports bras.

Guys: Even though your workout clothes might not be a priority, a fashionable yet comfortable pair of running/workout shoes can make a workout much more enjoyable!

4. Find a friend, class or group

Finding a gym or workout buddy can be a great way to help you stay motivated. Can’t find someone who is on the same schedule? Research yoga, Pilates or even Crossfit classes in your area that offer classes at many different times throughout the week!

5. Start slowly and track your progress

If you don’t think that 30 minutes a day for 5 days per week is a manageable goal, start slower! Exercising for even 10-20 minutes a day is a good way to get started

Track your progress by recording it in a notebook or downloading an App to your phone. This can help you to see how much you are improving each day and where you are now compared to where you started.

Pedometers are also great little tools that help you keep track of your steps and motivate you to get moving. Clip it on your belt and set yourself a challenge to increase your steps each day!

6. Reward yourself

When you reach one of your goals-reward yourself! Preferably with a non-food reward like a movie, massage or tickets to your favorite sports team.


De-stress with 15-minute workouts

Take an ACTIVE study break during this stressful time of the year. Being active will not only help you de-stress, but will boost energy,help you sleep better, release tension, and help fight colds and flu.

Try one of Get Moving UMass workout featured on UMass Campus Recreation’s YouTube, or come to a Finals Week Workout in the DC nearest you. There will be two sessions nightly (9 and 9:30 p.m.) at both Berkshire and Worcester Dining Commons orchestrated by your favorite UMass Campus Rec Group Fitness Instructors.

No meal plan? No problem. The workouts are in the Berkshire Room (enter through the tray return in Berk) and Oak Room (enter through the Oak Room’s entrance in Worcester). If you do wish to grab something to eat after the workouts, exit the way you came in, and swipe your card. But remember, while you are there, enter to win a free personal training session!

Step away from your desk and put on a YouTube video or run down to the DC for a quick jolt of energy during finals week. Being active will help you get through it all.

Get moving, UMass!

Get Moving UMass to receive gift?!


The Senior Campaign Committee has declared the top 3 options for the Class of 2012 Senior Gift and… (drum roll)… Get Moving UMass made the cut!

The three options for the Class of 2012 Senior Gift are:

  1. Alumni/Memorial Walkway
  2. UMass Permaculture Initiative
  3. Get Moving UMass

With the money provided from the Class of 2012, Get Moving UMass would be able to expand its initiative and have a positive affect on the entire campus community. With funding from this gift, GMU plans erect permanent structures and signage that encourages students to stay active and healthy.

We will have more information on voting as it becomes available. Until then, stay tunes with GMU!

Here’s to creating a culture of  life long, healthy living. Thank you, Seniors!

0, 5, 8, 30, 10,000: The GMU Numbers!

0 cigarettes per day:

We all know that smoking is bad; even regular smokers know that smoking is bad. Cigarette smoking leads to lung cancer and emphysema, however those are not the leading causes of death among smokers, heart disease is. Heart disease is also the leading cause of death among all Americans, but smoking heightens the risk.

The main cause of heart disease aggravated by smoking is atherosclerosis. This explains how fatty substances, plaque, are deposited along the linings of artery walls. The plaque builds up over time–hindering blood flow to and from the heart.

Smoking tobacco aggravates other risk factors for atherosclerosis. For example, high cholesterol is a leading cause of heart disease, and tobacco smoke lowers a person’s good cholesterol while increasing bad cholesterol. Additionally, nicotine and carbon monoxide contribute to the build-up of plaque in the arteries. Another leading cause of atherosclerosis is high blood pressure. Smoking does not cause high blood pressure, but will exacerbate the risk for dangerous high blood pressure in those who already suffer.

There is a long list of ways smoking negatively affects the body which include, but are certainly not limited to addiction, de-sensitivity of senses, premature aging, stained hair and teeth, gum disease, breathing issues and a weakened immune system.

If you are currently a non-smoker, keep up the good work. If you are looking to kick the habit, here are some tips from UHS.

5 fruits and vegetables per day:

According to MyPlate guidelines, fruits and vegetables should make up half of each meal. In addition to being great components of your breakfast, lunch and dinner, fruits and veggies make for convenient snack options.

They are nutritious in any form—fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice—since they are full of vitamins and minerals, keeping you healthy and energized.

Another reason to eat fruits and vegetables is for their low-calorie, but high-fiber, content. Fiber helps fill you up and keeps your digestive system happy. Fruits and veggies may also reduce your risk for certain diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure and certain cancers.

Slice and prepare your fruits and vegetables ahead of time and store them in the front of your fridge, freezer or pantry. This way, when you are looking for a snack or something to make for dinner, they are the first things you see. For more information on the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables:

8 glasses of water per day:

The recommended amount of water you should be drinking per day is 8, 8 ounce glasses. However, some of us need more and some of us might need less. If you are exercising, you should be drinking more than the recommended amount of water per day. Also note that if you are drinking caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea or soda, these drinks dehydrate your body. Make sure you are drinking water to make up for caffeinated beverages—try drinking two glasses of water for every glass of caffeinated beverage. To help you keep up with your water consumption, get a water bottle with measurement markings on the side. Here is an online calculator to determine your recommended daily dose of water:

30-minutes of exercise per day:

It is important to do at least 30-minutes of cardiovascular activity a day. For some of us busy college students, this isn’t necessarily in the cards. We can’t find time to fit the gym in between class, work and studying. But remember, you don’t have to do all your exercising at the gym.  What you can do is make sure you are walking to your destinations whenever it is possible. My rule of thumb here: if it is going to take 30 minutes or less to walk somewhere, then do it.

Get Moving UMass has calculated the distances and times it takes to walk to and from different places on campus. Use their guidelines to plan your day. If you only make it to the Rec Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays, see if you can somehow incorporate 30-minutes of activity into your MWF schedule. This could mean you are walking to campus from your apartment. Sounds miserable? If you are like me, and cramming on the bus with 50 other people at 9AM, to get to your 9:30 class, walking actually sounds quite nice.

Another option for exercise would be taking the stairs up to your 10th floor dorm room. Another option, for OHill residents, is to take the long way up.

Now, you don’t necessarily have to break a sweat, just get moving. Staying active throughout the day will get your blood flowing which will subsequently help you stay awake in class and even elevate your positive mood.

10,000 steps per day:

Unless you have worn a pedometer lately, you probably have no idea how many steps you take in a day. How far is 10,000 steps exactly? The average person’s stride length is about 2.5 feet, which means that 10,000 steps will take you approximately 4.75 miles. This seems like a lot, but at a big school like UMass Amherst 10,000 steps is extremely feasible. A sedentary person may only average 1,000-3,000 steps per day, but in the Pioneer Valley, there is no excuse to be sedentary. To get moving, take a walk with your spouse, child, pet or a friend; use the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther away from the store and get up to change the television station. When you are doing homework, get up every so often to stretch your legs—maybe fill your glass of water, make coffee, run out to get the mail or clean something you have been meaning to clean. If you are normally sedentary at work, don’t bulk all of your errands into one. If you need to run to the supply closet, grab a snack or make a phone call, make several different trips throughout your shift.

Take the stairs

Take the stairs instead of the elevator to conserve energy, save time and burn calories.

How much energy could you conserve if you took the elevator instead of the stairs? We are going to be honest here: elevators do not use an astronomical amount of energy to travel up and down floors. However, to put it in perspective, taking a solo ride up or down two floors in an elevator is enough to fully charge your cellphone battery. Now factor in the amount of floors you travel daily, the extra people that ride the elevator with you and the total amount of trips that elevator might make in a day—you could charge a lot of cell phone batteries.

Will taking the stairs instead of the elevator save me time? If you have ever lived in an apartment complex, traveled in a high-rise in Southwest, studied at the W.E.B Du Bois Library or worked in a skyscraper, you already understand that a wait must be factored into your travel time. Then there is also a wait while you ride the elevator and it stops on each floor to pick up and drop of riders. Taking the stairs down is easy, so do that as often as possible. Also, instead of standing around to wait for the elevator to reach the bottom floor, go one door over and take the stairs up.

Could I really burn calories? This is the best benefit of all–you can burn a lot of calories by choosing the stairs as your way up instead of the elevator. In fact, the average person burns about 10 calories per minute when they climb the stairs. Also note that if you are carrying a heavy bag or two, you can melt away even more calories. How long does it take to climb the stairs?  If you are climbing at a pretty leisurely pace, you can climb one flight (approximately 30 steps) in 30 seconds. This would mean that if you lived on the 7th floor, you could burn 35+ calories. Make this part of your work out for the day; you’ll notice your strength building and legs toning.

Join the Get Moving UMass initiative and start getting your friends to do the same. By taking the stairs you be part of a movement that is conserving energy, saving time and burning calories creating a lifestyle of l healthy living at UMass Amherst and in the surrounding communities.

Choose walking

You are probably expecting another lecture on why exercising is important, or an article explaining all the things you are doing wrong. However, this article isn’t meant to put you down or highlight your flaws, but rather inspire small lifestyle changes that will improve overall health and wellness.

Get Moving UMass is an initiative, launching in the fall of 2011, aiming to “create a culture of lifelong healthy living.” GMU suggests you start by taking it one step at a time; changing small things in your day-to-day routine, helping you reach an ultimate goal.

Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain weight, maintain your physique, to improve cardiovascular endurance, get more energy, or simply to get where you need to go efficiently–walking is the answer.

We all have our excuses that keep us from walking to work, class or the store, but this articles serves to put all of your excuses to rest.

You say…

1. It’s too early. It’s never too early to go for a morning stroll! The benefits of taking a walk to start your day will always outweigh any excuses you have for staying in bed or choosing the bus instead. You will feel like you took some kind of revitalizing vitamin, we promise. Walking gets blood circulating, exposes you to some much-needed vitamin D and lowers stress levels, all while reducing your risk for health conditions. Wipe the sleep from your eyes, make some time for a healthy breakfast and get stepping.

2. I don’t have enough time in the morning. Whether you wake up at 7am or 2pm, give yourself a little extra time to walk to class. If you have 5-10 minutes to spare getting in line for the crowded bus, you definitely have time to walk to class.

The distance from one end of campus to the other is no more than 1 mile. This means, if you are walking at a leisurely pace of 3mph, you can get where you are going in roughly 20 minutes. Walk a little brisker, at 4 mph, and you can go 1 mile in 15 minutes–which is exactly how much time you have between classes (and odds are, you don’t have to go a whole mile in that time).

3. My attire is not appropriate. I do not advise walking a significant distance in your dress shoes or heels (if that happens to be your attire for the day), however there is nothing wrong with wearing your sneakers with your dress pants or pencil skirt for means of transportation. Change when you reach your destination and no one will know the difference.

4. I don’t want to be sweaty when I reach my destination. You have the time, you are dressed appropriately, but you are now worried about sweating. This is reasonable. No one wants to break a sweat before the pop quiz gets announced, but I promised you will not be dripping. We are talking about walking a mile at the MOST. Bring a change of clothes if you are concerned, or dress lightly, carrying your sweatshirt in your hand. But really, don’t be afraid to sweat. Sweating is good for you. Walking will improve circulation, allowing for toxins to exit your body via perspiration.

5. I have too much to carry. The upside here is that the heavier you are, or the more you carry, the more calories you will burn. Invest in a sturdy backpack and get moving. If you really have way too much to carry, try and adjust your schedule so that you don’t have to tote around your school things, gym clothes, work attire and lunch all day once. You can rent a locker at the Rec Center, or ask your supervisor if there are lockers to use at work. With less to carry, you’ll be more inclined to walk to your destinations.

6. I live off-campus. Most off-campus housing is not too far from the center of campus.

Sunset –> Library

.8 mi (from the center of Sunset Ave.)

16 min

64 cal

Puffton –> Library

1.1 mi

22 min

88 cal

Amherst Center –> Library

1.2 mi

24 min

96 cal

Alpine Commons –> Library

2.4 mi

48 min

192 cal

If you are struggling fitting workouts into your class schedule, walk to school from your house or apartment. This is an easy to do if you start your day a little bit earlier than usual. Plus, depending on where you are going to or coming from, you might be adding 20-30 minutes into your routine for the for the crowds on the bus anyways.

7. It’s cold/hot/rainy/icy/blizzarding. Ok, all of these are valid excuses except for hot/cold. If there is no precipitation, dress appropriately and start walking. If it is hot, carry water. If it is cold, dawn your fleece. You will feel accomplished and you will see results you want before you know it.

Walking will help you stay fit or get fit. Getting fit will help you lose weight, improve your weight training and provide the cardio you need to maintain a healthy weight. Walking is for everyone.

If you are one of those people who is always running late or just can’t fit a walk into your schedule, invest in a bike. Staying active will improve your overall health and wellness. Help us “create a culture of lifelong healthy living” by being an example to others. Get healthy and get moving, UMass.

*Mileages were calculated using Google Maps and MapMyRun. These mileages were converted to time and calories based on a 140 pound person walking at a speed of 3mph. If you weigh less, you may burn less. If you weigh more than this, or are carrying a heavy bag, you will burn more.