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Hokie Health: Physical movement can make you feel better

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From: Hokie Wellness

According to the Mayo Clinic, everyone benefits from physical activity regardless of age, sex, or physical ability. Check out these reasons to move on a regular basis:

  • Exercise helps prevent or manage many health problems including high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and falls. It can boost high-density lipoproteins (HDL), the “‘good” cholesterol, and decrease unhealthy triglycerides.
  • Exercise can help prevent weight gain or help maintain weight loss. Any amount of activity is better than none at all. Just get more active during your day. Consistency is the key.
  • Exercise can enhance your mood. Feeling low or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? Activities such as a workout, walk, biking, dancing, yoga, or tai chi can help. Physical activity triggers various brain chemicals that may helps you feel happier, more relaxed, and less anxious. According to the National Institutes of Health, physical activity can reduce feelings of depression and enhance your overall emotional well-being. Regular activity can even boost confidence and improve self-esteem.
  • Exercise can help you sleep better. Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep quicker, help you get better sleep, and even deepen your sleep.
  • Exercise boosts energy. Regular physical activity improves muscle strength and boosts endurance. It also improves heart and lung health, which, in turn, gives you more energy to tackle your day.
  • Exercise can be fun. Physical activity can be enjoyable. It gives you the opportunity to unwind, enjoy the outdoors, and just participate in activity that makes you happy. Find something you enjoy and just do it!

How much activity do you need? Recommendations are for 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity (or a combination of both) spread throughout the week. Remember, activity in small amounts can accumulate throughout the day and provide health benefits. Add strength training for all major muscle groups at least two times a week lifting free weights or doing body-weight training.

Employees have access to physical activity through Recreational Sports. Memberships are available to Recreational Sports facilities (McComas Hall and the Fieldhouse) where employees can work out doing cardio, weight training, and in the pool. McComas Hall is also equipped with an indoor track for walking and running.

If you want more guided exercise you can join in group exercise, small group training, or personal training. You can participate in group exercise classes, ranging from yoga to cycle to cardio HIIT classes and more in person or virtually. Personal training will pair you with one of our nationally-certified personal trainers to develop individual work outs. Small group training is a small group of people who meet together twice a week for four weeks with the same coach for specific workouts.

If you enjoy sports, make sure to check out intramural sports. Employees are welcome to participate and compete in individual or team sports. Check out what is being offered this spring.

Another great option for being active is through Venture Out. You can rent outdoor equipment to have your own adventure, attend trips led by our team, climb the new bouldering wall, or participate on the Challenge Course. Being outside and active is proven to help boost your mood.

Recreational Sports is offering a plethora of virtual options to help get you moving including an Employee Movement Club and Hokie Fit Online Training.

Recreational Sports is here to help you move more. If you have questions, please contact them at recsports@vt.edu.

Visit the Employee Wellness at Home site for more information on virtual workshops, connection sessions, and other wellness resources offered. Learn more about how we can be Better Together at Virginia Tech.

Hokie Wellness serves Virginia Tech to foster a healthier community by providing prevention services, education, outreach, and resources to employees and students. If you have questions, need help, or would like to join the Hokie Wellness Google Group to stay up to date with monthly updates, contact the team at hokiewellness@vt.edu.