Physical Activity vs. Exercise

Physical activity = all forms of movement throughout the day.

Examples: cleaning, walking, running, rock climbing, ice skating, biking, roller blading, basketball, soccer

Exercise is a form of physical activity but you are getting your heart rate up into a suggested target heart rate range for at least 20 minutes.

How to Determine Your Target Heart Rate Range 

  • 220 – Age = Predicted Maximum Heart Rate
  • Max Heart Rate X .5 = Lower end of range
  • Max Heart Rate X .85 = Higher end f range

Benefits of Exercising Within Your Target Heart Rate Range

  • Increases cardio-protective effects (reducing risk factors for heart disease and diabetes)
  • Improves sense of wellbeing and self esteem
  • Increases energy levels throughout the day 
  • Reduces muscle tension
  • Improves sleep at night
  • Positively impacts your ability to focus, retain information, and be productive
  • Provides an opportunity for social interaction

Tips for Starting An Exercise Program

  1. Start slowly – commit to a few short exercise sessions per week and build upon that. Example: 2 days a week, 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise
  2. Pick a form of exercise – running isn’t for everyone Example: treadmill, elliptical, walk track, biking or spin class, swimming, etc.)
  3. Motivation an Issue? Try These:
    • Group Exercise Class – The ARC and CRCE offer a number of different options. Visit Campus Recreation for the schedule.  
    • Partner with a friend to be workout buddies – this can help the time pass and hold one another accountable
    • Use a Fitness Device – Fitbit, Jawbone, Garmin, etc.
    • Try an App – Couch to 5K, My Fitness Pal, CharityMiles, Map My Fitness, etc.
  4. Stretch – important to stretch your muscles, after a workout, in a slow and controlled manner, no bouncing!!
  5. Hydrate – drink plenty of water before, during, and after workouts.

Water helps regulate your body’s temperature and keeps you functioning well. 

Lack of Fluids/Water - When you do not consume enough fluids you can become light-headed, experience muscle cramps and nausea.

Factoid: 60% of water makes up your body weight

How much water to drink?
Everyone is different, but know ALL fluids count toward your daily intake.  

Fitness Tips

  • Set aside time in your schedule to exercise but do it when it works for you
  • Dress comfortably for your workouts
  • Create a playlist 
  • Try different activities to find out what you like and seems to be a good fit
  • Walk more places or park farther away to get in more steps
  • If you can’t get out or go to the gym check out some exercise videos (Undergrad Library (UGL) has some selections you can checkout)
  • Be consistent and stick to your workouts
  • Rent a locker at ARC or CRCE for convenience and to store supplies, workout clothes, toiletries, etc.


McKinley Health Center, Health Education

Meet with our Exercise Physiologist to discuss a personalized workout plan and/or other fitness related concerns.

Call to schedule an appointment at 217-333-2714.

Campus Recreation

Offers a variety of activities and options to be active.

Check out their website for details: