Student Wellness Center
Student Services Building 4.5
Phone: (972) 883-4275

Office Hours
Monday-Thursday 8-6
Friday 8-5
Evenings by appointment

Mailing Address
Student Wellness Center
The University of Texas at Dallas
800 W. Campbell Rd., SSB42
Richardson, TX 75080

Beginner Fitness Tips

Making the decision to increase your physical activity to improve your health is the first step toward making a better you. Getting fit can be a long, difficult journey that has many obstacles and challenges along the way. Starting your workout routine with the correct tools and knowledge will increase the likelihood that you will incorporate your new lifestyle for a long period of time.

  • Set Goals. Set short and long-term goals and expectations for yourself. Be realistic about your goals and set goals that you can achieve. If your goal is to be able to run three miles without stopping, start with half a mile and work your way up. Understand that you have to build up your stamina and you will eventually get there. Also, make sure all your goals are not focused on outward appearance. Set a goal or two that is related to having more energy or improving your immune system. This will help you gauge your success in multiple areas, not just the scale.
  • Slow and Steady. Start out slowly. Injury and frustration are two frequent results of going all out in the beginning. Start out by doing what you can and working your way up. Start out by walking at a brisk pace on a treadmill and jogging in intervals. You will start out walking more than you jog, but will eventually be able to jog the whole time. Also, by starting out walking, you will be more likely to have a longer cardiovascular workout then if you try jogging the whole thing.
  • Mix It Up. It is important to do cardio, strength training, flexibility, and balance. Mixing up the type of activity can keep you interested in your workouts and increase the likelihood that you will continue exercising. Don't be afraid to have a few days a week that you have a high intensity workout and a moderate intensity workout, like Pilates, a couple times a week. The variety will keep you from being bored and work more muscle groups in your body.
  • Have Fun With It. Pick activities that you enjoy. If you hate running, but love swimming, turn swimming into a cardiovascular workout. A good workout doesn't have to be defined by how many miles you can run on a treadmill. You may want to consult a trainer about the best workout routines for the activities you are interested in. They will be able to tell you how long you should swim, play racquet ball or roller skate etc. to achieve effective results.
  • Put It on Your Schedule. Make working out part of your routine. Many students tend to have schedules that change from week to week or day to day. If you are struggling finding time to work out, write out your schedule for the week and write in when you will work out each day. It is important to treat working out like a class or a job; it is something that you have to do each day.
  • Get Support. Studies have shown that individuals that are attempting to improve their fitness and nutrition habits are more successful when they have support from people with common goals. Find a workout buddy or enlist the help of a personal trainer to have the support that you need.
  • Make an Appointment. It is recommended that any one changing their physical activity and nutrition habits consult a physician before doing so. This will prevent possible injuries and ensure that you are physically ready for the change.