Physical Activity on the Forty Acres

Movement lifts your mood, gives you energy, and keeps you mobile so you feel relaxed, not stiff or worn down. Physical activity can immediately make you feel better and make your day more fun and productive. Increasing movement throughout the day, whether from intense workouts or light walking and stretching, has been shown to have a positive impact on physical and mental health. UT Austin offers a number of resources, sports, and programs to help you find activities that provide enjoyment and fit your schedule.

Tips to getting started

  1. Pick an Activity or Activities: The most critical aspect is that it's something you look forward to doing. Whether it is because the activity lifts your mood, helps connect you with others, or you enjoy the challenge; look for physical activities that make you feel great. For some students this may be the elation felt after a high-intensity weight training circuit, and for others it can be the calm you get from a peaceful hike through the Greenbelt. The activity that produces the desired feeling is the one that will be easiest to stick with.
    If you are interested in learning a new sport or exercise routine that involves a focus on technique and skill development, look for a class taught by RecSports, Department of Kinesiology, or trained instructors in the community so you can become proficient at it.
  2. Schedule It: Block off days and times of the week in your calendar explicitly for the activity. Having a specific time or window (ex. after biology class) assists you in creating a habit. You already do this with some things you do every day, such as brushing your teeth at night after showering or washing your face. Applying the same strategy to physical activity helps it become automatic as well.
  3. Small Actions Make a Big Difference: Taking the stairs, getting off the bus a stop early, biking to class instead of taking the bus, or being active in short breaks between classes, all add up. Breaking up long periods of sitting by getting up, stretching, walking around and moving your body has been shown to reduce your risk for many chronic diseases.
  4. Social Aspect: Joining friends for exercise is a great 2-for-1 strategy for fitting exercise into your busy schedule. If you’d prefer to exercise solo, simply telling another person your goal helps you to be more consistent.

University Health Services Resources

Exercise Resource Guide
Activities for Students with Disabilities
Top tips for getting started, finding activities you'll love doing, and/or reaching a fitness goal
Accessible activities around Austin

Resources and Programs at UT

Check out all of the ways that the Fitness/Wellness Program at UT RecSports can help you get and stay fit! Choose from over 120 weekly TeXercise (fitness, mind/body, & aqua) classes, 40 weekly group cycling, Pilates reformer and dance series classes, and several options for meeting with a personal trainer. UT RecSports has countless tools to help you get on track and stay active, healthy, and strong.

Fitness Institute of Texas:
The Fitness Institute of Texas conducts research, service, training, and educational programs in physical activity, nutrition, and behavioral health. You can sign up for fitness or body composition testing in a state of the art research facility or join Get Fit!, a supervised exercise program that has both a nutritional and activity component.

Department of Kinesiology and Health Education:
The Department of Kinesiology and Health Education offers a wide variety of physical activity classes. Classes range from ballroom dancing to martial arts to weight lifting or swimming. 

Physical Activity can give you some benefits that will make you feel great.

  • Boost your mood
  • Sleep more soundly
  • Increase energy
  • Improve concentration
  • Provide a feeling of accomplishment

UT University Health Services UT University Health Services

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