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Physical Activity

Physical activity is one of the biggest contributing factors to living a healthy lifestyle, as it plays an essential role in maintaining, improving and protecting your overall health.      

Individuals who are more active:

  • Improve their chances of living longer and healthier
  • Have lower rates of all-cause mortality, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, colon and breast cancer
  • Exhibit a higher level of cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness
  • Are more likely to achieve weight maintenance and prevent obesity
  • Have a healthier body mass and composition
  • Are more resistant to disease
  • Sleep better
  • Are more able to relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety
  • Have better moods

Physical Inactivity

EWU students should try to stay away from remaining sedentary or being physically inactive throughout the year. It is when you remain physically inactive for too long that you start to see an increased risk for obesity, type II diabetes and other chronic diseases. 

Physical inactivity has been identified as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality (6% of deaths globally). It is also estimated to be the main cause for approximately 21-25% of breast and colon cancers, 27% of diabetes and approximately 30% of ischaemic heart disease burden.


For adults ages 18-64 it is recommended that you engage in at least 30 minutes of physical acitvity a day. Physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure. However, there are 2 types of physical activity that more important and highly recommended for optimal health results. They are aerobic (cardio) and anaerobic (muscle strengthening) activity.

Aerobic activity: (Can be defined as a type of continuous physical activity that increases your bodies need for oxygen, resulting in increased respiration and heart rate) 

Aerobic Activity should be performed for at least 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) at a moderate - intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intenisty each week.  To some this sounds like a whole lot of work, but when you break it up into segments (typically 30 minutes for each day of the week) it makes it more manageable. For those with crowded schedules and little time you can try 3 different 10 minute segments throughout the day.

Moderate- vigorous intensity means that you are working hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat. When doing vigorous activities you require less exercise time.

A quick rule of thumb: 1 minute of vigorous activity = 2 minutes of moderate activity, so adjust accordingly

Examples of aerobic activity: brisk walking, riding a bike, playing basketball, swimming, jogging and running

Anaerobic activity (Can be defined as a type of physical activity where your muscles do not require oxygen, as usually seen in weight lifting- short bursts of high energy )

Anaerobic Activity should be performed on 2 or more days a week and should work all the major muscle groups: legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms. For health benefits, muscle-strengthening activities need to be done to the point where it is hard to do another repetition without help.

Examples of anaerobic exercise: weight lifting, sprinting, using resistance bands, body weight exercises, yoga and heavy gardening

Quick Tips

  • Physical activity does not always have to mean exercise

  • Make physical activity something fun and enjoyable that you like to do or make it a simple change in your daily routine, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking farther away in the parking lot.

  • The overall goal should be to get the body moving and get your heart rate up

  • Always remember that some exercise is better than no exercise

Campus Resources

EWU offers plenty of ways to help you stay physically active, just click a link below:

URC (University Recreation Center)

URC Fitness Center, Personal Training, Ice Skating, Climbing Wall

Club Sports

Baseball, Softball, Soccer, Tennis and more


Flag Football, Volleyball, Basketball and more

The Phase (Sports & Recreation Center)

Group Exercise (Yoga, Zumba, Body Pump, etc.), Racquetball Courts, Aquatics

EPIC Adventures (Outdoor Recreation)

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