Campus Rec wants to support your health & wellness by providing various resources. We encourage you to use this page whether you are currently home, away from campus, or just need guidance in your overall wellness routine.
Anytime GroupX Classes & Mindfulness
Access previously recorded virtual fitness classes or mindfulness sessions through Princeton University Media Central. You can view the videos at any time, but require a current PU NetID login.
Anytime Fitness Guide
*Set/Rep Quantities in the following workouts are suggestions based on fitness resources from the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Please adjust your sets and reps accordingly to your experience with exercising. If you would like more insight about how many reps you should be doing, please see the link below.
How Many Reps Should You Be Doing?
- Beginner: 5-10 reps
- Intermediate: 10-15 reps
- Advanced: 15-20 reps
Download the Full Google Document version & edit it to your liking (includes additional resources to switch up your routine)!
To download - click link above, sign-in with your Princeton G-Suite account, click "File" > "Make A Copy" or "Download > Word Doc"
- Slow Squats
- Monster Walks
- Lateral Walks (Side Steps)
- Glute Bridge
- Side-Lying Leg Lifts
- Side-Lying Leg Circles
- Side-Lying Leg Swings
- Frog Pumps
- Standing Glute Kick Back
- Donkey Kicks
- Fire Hydrant
- Reverse Lunge
- Curtsy Lunge
- Walking Lunges
- Single-Leg Glute Bridge
- Standing Abductions
- High Knees
- Wall Sit
- EMOM workouts, otherwise known as “Every Minute on the Minute,” are a fun and creative way to manipulate your work-rest ratio during workouts. A predetermined number of reps are assigned for each set, and they must be completed in a minute. If completed faster, a longer rest break may be taken. If the exerciser moves slowly, however, he or she will have a limited rest break before the next set.
- If the goal of the EMOM workout is endurance and a metabolic challenge (as demonstrated in the workout below), select a number of reps and resistance for each exercise that should take just under one minute, allowing for very short rest breaks. If strength is the goal, select only a few heavy reps for each set, and the rest break will be built right in. You could also set a higher time limit and choose a series of exercises to fit into that time and repeat for several rounds.
- Here’s a sample workout: 5 box jumps, 10 dumbbell rows, 10 push-ups, and 20 skater leaps in three minutes for 10 rounds.
- As you can see, one of the great benefits of EMOM workouts is that they are easily modifiable for any level of fitness and can be completed in a short amount of time. This is particularly helpful when you only have a moment to squeeze in a quick yet effective workout. Your options are limitless with this type of workout and fun and hard work are guaranteed.
Increased Time Under Tension (TUT)
- Time Under Tension (TUT) refers to the length of time a muscle is contracting against an external resistance.
- Muscles generate tension to move an external load—contracting a muscle for longer periods of time will yield higher levels of both mechanical damage and metabolic fatigue. A traditional set of 10 reps performed at a standard speed of one to two seconds lengthening and one to two seconds shortening may only take 15 to 20 seconds. Slowing the movement speed down to a four- to six-second lengthening phase followed by a two- to three-second shortening action for the same 10 reps can increase the amount of TUT up to 90 seconds and cause the necessary mechanical damage and metabolic fatigue that results in muscle growth.
- AMRAP, or “As Many Rounds/Reps As Possible,” is a type of high-intensity interval training that has grown in popularity in recent years—and for good reason. These short, challenging metabolic-conditioning workouts are fast, fun and effective. The “reps” version of AMRAP involves selecting only one exercise and a time constraint. For example, completing as many push-ups as possible in a five-minute time period. This is a great tool for training and measuring your clients’ muscular endurance (and mental fortitude!) over time. The “rounds” version of AMRAP can make up an entire express workout. Simply select a short series of exercises and a defined number of repetitions for each one. Set a time constraint and have your client perform the complete series of exercises as many times as possible.
- The Benefits
- Clients enjoy the challenge and the ability to pace themselves, and, if done in a group, the competition and camaraderie of exercising with other participants.
- Any exercise can be selected based on your individual client’s ability level and he or she has complete control over the pace of the workout. AMRAP is also great in a group format because every person in the group can move at his or her own pace, yet still be motivated and challenged by the speed of others.
- Completing the same AMRAP workout again over time is a great tool for measuring a client’s progress in developing muscular endurance and cardiovascular capacity.
- A Word of Caution
- As a health and fitness professional, AMRAP workouts are some of the hardest to coach. Encourage your clients to “push their limits,” even as you ensure that they maintain proper form throughout. It is essential to pay close attention to form and movement mechanics, especially toward the end of the workout (when fatigue can cause form to suffer), and know when to pull back on the reins.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
- High-intensity interval training (HIIT), defined as alternating periods of high-intensity exercise (85% or higher of maximum heart rate) followed by rest intervals, continues to be one of the most popular exercise trends worldwide. It is important to note that rest intervals do not necessarily mean resting or inactivity, but can include periods of less-intense exercise (e.g., low-intensity resistance sets) and active recovery (e.g., dynamic stretching).
- The key to safe and effective HIIT programming is to acknowledge that each person has different baseline fitness. What is defined as high intensity for one person may be either too intense or not challenging enough for someone else. The key is to determine how high intensity is defined for each individual, and then modify your training methods and exercise intensity for each client or participant.
- To achieve the goal of HIIT modification, start with a review of the three key programming variables associated with HIIT:
- Intensity (how hard)
- Volume (how much or how long)
- Rest periods
- A couple things to keep in mind:
- Intensity and volume are inversely related. The higher the intensity of the exercise, the shorter the all-out work or high-intensity interval will be.
- The higher the intensity of the exercise, the longer the rest period will be.
To modify HIIT, use training methods that keep clients active and heart rate up, and focus on specific muscle groups at one time instead of focusing solely on the intensity or effort of exercise.
Exercising and engaging in physical activity has plenty of benefits mentally and physically. But it is also important to focus on stretching and recovery of your muscles. Matt Bryzcki, Assistant Director of Campus Recreation, Fitness is the author of A Practical Approach to Strength and Conditioning (5th edition).
Below are various areas of recovery to focus on that Matt has elaborated on.
Flexibility Training: What is it?
Flexibility is best defined as the range of motion throughout which your joints can move. The best way to maintain - or improve - the range of motion of your joints is to perform specific stretches to elongate the surrounding muscles.
Stretching and Injuries
For many years, it had been thought that pre-activity stretching reduces the risk of injury. The belief wasn’t based on any research but it seemed reasonable to assume such. As it turns out, there’s scant research on the effects of pre-activity stretching on the risk of injury.
Stretching and Performance
Another long time assumption had been that pre-activity stretching improves performance. Again, this belief has been based more on a “gut feeling” than on scientific research. To date, in fact, no study has shown that pre-activity stretching improves performance.
Stretching vs. Warmup
The research regarding the need for a warm-up is inconclusive. Some studies have shown that performances with a warm-up are better than those without a warm-up; other studies have shown that performances with a warm-up are worse or no different than those without a warm-up. Nonetheless, a warm-up has both physiological and psychological importance.
Although your [Range of Motion] ROM may be limited by the factors that were mentioned previously, it can be improved through flexibility training. Like all other forms of physical training, flexibility training has certain components that must be incorporated to make it safe and productive. These components can be crafted into strategies that will permit you to improve your range of motion with a lower risk of injury. Ten strategies on stretching (.pdf).
Other resources about recovery
- What to know about exercising in hot and cold weather, presented by the American College of Sports Medicine.
- Ten things you need to know about Sports Nutrition (Poster), presented by the American College of Sports Medicine. Ten things you need to know about Sports Nutrition (Full Article)
- What to eat before and after a workout, presented by the American College of Sports Medicine.
Post-exercise nutrition tips from Campus Recreation.
Additional Guides & Resouces
Outdoor Space on Campus
Go to the following locations to get active while you can on Campus:
Finney & Campbell Fields
Outdoor Running Track
Princeton Routes & Trails
Looking for places to adventure around Princeton? Take a walk, jog, run, bike ride on Princeton Running Club's routes. Download the Strava app on your phone and it will help you navigate around town.
Ildy Meixner, a Resilience and Cognitive Performance Strategist, offers this message and her 10 Tips for a Focused and Purposeful Start in 2023.
As a Princeton University employee, you know that getting in shape and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is about more than just going to the gym and eating well. While those things are certainly important, there are other factors at play that can make a big difference in how successful you are at reaching your goals.
One of the biggest factors that can impact a person's ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle is their mental health, an aspect that the Covid pandemic has brought to the forefront. Stress, anxiety, and sleep issues can all have a negative effect on physical health, and vice versa. That's why it's important to approach fitness and weight loss from a holistic perspective, considering both the physical and mental aspects of health as one inseparable unit.
Here are 10 effective ways to do this:
Incorporate neuroscience-based goal setting into your to-do list for 2023. This type of goal setting targets the unconscious mind and helps you establish goals that are deeply ingrained and more likely to stick. By incorporating this type of goal setting into your life next year, you can give yourself the motivation and focus you need to stay on track and achieve lasting success. By setting clear, achievable goals that are aligned with your deep-seated habits and not just your surface desires, you can give yourself the motivation and focus you need to stay on track and achieve lasting success. By targeting the unconscious mind and establishing goals that are deeply ingrained, you can empower yourself to make lasting changes and improve your overall well-being. This can involve setting specific goals related to your physical health, such as a certain weight loss target or a specific fitness level you want to reach.
Remember the importance of self-care. Self-care is any activity that helps us maintain our physical, mental, and emotional health. It can include things like getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, and practicing relaxation techniques. By prioritizing self-care, we can better manage stress, improve our mental health, and maintain a healthy weight. Make self-care a priority and find activities that help you relax and recharge.
Adopt a healthy mindset. The way we think about ourselves and our goals can have a big impact on our success. By adopting a healthy mindset, we can stay motivated and focused on our goals, even when things get tough. This might involve learning to be more self-compassionate, setting achievable goals, and finding ways to reframe negative thoughts. Develop a healthy mindset by creating strategies for staying positive and focused.
Fixate on the benefits of exercise. Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, but it's not just about burning calories or losing weight. Regular physical activity can also improve our mental health, reduce stress, and boost our energy levels. Find activities you enjoy and focus on the benefits of exercise rather than just the numbers on the scale.
Consume a healthy diet. A healthy diet is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight and supporting overall health. Focus on whole, unprocessed foods and eat a variety of different fruits, vegetables, and proteins. Learn how to make healthy choices when eating out or on the go, and experiment with new, healthy recipes.
Build a supportive network. It can be tough to make lasting changes to our habits and behaviors, especially when we're doing it on our own. That's why it's important to build a supportive network of people who can encourage us and help us stay on track. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family members and seek out resources and support groups that can help you on your journey.
Be consistent. Change doesn't happen overnight, and it's important to be patient and consistent in order to see lasting results. Stick with your healthy habits, even when things get tough, and to be patient with yourself as you work towards your goals. Develop strategies for staying consistent, such as setting reminders, tracking your progress, and finding ways to stay motivated.
Focus on sleep management. Getting enough rest is crucial for both physical and mental health and can have a big impact on a person's ability to stick to their healthy lifestyle habits. Developing healthy sleep habits, such as going to bed at a consistent time and creating a relaxing bedtime routine, can make a big difference in your overall health and well-being.
Make anxiety and stress management part of your fitness journey. This is another important aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. These issues can interfere with a person's ability to sleep, focus, and make healthy choices, so it's important to address them as part of your fitness program. This might involve incorporating relaxation techniques, such as meditation or deep breathing, into your lifestyle or finding resources to manage your stress and anxiety.
Learn and practice research-based mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of being present and fully engaged in the present moment, without judgment. It can be a powerful tool for managing stress, improving mental health, and making healthier choices. Incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine, whether through meditation, yoga, mindful walks or other activities that help you focus on the present moment.
By focusing on all of these elements, you can achieve not just weight loss, but a balanced and healthy lifestyle overall. I believe we can all agree that the goal should be to thrive, not just to lose weight or be fit temporarily. By taking a holistic approach and considering the mental and physical aspects of health as one integrated unit, you can make lasting changes that will improve your overall well-being.
Tricia Adelman, Campus Recreation's yoga ambassador, has chosen to share her top 5 meditation benefits:
1. Nervous System self-regulation.
Whether you’re feeling stress/over-stimulated or disengaged/shut down, within a minute or 2 into your meditation practice where you are breath focused, your nervous system will be met where it’s at and gently persuaded into a more harmonious homeostatic neutral territory. This will consequently help with blood pressure, circulation, hormone regulation, impulse control and vagal nerve toning.
A daily meditation practice stimulates the brain in ways that “exercises” its ability to adapt and adopt new behavior patterns...in essence, meditation makes neural pathways more malleable for intentional change and growth (makes it easier to create new habits, and replace maladaptive behaviors/bad habits).
3. Helpful for Anxiety, Depression, ADHD and ADD.
A consistent daily meditation practice is essentially attention training for your brain, which changes grey matter volume to reduced activity in the “me” centers of the brain to enhanced connectivity between brain regions. Consequently, “exercising” the brain in more fully functional operating systems of pattern.
*This is not at all to say the need for medication is obsolete. Any and all decisions regarding medication should be discussed with your prescribing doctor.
4. Self Agency/Empowerment.
The ability to redirect your reactive moments creates an empowered sense of agency for ones life. Meditation teaches us to prioritize the pause. Prioritization of taking that pause creates space. Space creates perspective. Perspective creates objectivity. Objectivity breeds a more balanced inner environment where we are less likely identify with and/or feel isolated by circumstances. The shift that meditation trains the brain towards is the difference between feeling you are on stage with the everyday drama of your life, and replaces it with feeling you are in the audience watching the drama play out with director abilities to discern.
A daily meditation practice teaches us to compassionately observe our thoughts, feelings and physiological experiences. The alternative (as humans) is a default modality of avoidance behaviors, projection and displacement of our frustrations, disappointments and fears. The power of the pause that is learned in meditation builds the courageousness required to stand in the truth of each moment as it arises, without needing to flee from it or requiring it to be different - and that creates resilience and a nurtured sense of Self that will positively affect and direct your entire life.
Favorite Breathing Technique
- Open palm to the belly button.
- Close eyes.
- INHALE to the count of 4.
- EXHALE to the count of 4.
- Expand from navel center out in all directions with each inhale.
- Slowly return home to the navel center by the end of each exhale.
- Nostril breath is most effective, as it will naturally slow you down.
- *make the exhale a 5 or 6 count if you’re feeling escalated, otherwise keep it even.
The National Park Service offers a park finder on their website. To find a park or hiking trails near you, check out their website.
Some trails close to Princeton’s campus include the Billie Johnson Mountain Lakes Preservation and the Delaware Raritan Canal Trail aka the Towpath.
To find other trails in the Princeton area, you can use Outdoor Action’s website.
Top 10 Hiking Essentials by REI
- Navigation: map, compass, altimeter, GPS device, personal locator beacon (PLB) or satellite messenger
- Headlamp: plus extra batteries
- Sun protection: sunglasses, sun-protective clothes and sunscreen
- First aid: including foot care and insect repellent (as needed)
- Knife: plus a gear repair kit
- Fire: matches, lighter, tinder and/or stove
- Shelter: carried at all times (can be a light emergency bivy)
- Extra food: Beyond the minimum expectation
- Extra water: Beyond the minimum expectation
- Extra clothes: Beyond the minimum expectation
The Princeton University’s Department of Transportation shares some important reminders for when you are biking!
- It’s always strongly recommended to wear a helmet while biking on campus, roads or anywhere you go!
- Make sure to maintain a safe and responsible speed at all times.
- Ride in the direction as traffic (“Bike to the right”).
- Use hand signals before turning:
Need an activity idea to help get your points in?
- How fast can you complete a 6k bike ride?
- 6 kilometers is approximately 3.7 miles.
- Use the maps on your phone to find a 3.7 mile route in your area!
- If you’re in the Princeton area, check out these bike trails.
- You can also utilize a stationary/spin bike if you have access to one!
Ask the Experts here:
To view the responses go to Ask the Experts: Virtual Fitness Q&A
- American Council on Exercise (ACE) Exercise Library
- Exercise Prescription Home Page
- ProIdea Fit Exercise Library
- How to stay in shape when you’re busy. [Infographic]
- RESISTANCE TRAINING VOLUME IS THE KEY TO MUSCLE SIZE
- What Really Happens to Your Body When You Do a Body-Weight Workout Every Day
- HIIT Programming: When and How to Use Moderate-intensity Exercise as a Modification
- Reconsider Your Recovery Period
- 3 Tips to Maximize Your Time in the Gym
- Everything You Need to Know About Tabata Training
- Missing Your Gym Buddies? Here's How to Work Out With Friends From Home
- EMOM Workout
- 5 Lower Back Bodyweight Exercises to Ward off Low Back Pain
- Body-weight Training: Don’t Let a Lack of Equipment Keep You From Your Goals
- The No Equipment Needed Workout
- 5 Creative Body-weight Exercises
- 5 Variations of Traditional Bodyweight Exercises
- 10-minute Upper-body Workout: Total Arm Burnout
- 7 Techniques for Promoting Muscle Growth
- How Many Reps Should You Be Doing?
- Are the warm-up and cool-down portions of a workout really that important?
- Hip Extension Exercise to Improve Lunging, Walking and Running
- Train Your Body in 5 Minutes
- Top 10 Exercises for Defined Glutes
- 20 Minute Opposing Super Set Workout
- The Benefits of Unilateral Training
- Nutrition Tactics for Building Muscles
- Industry Presented Blog: What to Eat Before and After a Workout
- Creating A Healthy Eating Pattern
- How to Eat Healthy in a College Cafeteria
- 3 Ways to Avoid Picking Up Germs From Takeout
- Ready to Start Meal Prepping? Here's Everything You Need to Know
- 7 Trader Joe's Frozen Foods That Cut Dinner Prep Time in Half
- How to Meal Plan for Every Diet and Budget