Fitness & Exercise


For those of you looking to exercise at UMBC, the RAC (Retriever Activities Center) is a great place to go, and it's free! (That is, your membership is paid for through your student athletics fee each year - so get some use out of it!). The RAC features the following:
- an outdoor Olympic-sized swimming pool
- indoor lap-lane pool
- three full basketball courts for recreational use
- four outdoor tennis courts
- complete weight room with machines and free-weights
- cardio equipment balcony with treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, and cybex machines
- fitness studio where students can take classes like kickboxing and yoga (again, for free!) monday-friday
- equipment rentals (tennis rackets, basketballs, etc. - just make sure to bring your red ID with you!)

You can also take physical education classes each semester. Options include soccer, football, free weight instruction, beginners aerobics, and more. Fitness classes are a great way to learn more about the proper way to exercise, make friends, and, for those of us who find it hard to make time to go to the gym, get on a schedule and get credit for exercising! Every student at UMBC needs to take 2 physical education classes to graduate, so why not take them now? Even better, there's no limit to how many phys ed classes you can take, so you can take one each semester if you want. Click on this link and search for Physical Education classes to get signed up.

 There are also a wide array of sports clubs at umbc. Like ultimate frisbee? How about rugby or women's lacrosse? Check out the clubs available on the Office of Student Life's "Student Organizations List" site and contact the administrators of the club to join.

Finally, the RAC hosts intramural sports each semester. To find out more about what we'll be playing this year, contact jeff at

How much exercise do I need?

How much exercise you need depends on your body and your goals. But as a general idea, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) suggests 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week and muscle-strengthening activity twice a week. That means 50 minutes, 3 times a week, or 30 minutes 5 times a week - you can switch it up however you want. Keep in mind that CDC recommendations are the MINIMUM you need to prevent illness, not to create optimal health. If you haven't been exercising, start small - walk 20 minutes a day 3 times a week, and gradually, over time, build up until you're exercising for an hour almost every day. Exercise is supposed to be fun, so choose something you like to do! For a list of different activities you can do to get your daily exercise in, click here.

What is “moderate-intensity”?
As a general rule, moderate-intensity aerobic activity means working hard enough to get your heart rate up and break a sweat. You should be able to speak, but not sing.

Things that count as moderate-intensity:
-walking fast
-riding a bike on level ground or with a few hills
-playing doubles tennis

What counts as “muscle-strengthening”?
-lifting weights
-working with resistance bands
-doing exercises that use your own body weight as resistance, like push ups, sit ups, and lunges

Short on time?
Working out at a vigorous-intensity level for 75 minutes per week is even better, and saves time. Activities that count as vigorous-intensity include:
-running or jogging
-swimming laps
-riding a bike fast or on hills
-playing singles tennis
-playing basketball
-walking uphill with a heavy backpack

 For more information, check out

How do I exercise?
There are some great visual aids for those just learning to exercise if you can't afford a trainer (although the RAC offers training sessions from a certified personal trainer for really cheap!) Visit