Physical Wellbeing Banner

Physical Wellbeing melds our needs for responsible consumption, vigorous activity and rest-driven renewal. Think of it as the intersection of diet, diligence and decompression.


In a 2013 national survey, 55 percent of Wake Forest students reported meeting the federal government’s suggestions for weekly physical activity. That beats the national average of 50.1 percent, but it still means 45 percent of Demon Deacons are short of the standard.

With classes, study time and social and extracurricular obligations nipping at your heels, getting those heels on a treadmill can often seem implausible at times. In fact, the 2013 ACHA study represents the first time on record that a majority of student respondents said they met the nationally recommended averages for weekly exercise.

But the good news is that this figure has been trending upward for some time. (In the 1990s, only 38 percent met the standard. As recently as 2009, the figure was 44 percent.) This means that you – yes, you – can do it.

So what if you can integrate exercise into your daily routine?

  • Research on several campuses indicates that those who work out regularly get better grades than those who aren’t as committed to fitness. And as for that time thing? One report says those who study three or more hours a day are four times more likely to exercise regularly than those who admit to one hour or less of daily study time.
  • Among general health benefits, exercise helps the body fend off illness; mitigates stress; and may even clear up skin problems.

So how to you do it? Experts recommend early-morning workouts. Even though you’ll be sleepy when you first wake up, by the time you get to the gym, you’ll be in better shape to get in better shape than if you wait until you have gone through all your classes. Group fitness activities on campus begin as early as 7:15 a.m. The Miller Center’s fitness facilities open at 5:30 a.m. on weekdays. Believe it or not, 5:30 a.m. is a great social time at the Miller Center. Getting going at that hour means you can see friends and grab breakfast before your first class.

But whenever you find the time – and you can – you’ll be glad you did.

Faculty & Staff

According to the federal government, adults should partake of at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity exercise or 1 hour, 15 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a 2013 survey of 450,000 adults, found that only one in every five of them met the guidelines.

So you’ve got a lot of company. It’s just not the sort of company you should keep. And you don’t have to, by the way.

Meeting the federal guidelines substantially reduces risks of: early death for any reason; heart disease; stroke; high blood pressure; diabetes; and several forms of cancer. Just to name a few.

Getting started isn’t as hard as you may think.

Group fitness activities on campus begin as early as 7:15 a.m. The Miller Center’s fitness facilities open at 5:30 a.m. on weekdays. This should give you time to get your work in and proceed to your other job.

The Department of Health and Exercise Science also sponsors a medically guided and professionally supervised disease-prevention program.

But whenever you find the time – and you can – you’ll be glad you did.