The dreaded “freshman 15” has become an infamous hallmark of college life, but that doesn’t mean you’ll automatically gain weight when you head off to school. Take control of your health during your years of higher education with these five fitness tips.
Learn Your Dining Options
You can have the best workout program possible and still be unhealthy if you don’t support it with good eating habits. As soon as you get settled in at school, look at the options in the dining hall. Get nutrition information and ingredient lists for the dishes you think you’ll eat the most. Check out local restaurants for healthy options to grab on the go. Investing in a dorm fridge lets you keep your room stocked with foods like fruit, salad mixes and raw nuts so that you always have a nutritious snack close at hand.
Move More Every Day
Living on campus provides the perfect opportunity to sneak in exercise throughout the day. Even if you have a car, try to walk between classes as much as you can. Biking provides an even greater fitness boost and provides a healthy form of alternative transportation. If any of your classes are held in the upper stories of campus buildings, take the stairs instead of the elevator. During study sessions, set a timer as a reminder to stand up and move around at least once an hour to avoid excess sedentary time on top of what’s spent sitting in class.
Find a Fitness Buddy
Establishing a structured fitness program and sticking with it is easier when you have someone cheering you on. Your friends are probably as unenthusiastic about the idea of the “freshman 15” as you are. Therefore, it shouldn’t be hard to find people who are interested in joining you on your fitness journey. Get together and decide what you’ll do to work out and when you want to meet. Going for a run every morning, hitting the campus gym before afternoon classes or taking regular bike rides around town are all great ways to stay active as a group.
Get Involved in Sports
Check out the sports teams and clubs available at your school and consider signing up for one that appeals to you. Playing a sport not only provides regularly scheduled activity but also introduces you to a whole new group of people to practice and compete with. Students who aren’t into organized sports can still squeeze in fitness time by signing up for a gym class. It may seem like a strange elective to choose, but having gym on your schedule means you’re guaranteed scheduled exercise at least once during the week.
Practice Good Time Management
College quickly gets crazy with tight class schedules, big homework loads and semester-long projects. It’s easy to get overwhelmed as these academic necessities take over the majority of your time, but staying fit means blocking out a schedule that includes physical activity. Whether it’s your chosen sport or a regular exercise regimen, you need to do something that ensures you get a workout in every day. If you need to, download an app for your smartphone that keeps track of all your daily activities and use it to create an effective time management plan.
It might not always be possible to avoid a few unhealthy study snacks or a late-night run for takeout when college life gets busy. As long as you stay focused on overall healthy habits, you’ll keep the “freshman 15” at bay and go through college feeling strong and fit.
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