Choosing a major, scheduling classes, living away from home. College freshmen have plenty to worry about, and weight shouldn’t be one of them. There are easy ways to stay fit as a freshman. Read these tips to find out how!
Instead of driving to class, walk or take a bike. Breathe in the fresh air and take in your new surroundings at the same time. Walking from class to class every day is great exercise and a good way to find out about activities around campus.
Join the Gym
Many colleges have a workout facility on campus that students can use at little or no cost. If exercise classes are offered, sign up for a few. Aerobics classes are a great way to meet new people and burn off stress, and working out with friends is great motivation for sticking with it.
Get Course Credit
If you need a certain number of electives to earn your degree, try some more active electives, like tennis, ballroom dancing, or even photography. Classes like these are often an easy A (as long as you show up and participate) and will allow you to express yourself and expel your energy in different ways.
Watch the Midnight Snacks
Just because you’re pulling an all-nighter doesn’t mean you have to snack the whole time. When you eat late at night, it is harder to burn the calories because your body is at rest and not as active. If you do feel a craving for something crunchy, try carrots or air-popped popcorn.
Choose Foods Wisely
With your new schedule and the lack of home-cooked meals, many students find it easier to grab something at a fast food restaurant or order a pizza. While it’s OK to eat this way occasionally (everything in moderation), try to limit yourself to once or twice a week. Cafeterias and delis that are on campus usually provide healthy alternatives to burgers and fries. See what is on the menu that is a little more nutritional and less…fried.
Don’t Be a Stress Eater
Being in a new place, away from family and friends, and having to adjust to your new life can be stressful. Try not to overeat as a way to displace your feelings of stress about school or homesickness. Eat when your stomach growls, not when you are worried about an upcoming midterm or fighting with a boyfriend/girlfriend. Recognize when you are hungry vs. when you are eating because you are stressed. This is the best way to avoid nervous eating.
Go Easy on Yourself!
The most important thing to remember is don’t be too hard on yourself. You are going through a major life change—moving away from home, adjusting to your new independence, figuring out who you are. It’s okay to indulge yourself a little. Gaining the freshman 15 is not the end of the world. Enjoy your college experience and make the most of it. This is the only way you will be able to have your cake and eat it too.