WHAT IS THE “FRESHMAN 15”?
It is the weight gain (usually anywhere from 15-25 pounds) that occurs during some students’ first year of college. So what causes it? Well, it can be caused by several factors: irregular sleep schedule, lack of required physical education classes and larger caloric intake — usually in the form of a liquid (hint, hint). However, weight gain doesn’t have to be a rite of passage for every college freshman. While you embark on this upcoming semester, keep these five tips in mind.
1. Think it Through
Set realistic, meaningful and healthy goals
Some short-term goals are exactly what they sound like: short. Whether it is taking the stairs instead of the elevator once a day or drinking more water, these are the goals you will find yourself at a crossroads with everyday. Long-term goals are a bit more complicated. This is where we tend to set unrealistic or even unhealthy goals for ourselves. For example, a so-called “goal” I hear on a painfully regular basis is the aim to lose 10 pounds in a week. While I’m sure it’s been done, it doesn’t encourage a healthy lifestyle (which should be the underlying objective of any weight loss plan). Goals like this are used as a quick-fixing band-aid, and, like a band-aid, they are bound to fall off. You’re the only one who can set meaningful, realistic goals for yourself, so take the time to decide what it is you want to accomplish and divide it up with short- and long-term goals.
2. Make it Stick
Schedule your workouts for the same time every day
This will help develop a habit of working out. Just like your favorite television show, your workout deserve a special place in your daily schedule.
3. Spice it Up
Attend a group exercise class
The Student Recreation and Wellness Center (SRWC) is the bee’s knees for recreational activities on campus. With classes offered from yoga to tai chi, and everything in between, there is bound to be something for everyone. Plus, 3.5 credits is all you need in order to be a member — so why not take advantage of it?
4. Be Aware
Make smart food choices
This might sound a bit obvious but sometimes it’s the first thing to go right out the window. Remember that this doesn’t mean eating a salad or vegetables 24/7, but being more aware of what you put on your plate.
5. Buddy System
Find a workout buddy
Because sometimes you just need a friend who will stick with you through the new adventures of creating a healthier lifestyle.
Written By: Mariah Campbell