Now that school is back in session, our erratic summer lifestyles have come to an end. For those who are away from home for the first year, the most difficult part of acclimating to the new environment can be establishing a new routine. Balancing classes, a job, a social life, and physical fitness routine can prove to be an extremely daunting task, especially when you are facing the challenges of the “real world” for the first time on your own.
With so many quick and easy dining options available on and around campus, it can be easy to lose track of your health and gain a few pounds.
I’ll never forget living in my dorm freshman year and having an all you can eat dining hall that served breakfast at 10 PM. When I was supposed to be going to bed I was lured down the hall way by the promise of tater tots and cinnamon buns. Needless to say, I might have put on a pound or two that year. However, balancing my physical fitness routine proved to be a lifesaver. For many of us, the easily accessible dining halls are cancelled out by the just as easily accessible physical fitness centers located on campus. While choosing tater tots over bicep curls is obviously the easier choice, a little bit of discipline can go a long way when maintaining your health and wellness and avoiding the dreaded Freshman 15.
We take a look at 5 fitness tips to avoid the Freshman 15.
1. Find a workout partner.
Living on campus, there are like minded people all around and plenty of people who will share your interest in working out. Being in the dorm your first year is even better! There will typically be between 10-30 other people living on your floor (depending on the size of your school). You can surely find someone who can help motivate you work up a sweat.
2. Set a specific time.
Having a routine will help you be more productive. This is especially important when you are studying for finals and crunched for time. Block out 30 minutes to an hour each day. Need a break from homework? Go knock out some crunches.
3. Invest in a pedometer or app on your smart phone.
Keeping track of your results and seeing your progress will motivate you to continue going. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself.
4. Eat breakfast.
When you have an 8 am lecture, it is better to wake up a couple minutes early and grab a quick meal to kick start your day. You will thank yourself when you aren’t starving by noon and throwing cheeseburgers down your face because you decided to skip out on the most important meal of the day.
5. Choose liquor over beer.
Some say this is a myth. Perhaps it is. But it worked for me. Not that we are condoning drinking of any sort but, let’s be realistic; it is college after all. While it is important to remain safe in the amount you choose to consume, I’ll take 3 vodka and sodas over 10 beers and a beer belly any day.