The fear of the “freshman 15” is always in the back of young college students’ minds. Will those midnight pizza runs, unlimited cafeteria visits, and endless late nights snacking catch up to you?
A little bit of exercise can offset some of the pains and gains of college eating habits. Most students find themselves eating and lying around more because a.) there is no adult supervision, b.) they’re staying up late into the twilight hours, which fuels late-night cravings and overnight eating habits, and c.) everything in college seems unlimited, including food—many cafeterias serve all-you-can-eat buffets.
However, there is a movement of college students who DO get active and break the freshman 15 trend! Here’s some ways for you to be in involved in that movement:
1. Intramural Sports
Playing a weekly intramural sport is the most fun way to stay active and get your exercise on campus. Basketball, soccer, tennis, softball, volleyball, floor hockey, and more! There’s no pressure in intramural sports and you can even form co-ed leagues! Most schools offer all these and more in the intramural fashion. Get a group of friends together or just sign-up and you’ll meet some new kids. Enjoy this weekly activity to keep you focused and keep you moving!
2. Work out
Whether or not you’re a gym expert, a college fitness program can be invaluable for students. Remember when your parents used to tell you to go outside and play instead of spending mindless hours with Nintendo 64? The gym is where they’d tell you to go now when you’re lying around like a couch potato on your computer (playing on Facebook). Strength, core, and cardio training are the three most fundamental forms of fitness at the gym, but become a true gym rat and you can master it all.
3. Train, then run/walk the Susan A. Komen 5K
Participating in a 5K can be a great way to stay focused on health both in the present and future. A 5K is just over three miles and can be a great place to start your exercise endeavors. You’ll have to train, eat healthier, and maintain these habits through the big date. Not only that, but the Komen fundraiser raises money to find a cure for cancer, so it’s a great way for students to stay focused, and help touch the lives of millions. For information on when the run comes to your area, check out the Susan A. Komen website.
Yoga, especially Bikram hot yoga, can be a great way to shred calories while also increasing your flexibility and improving your mental state. Hot yoga can be a real battle for some as they prepare for 90 minutes of 105°+ heat and humidity. But the heat allows your body to have pure elasticity, and it produces plenty of sweat, which helps absolutely destroy calories. Moreover, it is an incredible experience and can become addicting to yoga-goers. Most yoga clinics allow a first-week-free trial, so at least give it a try before you totally reject the idea. Colleges often offer yoga clinics at their fitness centers, and areas around campus may offer hot yoga classes too. If you are going off campus, just be sure to ask about any college student discounts or deals!
Start the Tour de France on your campus; discover new places around your college, try to beat your times around town, and get in great shape by biking. Whether you rent a bike or bring your own bike to school, biking is an affordable, smooth way to get in shape. A half an hour bike ride is said to shave 270 calories, so biking mixes a great combination of efficiency, fun, and simplicity in one exercise you’ve been doing since you were a kid!