It is not easy to stay fit and healthy during your freshman year in college. These tips should help though…
Where did the summer go? August is here! And as such, colleges all around the country are welcoming the freshman class of 2018…or 2019…or 2020; it depends, you never know when you will graduate these days. What really matters though is that you do graduate. Anyway, let me not go off on a tangent.
So what words of wisdom could I possibly have for you freshmen as you embark on the best years of your life? Well, I would tell you that your college career is not long at all. In fact it will be over before you know it. As such, maximize every opportunity, leverage each experience and savor every passing moment. Also be very aware of the dreaded “Freshman 15”. It is very real! Okay so maybe the average college freshman gains only 2-3 pounds during their first year and perhaps the thought of gaining 15 pounds during your first year in college is a bit of a stretch, especially if you have an active lifestyle and have good nutrition habits. However, let me be the 1000th person to warn you that college life is tailor-made to pile on weight. Everything from the food served in cafeterias, the exorbitant prices of wholesome groceries, to the alcohol-soaked social scene will cause you to gain weight fast. Even, if you are lucky to escape the aforementioned, the mere stress that comes with getting adjusted to a new way of life and living on your own, is sure to elicit an increase in cortisol levels, which can lead to an upturn in appetite.
BEATING THE “FRESHMAN 15”…OR JUST STAYING HEALTHY
There are several resources on the web that can help you stay healthy and keep the added pounds at bay. These are my personal recommendations…simply because they worked for me.
Go to class!
An inordinate amount of college freshmen skip class close to 50% of their lectures -Shocking, I know. Not only does such unpardonable truancy affect one’s academic performance, it can also lead to putting on weight, rapidly. College freshmen are notorious for having long nights, in the name of independence, and consequently sleeping in all day. As a result, in addition to irregular sleep patterns, irregular eating patterns are also formed and food intake and weight management becomes almost non-existent. What is more, skipping class robs you of the health benefits of walking from class to class and then back to the dorm. You won’t believe how much of workout that is. Try it! In addition, going to class regularly allows you to structure your day. Within that, you are able to schedule proper meals, rest adequately and well… graduate on time!
Obey your thirst, but do so by drinking water more often. For most college students the beverage of choice, without much reservation, contains some amount of alcohol. Apart from the fact that alcoholic beverages abound in calories, they can also cause severe dehydration when consumed in excess. As a rule of thumb, experts suggest drinking approximately eight glasses of water a day. I agree with them. While you’re in college, make water your beverage of choice. It flushes out toxins from your vital organs, carries nutrients to your cells and is normally way cheaper than soda or alcohol.
Find a “fitbuddy”
A “fit-buddy” is that one guy or gal who actually goes to the gym to workout. If the college you’re attending this fall is anything like the one I went to, it will boast an ultra-modern gym facility that will be nothing more than a hang out spot for the masses. Don’t be that guy or gal who is only at the gym make friends or get cuffed. If you are already a fitness fanatic, a “fit-buddy” will challenge you to reach new heights, and if you are not about that #fitlife yet, a “fit-buddy” is just what you need to get started.
All-nighter, for what?
Funny enough, the all night study session has become a staple in college culture; some sort of rite of a passage that makes one a full-fledged college student. To some extent even, all-nighters come with bragging rights. It’s like the more all-nighters you have the more ambitious you are or something, but this is simply not true. In fact, you are more likely to excel in a test when you have had a good night’s rest, after studying than when you have stayed up all night to study. This is because, it is during certain stages of sleep that consolidation of memory occurs and as a result recollection of information becomes easier. So in actuality, all an all-nighter is good for is stressing you out, causing you to snack at odd times of the night and a bad grade.
Cudjoe O. Bamfo, ACSM Health & Fitness Specialist
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