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Surviving the Freshman 15

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We begin our Freshman fall semester with much anticipation looking forward to making our own choices; however, sometime within the first semester freshman begin to make poor choices when it comes to health, wellness, and diet.  It's easy to get caught up in the cycle of catching a ride to class and popping some Ramen noodles into the microwave, but that does nothing for us.  Here are a few simple steps to avoid the freshman 15 without having to do too much work.  Believe me it's much easier to avoid the weight gain than it is to lose it!

1.  Walk

It seems like a really simple solution to just walk, but for a person who weighs 160 lbs and walks only 2mph or basically 2 miles they have burned around 200 calories.  Typical day of walking from dorm to multiple classes, back home for lunch, back to class, while carrying books will burn at least that. [1]  If you can also walk to any other activities you may have such as going to your sorority or fraternity house, seeing a friend, going to church or study group.  Whatever it is just try to not catch a ride! 

2. Grab a healthy alternative to Ramen noodles

We all have grabbed a bag of $0.25 Ramen noodles when we are hungry and have very little money, but most dorms (and especially if you live in a coed apartment) come equipped with a fridge.  Substitute the noodles for some quick healthy alternatives such as greek yogurt, granola cereal, fresh fruit or vegetables, even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  Just drop the high carb and salt content food for some things that are just as easy to grab.  

3. Limit video games and computer time

Sitting on your bum for hours at a time while enjoying the virtual world is only going to compound the issue.  You definitely are not burning enough calories and most people binge eat over a long period of time while gaming.  

4.  Join athletic clubs

One of the greatest parts of being in college is that there are tons of fun physical activities.  At many universities they even hold fun little groups.  One that I joined was drunken kickball.  Sure I probably only burned 50 calories after a few round of beers, but I still got tons of physical activity during those 3 hours that I can't remember!  Typical universities also have many intramural programs from soccer to softball!  Enjoy  yourself because you will never be this old and young at the same time again!

5.  Take activity breaks between study times

Studying is not easy as we all know, especially for finals.  One of the greatest things you can do for your mind is to take small scheduled study breaks that include some sort of physical activity.  I had a friend during medical school use his kettle bells for 10 minutes.  There are many good 10-15 minute exercise routines that can be found on the interwebs!

6.  Get a good night sleep

Sleep deprivation leads to weight loss, so getting your full 6-8 hours of zzz's is a good thing! Catch that nap at noon if you have to as well, but make sure you go to sleep at a good honest bedtime, or well make sure you at least 6-8 hours regardless of what time you go to bed.  Being well rested helps both mentally and physically so just do it!

Just remember when you are away from Mama that doesn't mean you have to go hog wild and gain the dreaded freshman 15, instead just opt for some more healthier choices and you should be just fine.  Keep the active lifestyle from high school going and you will find a much more enjoyable and active first year of college.  

Try a workout video

The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout - Xbox 360
Amazon Price: $29.99 $13.01 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 15, 2014)

There's a book!



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  1. Mayo Clinic "Exercise for weight loss: Calories burned in 1 hour." Mayo Clinic. 13/08/2014 <Web >

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