College brings people their favorite memories, life-long friends, and a pathway to a dream job. There are endless things to be excited about in college, but the “Freshman 15” is not one of them. Any time we go through transitional periods of our lives, like going to college, we tend to gain weight. It’s a normal process but with tips from Collegeboxes, we will help you with staying fit and healthy while at college.
There are effortless ways to help you keep the pounds off like walking or biking to class. However, it’s not the only thing you can do. While you’re reading up on microeconomics for the first time it wouldn’t hurt to learn a few workouts you can do in your dorm room or healthy meals to make.
Tips for Staying Healthy in College
How to Not Gain Weight in College
If you’re heading to college, you’ve likely heard about the “Freshman 15.” It’s truthfully not as bad as that. Students do tend to gain weight when they go to college but it’s usually less than that and not in one year. However, the biggest concern is starting bad habits that lead you down to a path of consistent weight gain year after year. Establishing or continuing a healthy lifestyle is essential to staying healthy in college.
Managing your weight can depend on whether or not you’re trying to maintain your current weight and if you’re trying to lose it. To not gain weight while at college it’s important to point out why students do gain weight. Students tend to drink a good portion of their calories, they eat late at night and don’t get enough sleep, and they deal with a lot of stress.
It’ll feel nearly impossible to avoid all of those, but you don’t have to necessarily avoid them. Is a fast-food meal after a long study session at midnight the worst thing possible? No, but doing it every night or three or four days a week can be. It’s okay to go to parties and places with your friends but it doesn’t need to be every weekend.
This doesn’t mean you need to skip meals because you are going out. The body, a still growing body for most freshman college students, needs to eat when it’s hungry. It’s about finding a balanced lifestyle, not a strict regimen.
Healthy Food to Eat in College
Finding, or trying to afford, healthy food in college can be challenging. Although, you can find easy meals to make in your dorm room and a way to maximize your meal plan to help you. Most dining halls don’t offer extravagant food, but most have salad bars. A quick and easy salad is a perfect meal you can mix into your routine and customize how you like it. College campuses generally have restaurants that provide food options that can be healthy if you choose to do so. Remember this is about maintaining weight, you can eat what you want but too much of it won’t be a good thing. Find ways to cut calories away. If you want a bigger sandwich or another side, skip the soda because the food is more nutritious and fills you up.
Social media is also a great place to find healthy snacks to make. An easy one to whip up is using Greek yogurt and protein powder of your choice. Mix those two together and add a topping like chocolate chips and you have a tasty, yet healthy and protein packed treat in the middle of the day.
It’s easy to get carried away with what you’re eating and if you’re starting to feel sick and tired, chances are your diet is a portion of the issue. Your body will tell you when you need to make a change, be aware of what you’re putting into it if you want to stay healthy at college.
Getting in Shape in College
College can also be the transitional period for those that want to get in shape and here is how you do that.
Get to Know Your College Gym
There’s a good chance you didn’t go to the gym when you were in high school. Most people don’t have a reason to go unless you wanted to be a gym rat or were an athlete. The difference between high school and college when it comes to staying fit is in high school your body is still growing and you’re naturally a bit more active. In college, you control what you eat without parent’s advice (or supervision), and you become more sedentary.
That makes for a perfect opportunity to start going to the gym. Most colleges have a gym. and your membership is included in your tuition. You’re already paying for it why not give it a try? The gym can feel intimidating at first if you don’t know what you’re doing. Although, most machines nowadays include QR codes on them for an instructional video. Plus, it can push you to make friends and ask for help from people who look like they know what they’re doing.
The gym is also one of the best things to do between classes. Exercising can boost energy and is a much healthier choice than an energy drink, which isn’t made with body-friendly ingredients and can lead to a sugar crash. Research has also found those that workout consistently have better grades and cognitive performance like memory.
Learn a Few Dorm Friendly Workouts
The gym might not be the place for you. Not everyone likes working out in front of other people, and that’s okay. Although dorm rooms can be small, there are plenty of workouts you can do to help you stay fit in college.
Here are a few exercises that can be done in a dorm room:
- Step Ups
- Sit Ups
- Push Ups
- Leg Lifts
Students through the years have become very creative with their dorm room exercises. They’ll get creative with the furniture in the dorm room to help break a sweat. For instance, students can use their chair in the room for steps. Secure the chair against the wall and you can use it for your step ups.
Others have used exercise equipment in their doom room as well. There are small sets of dumbbells that can be used even in a door room. Be cautious about going too heavy, however. There are also resistance bands that are great for countless workouts as well. Don’t forget about a foam roller, which can help posture and loosen up muscles in your back and legs, great for a kid that sits at their computer a good portion of the day. While many think the over-the-door exercise equipment is an easy solution, not all dorm rooms allow it and any damage in that area from it will come back to hurt you in fees once you move out.
How to Lose Weight in College
Maybe you got to college not in the best shape or are simply tired of living at an unhealthy weight. College can be a good place to lose weight too. Students could be from households where they didn’t make their own meals, ate whatever they wanted, and there was no interest in an active lifestyle. College is where you’re supposed to find yourself and your individuality and there are resources to help you lose weight if you want.
Part of it will be getting to know the gym or doing your own exercises in your dorm room. However, little things in your life can help you lose weight. This includes walking to class instead of using the electric scooter, prioritizing sleep and making it a healthy pattern, and finding ways to manage stress (yes, easier said than done).
Everyone loses weight differently depending on your gender, family history, and goals, but here are a few starter tips to get you on the right track:
- Exercise Regularly
- Manage Stress in a Healthy Way
- Limit Junk Food and Sugary Drinks
- Drink Water and More Water
- Learn What Works for You, It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint
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