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Ways to stay fit on campus


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Colleges like to highlight the quality and variety of dining options in the cafeteria as a selling point for prospective students. And for some students, the "unlimited" meal plan is a dream come true—a dream that often results in the dreaded "Freshman 15" weight gain. Follow these tips to avoid the extra pounds and other health issues due to a change in diet and lifestyle:

Snack smart
As a new college student, your busy schedule could make it difficult to make healthy food choices. Since there may not be enough time between class, work, and sports to sit down and have a meal, it can be easier to resort to one that's quick and, often, unhealthy. However, there are many quick snacks that provide a great nutritional value and can satisfy your appetite until you have time for a well-balanced meal. Fitness magazine recommends simple fixes like a fruit and yogurt parfait, crackers and string cheese, half a wheat bagel with cream cheese and chocolate-covered pretzels, all of which can satisfy your hunger in under 300 calories.

Make it a habit
Some new college students have trouble staying healthy because fitness was never a part of their everyday life. Teen Vogue suggests creating a routine to make healthy eating and living a natural part of your schedule. If you know you have five minutes to grab food before your 9 a.m. class, make it a habit of going to the cafeteria during that time and getting fruit and yogurt for breakfast. Similarly, if you have an hour of downtime in between classes, utilize that time and go for a walk or visit the gym. You're more likely to stick to your fitness goals if you have a healthy, structured routine.

Choose healthy activities
While it's tempting to spend your free time inside watching TV with your roommate, a healthier alternative would be to use that break for some kind of physical activity. Check with your university's student center to see which types of activities are available. Not only will you be participating in healthy exercise, but you will also be meeting other students and broadening your social base. And having a good support system is an essential component of healthy living.

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