Staying Fit in College
By Kristyn, age 20, Massachusetts
Sweet Designs Staff Intern
Fitness is very important when it comes to staying healthy. It is proven that young adults should be exercising at least 4 times a week for 20 minutes a day. Along with exercise, it is important to have three well-balanced meals a day with two healthy snacks.
It's hard to stay fit in college - believe me, I know! However, you need to design a routine based on your schedule of classes, work, etc. Once you have your campus routine set, you should balance off your time with going to the gym. Most likely you will not have classes all day long, so it's very easy to find gym time!
It's proven that 50% of college students gain the so-called "freshman fifteen", due to binge drinking, bad eating, and lack of exercise. It's very easy to get caught up in the party scene. Just because your friends are going out and drinking 4 nights a week, it doesn't mean you need to. As a matter of fact, a good percentage of my friends who binge drank have either failed out of school or transferred to a community college because their grades were falling.
Balance your time well. If you're going to go out 4 nights a week, then bring a bottle of water, perhaps with a Crystal Light packet, so you're still drinking something, just not an alcoholic beverage. You should also keep track of what you eat when you're drinking. There are approximately 100 calories in a shot or light beer, 150 calories in a regular beer, and even more in many mixed drinks. So if you have 5 shots, and then order late night pizza, that's about 1,500 extra calories you are consuming each time. You can see how the pounds start to add up!
Eating badly can be very easy to get caught up in as well. Having your independence, you can eat whatever you want, because it's in your room. If you were used to this your whole life it wouldn't be that big of a deal. However, if you grew up in a home where your parents watched what you ate, like I did, the freedom is amazing. BUT, you must really watch what you eat, because that's another way to put on the freshman pounds. Instead of pizza in the dining hall choose a salad with chicken in it. This will give a good source of fiber and protein. Of course, you can eat junk food occasionally, but try alternative healthy choices.
Staying fit may seem hard. However, if you make fitness a part of your daily routine, you will find it hard not to stay fit. Like me, you will find it is very important to make fitness a part of your college life.