The reason the “Freshman 15” is a thing is because college essentially sets you up for failure in your health regime. Whether it’s the constant socializing or stressing, most people forget the essentials for a healthy lifestyle meaning less time to sleep, move, and think about health all together. College students also have notoriously easy access to unlimited buffets and very cheap fast-food joints that stay opened around the clock.
Although a number of college students enjoy pigging out and leaving the thought of their personal health in the back of their minds, There are plenty students that go to college, and come back in the same or better shape as when they left. Here are some tips to help achieve that
Incoming college students should consider in investing “Any light in the room can disrupt your sleep,” says Spencer Nadolsky MD, physician and author of The Fat Loss Prescription. Inadequate sleep is linked to weight gain and has been proven to shake up the hormones that keep appetite, satiety, and stress normal, a bright bedroom won’t just leave any sleepy but also especially susceptible to the kind of constant overeating that contributes to weight gain.
Studies show that light from electronics such as a laptop or cellular device keep you awake. According to Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Departments of Medicine and Neurology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, “The use of light-emitting devices immediately before bedtime is a concern because light is the most potent environmental signal that impacts the human circadian clock and may therefore play a role in perpetuating sleep deficiency . The circadian-timing system synchronizes numerous internal physiological and biochemical processes, including the daily rhythm of sleep propensity , to external environmental time cues.” A good tip for keeping the electronics out of the way before going to bed would be typing a last minute paper or scrolling through social media at least two hours before going to sleep.
Sticking to a fitness goal is key to achieving staying fit in college. According to Dr. Nadolsky, “A lot of people think that they don’t have time to exercise, but in fact, people don’t have time not to exercise considering its potent effects on the brain.” An easy way to stick to a fitness goal would be walking everywhere. Although there may be a shuttle that goes around campus, walking from class to class will help get exercise without even trying.
Class of 2016 Foran graduate Katie Koppy who attends College of Saint Benedict says, “My school offers a lot of group exercise classes that are challenging and fun so I do those 4 to 5 days a week and also use the gym.” She continues, “It seems like it would be hard to eat healthy in college but there are so many food options that you can create healthy plates on your own. At least at my school, it’s easy to stay clear of the fried food and choose fresher ingredients because there are plenty of them! I would just say to take advantage of your school gym/athletic programs available to you, those will help you stay fit. As for eating healthy, there is a lot of unhealthy food served at schools but you can make the personal choice to choose fresher ingredients to keep a healthy diet along with working out!”
Class of 2014 Foran graduate Joy-Li Vanpala who just finished her Junior year at Fairfield University says, “I eat healthy snacks throughout the day so I don’t get too hungry and opt to eat healthier options. The dining hall usually has unhealthy options like pizza and fries every day so it’s very tempting to break though and indulge. However, the school does provide a lot of healthy options such as a salad bar, stir fry stations, and other healthy options.” She continues, “To the incoming freshmen, utilize the campus gym/fitness classes, drink seltzer rather than juices, and healthy snacking throughout the day so you don’t overeat when you finally get to the dining hall.”
Foran High track coach and gym teacher Mr. Jambor recommends, “Try to stay away from pasta, rice, and potatoes. Those won’t keep you full for long periods of time. Instead try to eat more meat and vegetables.” He continues, “Colleges usually have a fully equipped gym with a full track. Try to utilize it in your time there. Students tend to lose their workout routines when they get to college. It’s important to find a balance between studying and maintaining your fitness routine.”