Healthy hacks for future college students

What seniors should know about staying fit and avoiding that freshman fifteen

Being healthy in college doesn’t have to be as hard as most people think!

Being healthy in college doesn’t have to be as hard as most people think!

Riley Fitzpatrick, Staff Writer

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Although most students will be lucky enough to have access to on-campus gyms and fitness centers, they’re also likely to be walking distance from all-you-can-eat waffle bars and late-night pizza shops. Paired with sugary energy drinks, fast food, and partying, these factors can lead to the dreaded freshman fifteen. But not to fear! Staying in shape doesn’t have to break the bank or be extremely difficult. Keep your body, mind, and wallet healthy with these hacks:

  1. Eat breakfast every morning. Whether it’s a protein bar or a full course meal, eating breakfast each morning will help fuel your body to keep you full, focused, and able to handle anything that is thrown your way. Plus, being full in the morning will prevent you from snacking on unhealthy foods throughout the morning.
  2. Stock up on simple, easy access healthy snacks in your dorm room. Late night study sessions stir up crazy carb cravings and giving in packs on the pounds if you aren’t keeping track of what you’re eating. Although it’s tempting to stock up on Velveeta and Pop Tarts, these things will cause you to gain unwanted weight if constantly snacked on. Focus on buying more vitamin rich and ultra nutritious snacks such as fruits, flavored rice cakes, jerkys, or low calorie organic snack bars.
  3. Walk to class and take the stairs. Most freshmen don’t bring their cars to college anyways, so this tip is easy to do. Any additional exercise throughout the day adds up to help you stay fit and burn calories. Especially during those early morning classes when you feel sluggish, a quick trip walking to class or taking the stairs can help wake you up and energize you for the rest of the day.
  4. Hit the gym. Although walking and stair-stepping can help burn additional calories, getting a full workout at the gym at least twice a week can have a better effect on not only your physical health, but your mental health as well. Exercising releases oxytocin to make you happy and relaxed, something all college students should be getting more of! Whether it’s for 30 minutes during a study break or for hours in the early morning, going to the gym will boost your overall energy and focus throughout the day.
  5. Get some sleep. Yes, it may be one of the most difficult things of college, but getting an adequate amount of sleep each night skyrockets your overall health. It boosts your metabolism, dramatically increases energy and focus levels, and actually causes you to binge-eat less.

Sure, college will be a constant battle between maintaining good grades and squeezing out all the social experiences you can within four years. Balancing these two will be hard enough, and adding in the aspect of a healthy lifestyle can seem almost impossible. But with these healthy tips, being fit and keeping off the extra pounds can be easier than you think!

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