How to avoid the Freshman 15
It's the first week of school. You finally finished putting up your posters and photos and have even organized your textbooks. Your bed is always made because you never sleep under the covers. You're a pro at this college thing. The mini fridge is stuffed with...ice cream. There's a box of Oreos on your dresser. There may or may not be a pack of soda under the bed.
Wait. This could get ugly.
You've probably heard of the "Freshman 15," a curse that dooms even the most athletic, health-conscious college newbies, and try as hard as you might, the soft-serve ice cream machine is calling your name. Don't worry. You can have soft serve - sometimes. College is stressful, and sneaking a few bites of dining hall cheesecake is a welcome relief.
Want to avoid the dreaded Freshman 15? Here are a few tips for burning off those calories and changing your daily habits to avoid taking home an extra load for the summer.
Eat your vegetables. If you have to have a slice of pizza (or three), start your meal off with a massive salad. You'll not only feel less bloated after dinner, but might even avoid the pizza altogether. Stock your dorm fridge with carrot sticks and celery instead of sodium-filled salsa. When you get those late night cravings during last-minute study crams, the satisfying crunch will substitute a bag of chips.
Take the stairs
Whether you live on the third or ninth floor, skip the elevator and take the stairs. Yeah, you'll be tired and sweaty by the time you get to your room, but this mini workout is a great first step toward getting active and staying in shape. The released endorphins also improve your mood and help you study more efficiently.
Join an intramural sport
If you're looking for a way to make friends while staying in shape, join an intramural or club sport. Going to the gym is sometimes more dreadful than taking a test, and rather than running on a treadmill for half an hour, you can engage your mind and body by playing with a team. The camaraderie and support may be just what you need to stay away from the Freshman 15 and have an incredible - and healthy - college experience.