11 Fitness Tips to Keep The Freshman Fifteen At Bay
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Health and Wellness

11 Fitness Tips to Keep The Freshman Fifteen At Bay

A Lazy College Student's Tips To A Healthy College Career

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11 Fitness Tips to Keep The Freshman Fifteen At Bay
iFunny- #Swole

The Freshman 15-- the phrase dreaded by every incoming student at any university. The infamous phrase is coined as a term to describe weight gain that a Freshman undergoes as they adjust to adult life in college. But these words are not an absolute certainty. As a student who both gained and lost the Freshman Fifteen, I know that it is not as hard as it may appear to be to keep your beloved figure or shape yourself into the type of body you want. However, I also know that it can seem very difficult to get to the gym or maintain a diet with all of the other facets of college life, we oftentimes become lazy and complacent. With that said, here are my 11 tips for the lazy college student to help stave off the Freshman 15:

1. Get Involved

Join as many clubs as you can (while still having time to so schoolwork). The more that you are out of your room doing things, the less you'll be rooting around in your fridge for a snack. Doing something that you like outside of your normal schedule will also help you to maintain a healthy amount of social interaction.

2. Use a Fitness App

You can either use a preloaded app on your phone, or look for more on your phone's respective app store. Fitness apps help to regulate things like number of steps taken in a day (about ten thousand is the recommended), heart rate, active minutes in a day, and lots more. Some apps can even give meal plans to give you an idea of what foods are good and which ones to avoid.

3. Go to the Gym... When You Can

Around thirty minutes of physical activity or exercise is recommended every day. However, that doesn't mean it has to be all at the same time. We are college students and we have a lot on our plates, so break up the gym visits over the course of the day. For example, you can work out for 10 minutes or so before you go to your first class, for about the same amount of time after class and then again after dinner; any combination of activity is good for a healthy day.

4. Keep Busy During Your Workout

If and when you get to the gym, don't just workout in silence or in the clamor of gym equipment, do something. Listen to music, watch a YouTube video, read, anything that will occupy your mind (these are best done during cardio workouts, such as walking on a treadmill or elliptical or pedaling on a gym bike). You have no idea how fast time will pass if you're doing something else while working out. You can even move your fun workout outside with such apps as Zombies, Run! (which gives you missions to accomplish and periods of running while being chased) and everyone's new favorite fitness app, Pokemon Go!

5. Don't Do It Alone

Friends can be a powerful tool in the process of losing weight, so use yours to your advantage. If you start a diet, do so with a friend, and use each other as both motivation and a way to check yourselves. Bring them to the gym; if you don't feel alone, working out won't seem like such a commitment.

6. Control Your Plate, Control Yourself

A lot of colleges offer meal plans that are often hard to resist, with delicious food everywhere in sight. You don't have to change much of what you eat, but control how much you eat. Cut out the fattiest foods in your normal diet (those fries, chips, Big Macs, and milkshakes) and limit your portion sizes. According to the MyPlate chart above, half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables and the other half your meat and grains. Give each food group a section on the plate and you will control yourself a lot more easily. A good rule of thumb: have more greens on your plate than anything else.

7. Cut Down On the Grains

Grains like bread, pasta, potatoes, and corn can be some of the most delicious foods we eat, but they can also be the most fattening. High in Carbohydrates, or "Carbs" as we know them, they get us the fullest and are the most dense in weight gain. Cut back on your grain intake and replace the grains you do eat with whole grains (pick up that brown bread instead of the white bread at the supermarket).

8. Be Wary of Fruits

Fruits are great snacks and can be very healthy for you... if you know when to stop. Though fruit is better to munch on than that can of Pringles, fruits are very high in sugars. Natural sugars, yes, but sugars nonetheless. You should limit yourself to small portions of fruit everyday. Eat a fruit with your morning breakfast and then have some with your lunch, but not with dinner. In place of fruits for dinner, add some more veggies to that plate.

9. Reach for a Water Instead of That Soda

Most people don't even realize how much soda they drink (I sure as hell didn't). Sugary drinks like soda, iced tea, lemonade, and even alcohol can add a few inches to your pant size. Limit yourself to about 1-2 of these drinks per day. Have your coffee in the morning (cause I know college students can't survive without that) and then have a soda or other drink at dinner. Other than that, drink water. And lots of it. Being hydrated benefits your body in many different ways, and it is good if you carry some kind of water bottle around with you and drink from it very frequently.

10. Take a Deep Breath... Take Your Time

We are human, we are not going to change everything about ourselves in a single day. A lot of diet and workout plans make it appear as though we have to change everything about our daily routine, but it's best to make these changes over time so that they become habit, rather than a forced thing. Start off small. Remember you aren't Usain Bolt on the treadmill and start with speed walking. Cut out the bad things in your diet over time, rather than all at once.

11. Failure Isn't the End

This spring-boards off of the last point. We are human, so we don't do everything perfectly. The idea with these tips is to promote healthy habits in your everyday life and they aren't going to develop immediately. There may be some days where you can't get to the gym or you can't resist that piece of pizza or cake. But don't give up at the first failure, stick with these routines as best you can and before you know it, you'll be doing them consistently without even realizing it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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