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Finding Your Balance from A to Chi: Freshman 15

Photo: unigo

College is supposed to be the best four years of your life, so why not love every minute of it?

At every college, there is a preconceived notion that everyone gains 15 pounds their freshman year. Whether you are eating poorly in the dining hall, becoming too lazy to work out, or simply making bad lifestyle choices, the pounds can add up. Thankfully, there are ways to completely avoid the stereotypical weight gain.

One of the biggest challenges freshman year is practicing self-control in the dining hall. I remember walking into Brockway Dining Hall as a freshman, completely overwhelmed with the amount of options. Even though options help to accommodate everyone’s palette, they pose serious problems: more options, more eating. The key to resisting temptation is to stick to your normal eating routine. While I am a huge believer in “cheat nights” (allowing yourself to indulge every once in a while), the more you cheat, the more that pattern of eating will become a routine. Eat smart! The more you think about what you are consuming, the better the choices you will make.

Exercising regularly is also crucial to a healthy lifestyle. As your schedule will inevitably get busier, you may find yourself with no time to work out. While exercising may appear burdensome, it is imperative that you make time for regular workout routines. Not only will you burn off some extra calories, but you will also minimize your stress levels and feel healthier inside and out. Running on the treadmill isn’t your thing? Make working out fun by joining an intramural sports team, signing up for an exercise class, or setting up a workout schedule with a friend. By customizing your workouts to fit your life and your interests, exercising will be less work and more play.

The freshman fifteen happens only when you let it happen. By staying active and eating a healthy and balanced diet, you will be able to avoid those added pounds and feel good about the independent lifestyle you have created. Remember, your college years set the foundation for the rest of you life, so why not start on a positive note?

Eat right. Live right. Be happy. It’s that simple.

By Eva Zymaris

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