So you’ve succumbed to the freshman 15. No worries, we know that college is often a busy, stressful time that sometimes makes us forgot fitness and health. Stress eating during final week, not hitting the gym as much, binge eating late night junk food to finish that paper. But worry no further, you can recuperate from the infamous freshman 15 by following these simple tips!
Make a fitness regimen
This isn’t as complicated as it sounds, it requires no equipment and can be done in your own dorm/room. Make a 6-7 minute exercise routine that consists of a few sets of jumping jacks, sit-ups, push-ups, squats, plank, etc. Do this daily before hitting the shower, in between classes, before bedtime –really anytime– and you’ll be in better shape soon! For example, if you’re studying, you might want to do 20 sit-ups after each page. Or if you’re watching TV, do 30 jumping jacks every time Chandler from Friends cracks a hilarious, yet awkward joke (trust me, you’ll be in shape in no time with this tip). It’s really up to you to decide when and at what frequency you’re going to do a particular exercise. But, don’t overdo (or underdo) it!
Some students who are victims of the freshman 15 are just plain lazy when it comes to using free time. If this is you, a busy schedule is your best friend. Try participating in intramural sports, joining a club (community service, maybe), or getting a job – not only will you be getting some exercise and improving your overall health, but you’ll also be boosting your resume!
Gym and water
This is probably one of the first few tips people hear regarding the topic of staying in shape, which is why it has to be on this list. Think of it this way: if you ever get frustrated of student loans, just hit your campus’s gym – you’ll be making the most of your tuition money this way. As for drinking water, set alarms in order to remind yourself to stay hydrated (8 glasses a day). Another way to see results fast is to simply make your own “fat flush” water that consists of fruit like lemon or watermelon, which detoxifies your body by flushing out fat and toxins.
Incorporate more fiber in your diet
Eating more fiber on the daily boosts metabolism and helps get rid of excess weight gain. Fruits and vegetables high in fiber include: apples, avocados, carrots, and oranges. Visit the salad bar in your college’s dining hall and always take a fruit or two. Many fruits contain a significant amount of water, which help fulfill your water intake and fill you up so you’re not inclined to eat junk food.
Given the parties and numerous social events that take place, this one’s a biggie when it comes to college life. Drinking alcohol leads to empty calories and weight gain since it hinders metabolic processes that help break down sugar and fat. As a result, your metabolism slows down and causes you to put on extra pounds. Now, this doesn’t mean you should skip out on parties and your social life all together. Skip the sugary punch and make a vodka soda, choose wine over beer, etc… Check the infographic below for some great information on each alcoholic drink calorie content. And don’t forget to drink water between each drink to pace yourself!
You may have smirked upon reading this, but yoga can really go a long way when it comes to getting in shape. Certain yoga poses–such as the upward dog and the boat pose–stretch and tone parts of your body that you may feel need work (the ones mentioned tone abs). Sometimes, completing 10 minutes of yoga in the morning and before going to bed can be far more effective when it comes to losing weight than simply just jogging every day. In addition, yoga involves deep breathing, which not only helps shed pounds, but improves concentration as well.
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Since we live in an era of smartphones, we might as well utilize them for fitness. Download a pedometer app that helps you keep track of your activeness. Also, consider fitness apps such as Google Fit and MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal not only keeps track of physical activity, but also tracks your meals and overall calories. With the recorded data, this app advises users to consume a certain amount of calories based on his/her body’s statistics to reach a particular goal.
Walk and move when you can
Instead of taking the campus bus to Econ 101, why not wake up a little earlier and set aside time to walk to class? You can also bike, take the stairs, do anything that keeps you up and moving. Getting exercise before going to class (especially in the morning) will wake you up, if not leave you feeling energized and active throughout the day. Have extra time between classes? Invite your roommate(s) along to go on a walk with you. Walking and talking with others makes walking (or any exercise) seem less forced and more enjoyable. Plus, this will be a great time to bond and socialize.
Avoid junk food and sugar
This is one is straightforward, but maybe one of the hardest to follow. If you’re the type that stress eats, replace your bag of chips with something healthier like carrots. Same goes for late night snacking. We all have late nights–some far more often than others–where we tend to get hungry and snack on less than ideal food. To prevent this from happening, stock up on fruits or other healthy snacks ahead of time. Also, eliminating sugar from your diet for even a few days can make a huge difference. Steer clear of brownies, ice-cream, cookies, sugary drinks (maybe substitute with green tea), etc.
These tips may seem hard to follow initially, but once you start adhering to a certain regimen or diet, it becomes a habit, and soon, a lifestyle. You don’t have to always take the stairs or give up pizza for good, just do so until you are happy with the way you look.
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