How To Stay Fit In College

Having recently reevaluated my some of my habits and choices of lifestyle (the late night pizza cravings, Breaking Bad marathons, etc.) I came to the conclusion things must change. It also made me think of my first year in college, the freedom to do whatever, whenever, and how that can and does effect a person’s body. In the article below, I’ll give some suggestions on how to stay fit in college.

There’s a reason the infamous phrase ‘the freshman fifteen’ exists…because unfortunately those fifteen DO exist. To steal from an iconic hero, with great power (i.e. unrestricted freedoms) comes great responsibility. So as I throw out the Chinese take-out leftovers and limit my TV time, here are some tips on how to stay fit in college and to help you avoid the nefarious Fifteen.

Recognize the Freedom…Then Get Over It

Yes, you can do whatever. You can roam the streets till 5 a.m. and no one will tell you to get home. You can eat a steady diet of Oreos and Taco Bell. You can potentially not leave your couch for days if that’s what you feel like. But just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

Also, if you have a meal plan, the options are just about unlimited in the caf. If not, it’s time to go grocery shopping. Either way this may be the first time you had to plan and execute a diet for yourself. Choose healthy over the cheaper or quicker alternatives.

Either way, it’s time to recognize the fact you can do certain things, but also realize you probably shouldn’t. This is a key step in learning how to stay fit in college.

Exercise Even Though No One Told You To

You don’t have a PE class. You may not be on a sports team any more. In all likelihood there won’t be someone yelling at you to run faster, or do one more sit up.

If you want to learn how to stay fit in college and you’re afraid of falling into a vicious cycle leading down the path to unhealthiness, make time to exercise a few times a week. I can already hear it now (as I did so often when I was in school) “But I simply don’t have extra time to exercise!” I get that class and homework takes up a lot of time, especially for intense programs. But I was an athlete all four years at my university, which meant both practice and extra time spent weight training, while maintaining a high GPA and even getting on the Dean’s list a few times. True, I barely had a social life at times, but the point is there is always time. It’s all about prioritizing that time.

Recognize the Reality of Alcohol

Especially once you hit bar age, there is no greater threat to maintaining an unhealthy lifestyle than alcohol. Depending on which university you may attend, the reality is alcohol consumption is a big part of college like it or not.

Alcohol is basically pure calories. There’s a reason we have a suggested daily caloric intake of about 2,000 calories a day as human beings; if you’re not an athlete of some sort anything above that can be very unhealthy and will not contribute to your goal of learning how to stay fit in college.

There’s a lot you can do to keep off the freshman/sophomore/junior/senior 15 and beyond. Recognize what’s important to you and make and execute a plan to help you achieve the goals you want to stay fit in college.

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Jared Gerling

Jared Gerling

Jared Gerling earned his BA from Michigan State University. Jared has been writing since he was eleven when all his characters had swords and magic spells and bad attitudes. When not writing or studying, he can be found watching Spartan football and basketball games, reading, or working out. Jared currently lives in Chicago pursuing his MA in Writing in Publishing from DePaul University.
Jared Gerling

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