When it comes to fitness, the transition from high school to college can be challenging. In high school everybody got their fair share of exercise between gym class, sports, and club activities. I myself was a three-sport athlete, so working out was planned into my everyday schedule.
As the “Freshman Fifteen” is a fear of many incoming students, here are a few tips from a former freshman on how to avoid it:
1.) Plan it out: College schedules are a lot different than high school. My first semester freshman year, I was in class from 9 am to 4 pm on Monday and only had two classes on Tuesday. I found it very helpful to have some sort of calendar to help me visually see the windows of time I had to work out. Whether it be on a whiteboard, an agenda, or even your phone, having a calendar will help you know that some days you might be able to get a run in between classes while other days you will have to split up your exercise or wake up early.
2.) Join a Club Team: There are over 40 club teams at SU, so if you miss playing a sport, club teams are a great way to meet new people and stay in shape. I joined women’s club lacrosse as a freshman, and I’ve met some of my closest friends through the team. If club is a little too competitive or you want to try something different, get a group together and start an intramural team.
3.) Use the Facilities: SU has seven gyms conveniently located around campus. There are plenty of machines, exercise rooms, and free weights for the workout regimen of any gym-goer. If you’re bored of the same old gym routine, try swimming laps in the Archbold Pool or shooting hoops on the Women’s Building basketball courts. As of this October, I can proudly say that I have been to every gym on campus!
4.) Try a Fitness Class: Why not get a credit for working out? My Monday morning yoga class keeps me sane for the rest of the week–and it’s for credit! SU offers single-credit fitness classes, including yoga, kickboxing, boot camp, and much more. If a fitness class doesn’t fit into your schedule, there are plenty of paid classes that students can buy each semester. If you want to try a fitness class but don’t know what you want to do, the Department of Recreation offers a variety of free fitness classes on Mondays and Fridays every semester.
5.) Enjoy the Weather: For a good chunk of both the fall and spring semesters, there are great outdoor areas around SU to exercise. Instead of doing squats and abs in the gym, find a spot on the quad and enjoy the fresh air while working out. The neighborhoods around campus are great for running. My favorite places to run are the trails on South Campus, which are also nice for mountain bikers.
6.) Don’t skip out on meals: This was one of my biggest problems freshman year, but now, I always make sure to eat breakfast and snack so that I am fueled throughout the day. It’s tempting to skip breakfast when you have an 8 am class and want those extra 20 minutes of sleep. However, skipping breakfast can negatively affect your day and become a bad habit (as listening to your stomach growl mid lecture can be very distracting). Breakfast fuels your brain and your body so that you’re on your A-game all day.
Start with these tips, figure out what works best for you, and you’ll be well on your way to maintaining a fit and healthy lifestyle freshman year and thereafter.