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In many ways, the “freshman 15” has become as important to the college experience as attending class.

It’s as if students lose the ability to live healthy lifestyles because their diet is no longer regulated by their parents. My freshman year, not only did I avoid the illusive 15-pound weight gain, I lost 40 pounds.

Avoiding the freshmen 15 requires a great amount of discipline, but it can be done. As a personal trainer and advocate of healthy living, I will share some of the tips and tricks I used to achieve this feat.

Consider the factors that contribute to weight gain. It’s common knowledge that a diet consisting of fast and processed foods will lead to weight gain. What people don’t know is that other factors such as stress and depression also contribute.

Once you become conscious of these factors, you can begin to make adjustments to ensure you are always choosing the healthy solution. Nutrition, adequate rest, and staying active promotes mental, physical and emotional wellness.

Good health is about more than looking nice in your cap and gown at the end of your college career. It’s about living a long and prosperous live.

To live healthy while in college try these tips:

  • Join a local gym or visit the campus gym weekly
  • Create a small space in your dorm where you can complete an exercise circuit.
  • Use the internet to find exercise regimens, I recommend youtube.
  • Walk and take the stairs whenever possible
  • Ensure you are eating fruits and vegetables with every meal
  • Drink water instead of sweetened beverages

Here’s a sample circuit training program for you to try. Consult your primary care physician before starting any exercise program.

Wall squats: Basketball players know this position well. Stand against a wall and move to a seated position and hold. With the wall as support, feet shoulder width apart do this in 30-60 second intervals of holding the position and resting. 4 reps.

Pushups: A very common position that aides in full body muscle tone. Once you’ve mastered this position, begin to challenge yourself by either moving your hands together, using one arm or one leg.

Plank pose:
Plank is a core building exercise. Simply get into pushup position with your feet together and hold. Hold the position as long as you can without compromising your form. Start by doing 4 reps.

Burpees: This exercise is challenging but rewarding because it serves as cardio and full body resistance. Set 60 seconds on the timer and do as many as possible in the given time.

Mountain climbers: Begin in a pushup position on the hands and toes. Bring the right knee in towards the chest, resting the foot on the floor. Jump up and switch feet in the air, bringing the left foot in and the right foot back. Continue alternating the feet as fast as you safely can for 30-60 seconds.

Hindu pushups: This move is said to have been a secret of Hindu wrestlers for some time. Hindu pushups, you simultaneously build strength, endurance and flexibility. Start in a pushup position with your feet spread wider than shoulder width.Walk your hands backwards so that your butt is in the air, your arms and legs are straight. You should resemble an inverted “V”. Bend your elbows so that your body comes forward. Your hips will come down towards the floor. As you come down start to arch your spine so that you are looking towards the ceiling. Straighten your arms.

Homework:

  • Write down everything you consume, even the junk. Seeing the items your consuming and their nutritional value can help to curve bad habits.
  • Become conscious of how your body relates to food. Which foods give you energy and which cause fatigue?
  • Build a solid support system of friends who are leading healthy lifestyles.


Give HOPE. Live HOPE.

KJ Hill
Guest Blogger

About the Author

Kaleb J. Hill is the founder of FitnessFleet, LLC a philanthropic health and wellness company.  For more information and fitness tips visit www.allaboardfitnessfleet.com. Follow Kaleb at CoachKJMD2Be.