RU Connection: Avoid the 'Freshman 15' with healthy habits


The Rutgers dining halls are home to some of the most delicious yet unhealthy foods. Their all-you-can-eat system makes it easy for incoming first years to gain unwanted weight. Many think the 'freshman 15' is every first-year student’s fate, but there are simple and effortless ways to keep those extra pounds off.

Here are some resources and tips you can use to avoid the freshman 15.

1. Group fitness classes

If you think the gym isn’t for you, all four campus gyms at Rutgers provide free group fitness classes. From CrossFit to yoga, there are various types of exercises available for students. These classes usually last from 45 minutes to an hour, so it’s perfect for those with busy schedules. Download the UPACE app to keep up with every recreation center’s class schedule.

2. Acknowledge what you’re eating

Whether you’re at the dining hall or you’re out at a restaurant, it’s easy to become mindless with food choices when all you want to do is eat. If you think twice about what you’re going to eat and how it’s going to make you feel, it’s easier to make healthier choices. For instance, a balanced meal that includes carbohydrates, fats, and protein may be greater in calories than a salad but it’s definitely going to fill you up and keep you energized throughout the day.

3.Walking instead of taking the bus

The bus is often crowded and late depending on the hours of the day. Sometimes, it’s quicker to just get off one or two stops before and walk to class. You burn extra calories and you make it to class on time. Whether you’re running early or late, walking to class is always an option!

4. Drink water

Water may not be the tastiest drink but it’s the most beneficial for you. Staying hydrated in college is important because dehydration is the cause for many inconveniences, like headaches and fatigue. These are two things you can’t afford when you’re a college student. Plus, it has zero calories!

The key to being healthy is balance. You can still eat indulgent foods but always make sure to get your daily nutrients from other meals. And — you don’t have to spend hours at the gym every day of the week. Just moving your body every day is enough. Develop healthy eating habits and focus on feeling good rather than looking good. If you make it a priority to keep your consumption in moderation, you’ll keep your body and mind healthy!


Jill Buhain

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