When I moved from my small town atmosphere, in Brockport, NY, to Daemen College, and the hustle and bustle of the Buffalo, NY area, I faced some brand new challenges. I went from walking – sometimes, three miles in a day – just to get somewhere or do something, to walking a maximum distance of five minutes to get across campus. I went from working in a library ten hours a week, complete with constant movement and lifting stacks of books, to spending the majority of my time here, at Daemen, on my butt and checking my email, playing a game, or reading my textbooks.
I don’t know about you, but I definitely gained weight moving here. I’m now on a track to lose it, and the quest is by no means easy. After all, think of all the things working against me: a substantial amount of reading for my classes; a work study job that takes my afternoons away; an all-you-can-eat buffet three times a day; complete with oversized servings, an abundance of fattening foods – ice cream, soda, pizza, to name a few; stress of a new environment; essays to write… In fact, the only thing that worked for me happened to be the stairs in my residence hall. And I just took the elevator my first semester.
So, what can we, as brand new college students, do to maintain our health? Well, most colleges have gyms, don’t they? Check out the hours! Thirty minutes a day – say, a five minute warm up, twenty minute exercise period, and a five minute cool down – boosts endorphins, increases metabolism, burns fat, lowers your heart rate, and helps you deal with stress more effectively. Taking a walk around your entire campus – from end to end and back. That will burn some serious calories as well. What about taking a walk to the nearest restaurant or fast food joint? Just pick something healthy. Look up nutrition information about a food before you eat it.
What about residence hall / college food? Well, if there was only one tip I could give, this would be it: avoid the fries. They don’t give your body any real nutrition, and they’re high in calories. Among other things to keep in mind, trimming your deserts to once a day or once a week can also trim your waist line – as can substituting lemonade or milk for the soda you’ve been drinking. The second most important tip? Keep serving sizes in mind. Colleges tend to over serve and make the portions you’re receiving as large as you would get in a restaurant.
Use the stairs. Eat well. Watch your calories. Exercise. These are all things we’ve been lectured on since we’ve grown up. But now, when you’re living on your own – be it for the first time ever or for several years – now is the time to live up to those expectations. ‘Obesity is a growing problem…’: This phrase is like beating a dead horse. Are you worried about your weight? Do something about it.
On a final note, for those of you interested in weight loss, I leave you with a URL. http://www.extrapounds.com . Registration is free, and so is use of all of the features.