As students return to campus, most of them (and the vast majority of their mothers) worry about the dreaded “freshman 15.” Even seniors aren’t immune to the veritable wave of weight that comes with the stress of school. But the wise have learned to stem the tide of weight gain by staying fit.

So before you charge to McDonalds every time you feel stressed, here are a few tips to help you stay fit this semester. Take note, I am neither a personal trainer nor a nutritionist, just a fat man forever trying to be skinny.

(Source: Charles Bowker)
(Source: Charles Bowker)

Water is your friend

Some mornings are a lot better with a Monster energy drink, but our bodies are made up of 50% to 75% water. Drink water like it’s going out of style. There are drinking fountains all over campus that include a station where you can fill your bottles up, which is awesome. Fitness experts recommend that you drink your weight in ounces, so make it easy on yourself by stopping for a refill as often as possible.

Along with drinking more water, cut back on the sodas and sugary drinks. Some days I can’t function normally, and I will take the chance on a bottle of Dr. Pepper,  but overdoing it will add on the pounds and add on the stress.

(Source: Charles Bowker)
(Source: Charles Bowker)

Plan out your meals

This is a pretty tough one, considering how busy most college students are. It’s easier to eat a healthy diet when you take time to plan for it. As you set aside time every night, take some time to prepare or plan the next day’s meals.

As a rule of thumb, try to aim for five to six small meals every day. Based upon a normal human’s hunger cycles, you will be hungry an hour after each meal. If you have taken the time to plan ahead and prepare, you can keep your hunger to a minimum throughout the day.

(Source: Charles Bowker)
(Source: Charles Bowker)

Take advantage of the gym

Did you know your Wildcat ID gives you free access to the Weber State gym? The Wildcat Health and Wellness Center has it all, from weights to just about every form of cardio known to man. It’s gym heaven. There’s also an Olympic-sized swimming pool and a rock wall.

When I was younger, I despised gym class. The mile run and I were not on good terms, but now that I’m in college I’ve found Weber’s physical education classes to be a great form of stress relief.

Sleep is a must

I don’t care how much you love to party, if you are getting less than seven to nine hours of sleep each night you are aiming for failure. Sure, every so often you will have to do a late-night cram session, but burning the candle at both ends just leaves you burned out. Getting adequate sleep not only rests your body, but more importantly will rest your mind.

Resting your mind actually helps you learn. Studies have shown that many of the things we learn are stored and made into memories while we sleep. So make sleep a priority, since it will benefit you in all areas of your life.

(Source: Charles Bowker)
(Source: Charles Bowker)

De-stress to be your best

Take time each week to unwind a bit. College life is very stressful, so it will help to learn now how to balance that stress.

It’s true, this last tip is a no-brainer as far as I’m concerned, but too many of our students are having mental breakdowns due to the the stress of college life. Take the time, unwind and you will find that staying fit and surviving college really isn’t that hard.

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