How to avoid the Freshman 15

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Freshman year is very exciting. A few things I had to learn the hard way: you have to purchase your own Scantrons, pay extra attention to the parking lot signs, and not buy full-price textbooks. Oh, and watch out for the freshman 15. Disguised in cupcake wrappers, Coca-Cola cans and an inconsistent sleep schedule, the freshman 15 is among us.

In high school we never had to worry about this; however, as freshman year continues and life goes on, our metabolisms begin to lag. Therefore, if you want to continue rocking those Hollister skinny jeans you got in eighth grade, I suggest following the three D’s: diet, discipline, and dormancy.

Diet: Your body is like a vehicle; it needs fuel. Just like a car needs gas and a truck needs diesel, it’s important to fill our tanks with the proper fuel it takes to live a healthy life. Food is energy, and we need it three times a day. A healthy diet does not skip meals. With that being
said, it is vital to understand the nutritional value of what we are consuming.

Consider substituting chips for a granola bar, a side salad instead of french fries, and frozen yogurt versus ice cream. Break your Dr. Pepper addiction with a healthier caffeine option like coffee. Keep a stock of healthy snacks for yourself–that way when you need something to munch on between lunch and dinner, you will not feel guilty for eating a banana over a bag of Takis. A healthy diet is the first step to avoiding the freshman 15 and maintaining a fit physique.

Discipline: A consistent workout routine is just as important as a balanced meal plan. Luckily, TJC provides a state of the art work out facility that is free of charge and accessible to all students. The Ornelas Health & Physical Education Center is located on the east side of campus next to Wagstaff Gymnasium.

The OHPE includes several weight rooms with machines and free weights, along with a cardio-respiratory room filled with treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, and rowers, as well as an indoor track that averages 10 laps to one mile. The OHPE also facilitates a swimming pool with specific times for recreational and lap swimming.

Apps like Nike Training Club and 8fit provide free workouts and training plans that can accommodate anyone.

Establishing a disciplined workout routine will help you dodge the freshman 15 and, most importantly, stay healthy.

Dormancy: Sleep is the backbone to being healthy. According to the University of Georgia, “Sleep is important for a number of reasons. It restores our energy, fights off illness and fatigue by strengthening our immune system, helps us think more clearly and creatively, strengthens memory and produces a more positive mood and better performance throughout the day.” Sleep is the freshman 15’s biggest enemy. Without sleep, both a healthy diet and discipline are pointless. Doctors recommend getting an average of eight hours of rest a night. Whether that means studying late and sleeping in, or going to bed early and studying in the morning, getting some shut-eye is vital to your well being.

With that being said, rest is best and combined with a balanced diet and fitness discipline. The freshman 15 will not stand a chance.

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