It is not a secret for anyone that college life is not only about studies and spending hours stuck with books. In addition to frequent partying, waiting for good things to happen, and anxiety, we often go through those times when we feel depressed and nervous. As a rule, this kind of college anxiety often leads to junk food solutions and weight gain since we are not able to maintain a healthy schedule and stay fit as we could do before. The other reasons for anxiety and stress include not knowing how to make friends, living far from home, various personal conflicts, and having to maintain good grades depending on the classes one has to take.
Still, one of the greatest sources of anxiety and weight gain does not relate to our academic duties at all: the talk goes about the significant percentage of students who fear the famous term known as the "freshman 15" in the United States. What it means is the weight gain that is typical for those students who pass through their first year at college. Do not panic! There are still ways how this issue can be handled without costing a fortune and taking too much of your precious time! Of course, these fears do have a ground for them in most cases because the lifestyle changes that every college student faces are way more significant than we can imagine.
According to Science Daily, the majority of first-year students usually gain between 15 and 25 pounds by the end of their first college year. It appears that 70% of college students are facing trouble since an average freshman usually gains half a pound per week!
If you are wondering about the main causes of the freshman 15 phenomenon, it is the lack of exercise! Unfortunately, most college students, except for the athletes, do not care about the recommended amount of exercise or even the basic stretching (or taking walks in the park). One in three students does not exercise at all, which leads not only to weight gain but also increases stress and depressive states due to lack of oxygen in the brain.
So what are the challenges in making exercises possible? Most students will reply by saying that it is a lack of time because it is not easy to exercise in the middle of the busy college schedule and the deadlines that must be met. Thankfully, there are several great ways how you can stay fit even by practicing some things in the middle of a college dorm room. Think about cardio and strength training and do not ignore the basic stretching exercises that do not even take more than five minutes of your time. Finally, there are many ways how you can turn from the famous couch potato into the superhero that can easily beat the famous freshman 15 troubles!
Let us see some ways how to start with a good weekly exercises college routine:
We shall divide every duty that you must take, according to the category for your convenience.
If you can go outside, you can think about going for a run, taking a walk, or riding your bike if possible. When stuck in your dorm, consider jogging in place or investing in a jump rope. Just be careful not to break any valuable objects as you skip the rope! It will take you only about 30-60 minutes if you do it 3-6 times per week. As a result, you will burn calories and will strengthen your heart and lungs. Since your body fat will be used as the fuel, you will see the changes happen!
If you can visit the college or the local gym, get to know the different weights by starting from small to more advanced ones. Make sure to consult the trainer about it before starting with any exercises! If in your dorm, think about doing push-ups, squats, and planks by using your body weight instead. It will take about 8-12 exercises if you do it twice a week. It will help you to maintain muscles, build up strength, and add the right tones to your body.
You can use basic furniture to help yourself with the basic stretching exercises. For example, prop your foot on a desk and try the hamstring stretching. Alternatively, stretch your calves by using the wall. Do so until you finally feel loose. Doing a full stretch after each workout is a great idea, too! It helps to improve your overall fitness level, reduce the chances of any injuries, and lengthen your muscles.
Things to Consider As You Start Your Exercises Routine
- Set your goals! It is only natural that if you set some goals and write it down, it will help you to get closer to what you want to achieve and finally get things done.
- Do not forget about sleep! The people who do not get enough sleep, they also exercise less. The lack of proper sleep affects our insulin levels, which means that a person loses up to 75% less of the body fat when exercising.
- Breakfast Duties! Do not ignore your breakfast because people who eat their breakfast are less likely to skip a workout session. Since when we skip our breakfast, we become prone to sweets and soft drinks, it is way safer to have breakfast and do some exercising then!
In conclusion, let us tell you that what really matters is doing at least a little bit. It takes time and practice, so start somewhere, keep yourself fit, exercise alone, or with good friends and you will never have to fear weight gain again. Take one step at a time, combine several solutions, and see what works best for you. The greatest part is that it is not only your physical state that improves! You will instantly see how your mood improves and even your thinking and cognitive functions will become clearer!