The dreaded Freshman 15. Everyone knows about it, everyone tries to avoid it, but does it really happen? It depends on who you ask. Many people will live the crazy life and eat seven pizzas, drink gallons of soda, and sit and hang out with friends. That’s college, right?
Right. But it definitely has its consequences. The pizza and soda can be all fun and games until you’re 50 years old with an endless amounts of health problems. For example, high blood pressure and obesity are two major health risks.
You may think I’m crazy, accusing you of becoming unhealthy in the future, because you meet your current health standards (according to your doctor). But we have to break it down. Being healthy has so many life long benefits, and the steps to achieve those benefits are extremely simple! Just follow these simple steps and you will surely reap the benefits!
1. Exercise AT LEAST three times a week, for AT LEAST 30 minutes. The physical activity will keep the heart healthy and the muscles strong, which in turn will strengthen bones and lead to a longer healthier life. (Just think, if you work out now, you’ll be able to run around with your grandkids!)
2. EAT YOUR VEGGIES! They may be nasty, but they’re SO needed. They are jam packed with vitamins that help overall body function. You should be eating 3-5 cups of veggies a day. And remember, the darker the green, the better for your body. Fruit is also a high importance. Keep your body happy with an abundance of vitamins!
3. Water, water, water. Drink water! You should be averaging 8oz. (one cup) an hour, and half of your body weight in ounces every day. (For example, if you weigh 100 pounds, you should be drinking at least 50oz. a day). Water aids in EVERY body function, and can help keep you alert. It also will fill you up, so if you have a hunger pang (even if you ate 20 minutes ago) chug some water to fill that void!
4. Eat less food, more often. First off, your stomach isn’t very big, so you really don’t have to eat 8 servings of your favorite dish. Instead, have smaller portions. You won’t believe how satisfied you’ll be. Try eating every 2-3 hours, too. The more frequently you eat, the more you confuse your body and up the metabolism. The frequency of eating more often is best for weight loss and weight management (this is why you see extreme health nuts ALWAYS eating). Gotta fuel the body properly!
5. GET SLEEP. Avoid all nighters and back to back days of late nights. As fun they may seem, your body will have to disagree. You need 8 hours of sleep every night for optimal health – including mental health and memory (for studying and good grade!) Aim for around 6 hours, if 8 hours seems too ambitious, but always utilize naps! A nice 20 minute catnap will have you feeling refreshed and energized to conquer the rest of your day!
VERY IMPORTANT! DO NOT cut junk food out completely. You deserve to be treated every once and a while. Get a burger when you go out with friends, have mini carton of Ben and Jerrys while watching Netflix. It’s OKAY! Just remember, too much of a good thing could be bad!