Stay in school and stay in shape

It’s that time of year again: you’re pulling on a pair of pants that you haven’t worn since summer, and gasp! they’re tight, and you’ve gained some weight. Yes, you now have a muffin top. We’ve all suffered from the “freshman fifteen”, but with these tips you can fend off those extra pounds throughout the school year.

Hit the gym. Most universities have a fully functional gym, so take advantage of that! Instead of paying hundreds for a gym membership, use the one that’s already yours through your tuition. Sneak in an hour or two between classes and feel fit for the rest of the day.

Eat healthy. I know it’s hard to always eat healthy while you’re away from home, what with the convenience of what’s available all around you. If you live at home, “brown-bag it” a couple days a week, bringing healthy snacks and sandwiches that will have your wallet and waistline thanking you. If you live on campus and rely on a meal plan, spend a little extra and get the healthy option; instead of a burger, go for a whole-wheat wrap, and instead of fries, get a side salad. The options are endless.

Take the stairs. I know you’re busy with school and sometimes you’d be hard-pressed to find time for the gym, so try to work out with everyday tasks. Instead of taking the elevator to your third-floor classroom, take the flight of stairs. It’s a mini-workout, and you won’t feel as guilty for having skipped the gym.

Walk it out. Take the long way to class. Instead of the shortcuts through the buildings, walk outside around the campus. Not only will you get in an extra workout, you enjoy the beauty of outdoors. You might even get to see deer!

Join a team. I’m not talking varsity league here; you can join a volunteer team that meets once a week for a fun game. Or agree to meet once a week with a group of friends and have a game. Meet up for weekly volleyball games instead of watching Jersey Shore.

I know that working out and watching your diet isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but you have to keep motivated, so try these tricks:

Envision new stuff. Whenever you’re working out and you feel yourself slacking off, just imagine all the new clothes you can buy yourself when you’re fit. This will push you to keep on working out till you fit into the new jeans or awesome skirt.

Don’t look at the clock. Looking at the clock and counting the minutes till your workout is over is agonizing. Instead, workout to music or a movie. Take note of the time before you start working out, put in the CD or movie, and start. When the music or movie stops, you won’t have realized you were working out for such a long time.

Get a workout buddy. When you’re hitting the gym, bring a friend! Having a friend with you will make time fly and the workout will seem like a breeze. Catch up with each other while you’re doing situps, and by the end of the workout you’ll feel fit and socially recharged. It’s the best of both worlds.

With these tips, not only will your favourite jeans still fit (or fit again), but you’ll feel fantastic in mind and body.

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