Health and Fitness Blog: Fight off the Freshman 15

Everyone at one point in time entering university has probably heard of the infamous “freshman 15,” the so-called 15 pounds first-year students often gain.

So how can you—a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed freshman—avoid said 15 pounds? How can you stay healthy throughout the entire school year? It’s actually pretty simple. Eat a well-rounded diet and exercise.

Before we get to the tips, let’s address a few things.

Being healthy is 80 per cent diet and 20 per cent exercise, so believe it or not, but consuming your weight in alcohol and following that with a basket of chicken wings will not be balanced out by a bottle of water and 30 minutes of running the next day. Lastly, slimness isn’t the same thing as healthiness, so regardless of your body size, keep your health habits in check!

So now that we have that out of the way, maybe keeping off the freshman 15 isn’t enough to deter you from late nights of drinking, eating junk food and consuming a litre of your preferred energy drink. But, there are plenty of other reasons one can consider. To name a few, you’ll have more energy, and eating well and exercising can promote better mental health, so you’ll feel more confident overall.

Without further ado, here are some tips from an upper-year to stay healthy in university.

Exercise regularly.

Figure out what you enjoy and make time for it in your schedule. Carleton has a great gym and offers classes throughout the week. Or if you’re cheap, go on a scenic run or do some yoga around our gorgeous campus.

Drink up.

Water, that is. Water promotes healthy skin, energizes the muscles, balances your bodily fluids and keeps your brain in top shape.

Follow your mom’s orders and eat your fruits and veggies.

Believe it or not, your body is not made up of ramen and chips. Fruits and veggies provide your body the nutrition it needs to stay healthy that typically won’t be found in your mac and cheese boxes.

Try to sleep 6-8 hours a night.

I personally think it’s really unhealthy that our generation promotes thriving off of little to no sleep constantly. Your body needs sleep. Look up any medical study and it will show you that your body needs sleep to repair itself and work at its optimal condition. Most of the best students I know get ample amounts of sleep, do well in their academics and are able to have extracurriculars because they have good time management skills. So moral of the story: prioritize sleep.

I hope you find these tips useful and you’ll be able to thrive this year in university, not just survive. Remember that balance is key: a night on the town with your friends is always a good idea if done in moderation. Best of luck!


Photo by Angela Tilley