There’s nothing we all love more than dragging ourselves out of bed at 6 in the morning to hit the gym before getting started with the day, right? No, probably not. Crawling out of a comfy, cozy bed to put on running shoes, take a nice little stroll through the pre-sunrise cold, and go lift some weights or run on a treadmill is, I’m sure, not how most people would imagine their perfect morning playing out. Personally, the early morning is when I prefer to go to the gym, if I go to the gym (confession time: I’ve been slacking off BIG time this semester when it comes to morning workouts) because it helps me wake up and I feel so much more productive throughout the day. I don’t really have much other time to go. If I do end up having free time later on in the day, though, I usually want to spend that time hanging out with people rather than in the gym. Needless to say, gym time can quickly become the first thing we cut out of or jam-packed schedules. And, once we get into Chuck’s (our dining hall) and hear the ice cream station calling our names, well healthy eating goes out the window, too.
It can be very easy to get so swept up in our studies that we forget to take good care of ourselves and be good stewards of the bodies God’s given us — happens to me all the time, so this is something for me to continue working on also. As important as it is that we keep on top of our studies, whether that be in high school prepping for college or already in college, it’s also wicked important to make sure that we aren’t neglecting our physical health. Here are some tips and tricks for keeping that infamous, sneaky freshman fifteen from creeping up on you when you get here!
Don’t eat at Chick-fil-A for every meal.
Those are painful words, I know. With chicken nuggets and fries and milkshakes at your fingertips every day, it can be difficult not to pop over there more than we probably should. I think it goes without saying that fried food is not going to be your friend if you eat it constantly. Along those same lines, try to avoid eating pizza every day. You have the freedom to basically eat whatever you want. Make wise decisions, and don’t go for food that is heavy-laden with grease every time. Since fried and greasy foods put you at way higher risk of things such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes, make sure you’re using self control when it comes to deciding where to go to lunch. Head over to Tossed for a salad or a wrap, hit the Power Bar in Chuck’s, or make yourself something on the grill! And as much as I hate to say it, maybe try not to put down a couple cookies or scoops of ice cream after every meal. There are plenty of ways that we can be mindful of what we’re putting into our bodies, so be sure to branch out and try different things!
Join an intramural team … or three or four.
This is easily one of the involvement opportunities I regret not partaking in freshman year the most. Essentially, intramurals are sports teams made up of you and your friends where you get together and play other teams in the “league” just for fun … and the winners get T-shirts. Like I said, it’s just for fun, so it doesn’t carry as heavy of a commitment as being on an actual team would, but it gets intense, let me tell ya. The great thing about intramurals is that you can join pretty much as many teams as you want. Right now, I’m on both an intramural basketball and dodgeball team, and we’ve got a nice little fan base of friends that show up to every game to hype us up. Not only are these just a really fun thing to do with your pals, they’re also a great way to get time in at the gym. My excuse for not getting involved in intramurals freshman year is that I didn’t know if I’d have time, but I wish I just went for it! Don’t miss out!
Take plenty of time to sleep.
Don’t destroy yourself by staying up until 3 a.m. working on homework only to wake up at 7 a.m. to be on time for your 8 a.m. class. I can tell you from experience, that is a very BAD idea. Young adults need about 7-9 hours of sleep in order to do their best with communicating, making decisions, and overall cognitive functioning. Not only that, but sleep is incredibly important for memory, so instead of staying up an extra couple hours to go over material for an exam a few more times, it might be a good idea to hit the hay. Additionally, sleep helps remove certain toxins in the brain that can contribute to Alzheimer’s, and a lack of sleep can increase a risk of heart disease, a poor immune system, and depression.
True, we’re here for an education. But being here for an education does not mean that we neglect other responsibilities for the sake of getting a better grade. Practicing these healthy habits will be beneficial to you should you choose to intentionally make time for them, and they will help you to be a better student as you rely on Christ through prayer. Eat right, run around, and go to bed. Those three simple things make a world of difference. So, when you’re here, make sure to take care of your grades, but also take care of your physical self!
Majoring in Advocacy Communications, Class of 2023
Favorite Place to Be: Outdoors
Go to Rinnova order: Either an Iced Boston or ‘Promised Land’