Avoiding the “Freshman 15″

by Steve Conant

Don’t let it happen to you 

You are now transitioning to an important part of your life, when your adult lifestyle begins to develop. In college, you’ll have to study more than in high school, which means increased time sitting. Even though many college students are less physically active, the common tendency is for students to eat too much: snacking, larger portions, and seconds. It’s very likely that your liquid diet will increase as well. So here’s the equation (you don’t even have to write it down): calories consumed and calories burned equals weight management. Here are a few suggestions to be active and watch what you eat.

MSU’s Marga Hosaeus
 Fitness Center
The best way to stay on an exercise program is to realize that it’s attainable. When you can fit in 15 minutes of walking for a study break, do it! You’ll re-energize and burn more calories than you would have sitting. MSU also built a great gym for you and guess what, your membership is included in your tuition. So use it and enjoy it! If you’re not currently an exerciser, try to find a friend to exercise with and set a schedule; it’ll help you to honor your exercise time.

Needless to say, Bozeman is great town in which to be active. We have beautiful surroundings and a great in-town trail system. The Linear Trail is only five blocks from campus and it links up with enough other trails to train for a marathon. So if you have an hour break, head out for a walk or run.
There’s no lack of hiking and biking trails around Bozeman

As for diet, only take one portion at the food service. Trying to include fruits and vegetables as part of that portion. Remember that drinks have calories; those double-white-chocolate machiatos and energy drinksare not the same as drinking water. And while snacking happens in college, try to choose healthy snacks. It’s pretty easy to get into the habit of eating some very bad foods on a daily basis. It’s equally easy to get into the habit of eating fruits, nuts, or trail mix instead.

Steve Conant has a master’s degree in exercise physiology from MSU.