The College Girl's Guide to Staying Fit

Everyone, it’s that time of the year again. Pull out your oversized t-shirts, running shorts and dry shampoo because college classes are back in session. A new semester brings excitement, stress and maybe even a few nerves. Moving to a new city or apartment and meeting tons of fresh faces on top of a full course load can easily put your fitness goals on the back burner.  However, just because you are running around trying to meet the demands of your packed schedule does not mean you have to sacrifice living a healthy lifestyle. Here are 8 tips to dodge the dreaded Freshmen Fifteen (even if you are an upperclassman) and make your health one of your top priorities this semester. 

Keep your room stocked with healthy snacks.

Long study sessions (or binge watching Netflix) can lead to mindless snacking. Instead of reaching for a bag of potato chips or the bowl of candy that’s calling your name, try munching on some fresh fruits and veggies, air-popped popcorn or mixed nuts. Your waistline will thank you.

Always pack a healthy snack with you.

Just having the snacks in your room won’t do you any favors if you leave your room early in the morning and spend the whole day on campus. To make sure you always have access to a healthy option, pack a lunch box full of your favorite craving killers to carry with you throughout the day. 

Sleep, sleep, sleep!

This tip may seem like the easiest one but with deadlines, distractions and the desire to have a social life, sleep can sometimes take the back seat. Aim to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep every night to make sure you have enough energy to take on your day when you wake up in the morning. A lack of sleep can make it hard to focus and can lead to over-eating and irritability (yikes).

Use the campus rec center

Most college campuses have a recreation center full of workout equipment and plenty of space to get up and get moving, so take advantage of the resources given to you! Make your gym time a social hour and take a group of your friends to work out. Not only will you be getting a good sweat in, but you’ll get to catch up with your girls. 

Walk to class

If you go to a large university and are used to hopping on a shuttle to get to class, try leaving a few minutes earlier and traveling the old fashioned way! You would be surprised at how many steps you can log just by being up and moving around campus all day long. Walking to class is a great way to work in extra cardio to your already busy schedule.

Carry a bottle of water with you everywhere

We already have enough on our plate. Remembering to drink enough water can sometimes be the last thing on our minds! However, there are so many health benefits that come along with drinking enough water. It can do tons of stuff, including helping with digestion, flushing out toxins and keeping your skin hydrated and plump. Carrying a water bottle with you at all times and sipping on it throughout the day is a great way to make sure you are staying up on your water intake. If you prefer something with a little more flavor, try adding some fresh or frozen fruit to your bottle to create a tasty, fruit-infused drink.

Take time to meal prep

We all know the story: You hit the snooze button one too many times for that 8 a.m. class. Now you’re running late. You find yourself scrambling out the door with barely enough time to make sure you have both shoes on, let alone prepare a healthy lunch to pack with you. It happens more frequently than we like to admit. Taking that extra time the night before to prepare the meals you are going to eat the next day will save you the stress and inconvenience of having to do it in the morning. Hello, extra 10 minutes of sleep!

Hold yourself accountable

In the end, there is only one thing that matters, and that's the decisions you make about your health. No one can make the choice to live a healthier lifestyle for yourself other than you. So, as our schedules fill up and we become swamped with school, friends and work, don’t forget to set aside time to take care of yourself. Your body will thank you!