Let’s face it: being healthy when you first get to college is hard. Like, extremely hard. Yeah, there’s a gym and a salad place, but the gym is so far away from my dorm and there’s only so much Croutons I can take. Despite this, when you don’t work out and eat bad all the time you start the feel it as well as see it. The “freshman 15” myth has been unsettlingly accurate for me and a lot of people I know, and while this extra weight isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I just had to realize that I didn’t feel like my best self. Because we all felt this, a couple of weeks ago, two of my friends and I decided that we were going to get fit for summer (along with literally everyone else on the planet) and start eating healthy and going to the gym every day. Easier said than done.
The first thing I learned is that the walk to the gym feels so much shorter and warmer when you’re with your friends. Before this, I hadn’t even been to the gym for the whole semester, mostly because it was cold and I didn’t feel like walking all the way there, let alone doing actual exercise. When I started going with my friends, the walk seemed like nothing, and I was so occupied by the conversations that I didn’t even feel the cold as much. When you make a sort of “healthy pact” with your friends, it makes you more motivated because it’s something that you’re doing together, and you can hold each other accountable to your commitments. Also working out with people is just more fun in my opinion. Going to the gym every day may seem like a lot, but it really doesn’t feel like it once you get the hang of it. It became an integral part of my day like going to class or a meeting, but definitely more fun, believe it or not. I don’t know if this is just me, but I get a kick out of planning my exercises for the day/week in anticipation of going to the gym. Another thing I learned is that there are so many workouts on Pinterest (I feel like I have to mention Pinterest in every article I write because it’s just had that much of an impact on my life) that pertain to anything you’re trying to target whether it’s weight loss or gains.
Lastly, I learned that water is the key, and this doesn’t just pertain to going to the gym. I have always tried to drink a lot of water, but since starting to exercise more, I’ve started drinking a gallon a day, and I feel amazing. As of now, it’s too early to see physical results, but the combination of water + exercise + eating well has given me so much energy, clearer skin and I honestly feel happier. I’m currently starting my third week, and I’m so excited to see where this goes. To anyone wanting to make the first step into a healthier lifestyle, just do it. Your mind and body will thank you.