We’ve all been warned of the rapidness of college weight gain, citing unhealthy food options, eating meals irregularly and at odd hours, and the tendency to reach for a Mountain Dew and a bag of chips to fuel late-night studying as simply part of the college lifestyle. And while many laugh it off as a worried parent’s extension of “eat your vegetables,” it’s a reality a lot of college students face throughout their time at school. Unfortunately it’s usually not until the weight is already there that thoughts of diet and exercise cross one’s mind.
Many students may find themselves gaining weight due to poor eating habits — and with fewer and fewer healthy options available it’s become important for students to find ways to get active. This doesn’t have to mean going out for three different varsity sports or working out five times a day. There are a lot of simple ways to help keep from falling victim to the pattern of weight gain that so many college kids experience.
Of course, one of the easiest ways to get moving is by going to the gym. Still, gyms can often conjure up images of machines designed for pain more than anything else and the insecurities of sweating in front of others. A lot of times, finding someone to accompany you is a great way to check decide if the gym has what you’re looking for, as well as to prevent you from feeling uncomfortable or self-conscious. The great part about having a gym buddy that you can practically yell out your door to find one; there are a lot of people who simply don’t like exercising alone.
Another way to meet new people and get an athletic fix is by trying out a new sport or club. There are tons of club sports on campus and all of them are interested in gaining new members regardless of experience. If it’s something you’ve always wanted to try, or just have a passing interest in, there’s no better place to do it than at school where it’s all so easily accessible. Plus, these kinds of extracurriculars will get you moving and interacting with people in new and different ways.
If working out or playing sports aren’t your cup of tea, RIT’s often annoyingly large campus and collection of out-of-the-way buildings pose great opportunities for exploring. Walking is one of the easiest ways to get exercise, and in strolling through different buildings you learn your way around and get the added bonus of coming across some pretty interesting areas and maybe even a few clean bathrooms. An even better way to enjoy your exercise is to get outside while the weather is still nice. The nature trails behind Gracie’s offer a fantastic way of getting away from the stress of bricks and term papers to stretch your legs and your imagination. The trails are best explored in the daytime and with adequate footwear, should you want to stray from the path to get a better view of a deer or try to scramble up a low-hanging branch.
Of course there are plenty of resources on campus should you want a more personalized or structured way of approaching the ways you keep fit. A fitness lab in the Student Life center recently opened and is designed to assist anyone interested in understanding their personal health needs and implementing safe, effective ways to begin an exercise program.
What it all comes down to is taking the time to think about your health; it’s up to you to recognize your habits and whether you think they need changing. Whatever your thoughts on exercise, getting out and moving is something your body will thank you for and something you may even have fun doing.