The dorm life. Some of us remember it fondly, others still have nightmares about it. College dorms can be an interesting experience, to say the least. There’s never a dull moment if you’re living in the right one and there are plenty of things you freely associate with life in a group residence on campus. Hijinks, horseplay…healthy eating? Not so much. But you don’t need to fall victim to the dreaded “freshman fifteen” when you get to college. There are many things that you can do to stay fit when you’re living in a college dorm.
You are What You Eat
If you eat junk food all the time, then how do you expect your body to react? Salty snacks, sugary sweets, Subway sandwiches, soda, are all part of living in a dorm. But be careful not to eat every meal from a to-go box or fill your face with Dorito’s every night. Maintaining a smart balance between the good food and the not so good stuff is crucial for staying fit.
Prepare more meals at home using healthy ingredients that incorporate grains, fiber, proteins, and other smarter choices than those greasy fries from the pizza joint across the street. Have some fruit once in awhile and seek additional help services from Living Young Center for a healthy lifestyle.
Get Some Exercise
Many students don’t get enough exercise because they’re too busy studying. Okay, they’re watching TV, playing video games and sitting around instead of increasing their physical activity. Most residences don’t offer gym equipment and most dorm rooms are too small to fit much else beyond a desk, a chair, and a bed. But get creative.
You can use a pair of free weights or maybe set up a resistance band on the door. Sometimes you don’t need to go much further than the floor of your room. Do some push-ups, crunches, even some free-form yoga will do wonders for your body. You could always go outside too. Run, walk, jog, bike, these are all excellent ways to maintain your shape while living in a dorm.
Sleep is Important
I remember my days in the Gannon and Goldsworthy co-ed residence on the Washington State University campus. The last thing we got there was sleep. Between noisy neighbors, an active social calendar, and, of course, finals week, sleep was usually pretty low on the list of priorities. But that can be a bad thing. Your body needs plenty of rest to produce the necessary chemicals, hormones, and cell repairs to keep you healthy and mentally alert. You know what it’s like, falling asleep in your morning French Lit class because you were up all night binging on Netflix. Turn everything off and go to bed. You will feel so much better in the morning.
Change is Difficult
So maybe you’re guilty of a poor diet, bad habits, and depriving yourself of sleep. You know you need to make a change and the time is now. Well slow down, high speed. You’ll want to make these changes gradually. Start slow, make a few alterations here and there and work your way up to the lifestyle you want to live. It’s not like flipping a switch – you need to prepare and acclimate yourself to these decisions otherwise you will fail and become frustrated enough to fall back into the old routines.