College lifestyle doesn't have to be unhealthy

By Jen Lassen

Contributing Writer

Mongo Bongo, an ice cream station with the works and pizza every day … oh my! I came to campus only a few weeks ago and being dazzled by the array of dining options in Bostwick Marketplace. I tried to keep my mouth from watering as I walked past the fried food station, the racks of pizza, the display of decadent desserts and the ever-so-popular stir fry area. My favorite treats all in one place? I thought nothing could be better. But then two words popped right into my head: “freshman 15.” More than any other combination of words out there, these were the ones I feared most. I knew I did not want this to happen to me. With the huge variety of dining choices available at the University, some may wonder if it is possible to stay healthy on campus.  The University makes this absolutely feasible. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle at college simply depends on personal determination to do so.

I wondered how I’d keep those pounds off with so many tasty food options in Bostwick Marketplace, coupled with my unlimited food plan. I quickly realized that avoiding the less healthy dining options on campus did not pose as big of a problem as I thought it would. I have befriended the egg bar, where egg white omelets have become my staple. The dining hall does a great job of making fresh fruits and vegetables available for students. Many of the entrées are also very healthy; dishes like grilled chicken, tofu and salads are actually just as common in the dining hall as some of the unhealthier foods.

Yet aside from unhealthy food, something else commonly seems to pose a problem to bypassing the “freshman 15”: alcohol weight. Many students come to college excited to go out each weekend and drink, but they never seem to remember the effects alcohol can have on their weight. Luckily, the University sponsors many fun non-alcoholic social activities for students. Dances, performers and game nights are hosted in Uptown and the Seventh Street Café, giving students an alternative to “drinking on the pounds.”

Along with the availability of healthy food and non-alcoholic activities, the access students have to a gym on campus is a great way to stay healthy. Fun workout classes are offered at the gym at convenient times throughout the day. There is everything from kickboxing to power yoga, and I have found these classes to be a great way to stay in shape and socialize.

It is one thing to treat yourself to a huge brownie sundae every once in a while, but it’s another to eat one after every meal. Choosing healthy food, not drinking excessively and going to the gym regularly will keep excess weight off and will make you feel great both inside and out. The University does a good job of making all of these things possible for its students. And let’s be honest: walking around this campus will certainly keep your calves in shape as well.

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