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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

Advice for first years, from a first year: how to keep off the “freshman 15”

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FIRST YEAR PERSPECTIVE —

It can be easy to succumb to the infamous “freshman 15” at Wofford when you can walk into the all-you-can-eat buffet that is Burwell, load up on burgers, fries, and soda at Zach’s and get that large mocha frappe with extra chocolate syrup between classes — all with just one swipe of a card. This is not to mention the late night easy-mac, pizza rolls, ramen noodles, popcorn and bags of chips you pound down as snacks to keep yourself awake as you cram to write that essay. When you add late night junk food runs, going out to eat every weekend and sleep deprivation, the “freshman 15” might just sneak up on you.

Fear not! It can be just as easy to keep the “freshman 15” far away from your beltline at Wofford too. Here are some tips at staying healthy that can help you fight off the “freshman 15.”

1. Balance your meals.

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It can be easy to go straight for your favorite foods and get a plate with a slice of pizza, fries and a burger, but unfortunately that’s not too good for your health. This doesn’t mean to replace eating burgers, fries and pizza with half of a pea and a raisin, but you can balance your choices with healthy alternatives. Instead of pizza and fries, try pizza and a side of salad. Burwell has a great salad bar that can be delicious to even the most avid salad avoiders. Instead of burger and fries, try making your own wrap at Zach’s where you can fill it up with all kind of healthy delicious options that will be just as good, if not better, than a cheeseburger. Try eating more fruit and veg- etables with your meals. The more colorful your meal is, the better.

2. Drink water.

According to About Health, replacing your daily 12 ounce can of Coke with water every day can save you 51,100 calories per year, which is about 15 pounds per year. Not only will you save calories, you’ll feel more energized and you will have a healthier immune system and oral hygiene. You don’t have to only drink water, but cutting down on sodas and sugary juices and vamping up your water intake will make keeping off the “freshman 15” that much easier.

3. Exercise.

Walking from class to class at Wofford is good exercise alone, but there are also a lot of additional ways to stay in shape. The gym here is great because it has many different machines that cater to everybody’s level. If you’re one who gets bored easily in the gym, every week there are tae kwon do, Zumba, ab-lab and yoga classes that can make exercising a lot of fun and hold your attention. The tennis courts and racquetball courts on campus are also fun ways to exercise with friends. Making good exercise habits is not only great for improving physical appearance by keeping off the “freshman 15,” but it is also great for improving metabolism, reducing stress—which we all need as college students—and increasing energy. Try out the gym, go on a run once a day around the beautiful campus or go to the fitness classes.

4. Get Sleep.

Sleep is the time where your body replenishes its energy and is a vital necessity for good health. Not only is sleep essential for your mental and physical well-being, not getting enough sleep can slow down your metabolism and result in weight gain. According to WebMd, people need around 7.5 hours of quality sleep per night to be healthy. “If you are getting this already, another half hour will not help you lose 10 pounds, but if you are a five-hour sleeper and start to sleep for seven hours a night, you will start dropping weight.” Michael Breus, Ph.D., author of Beauty Sleep says. While its inevitable that there are going to be late nights in college, trying to get a good night’s rest can be helpful to staying healthy and keeping off the “freshman 15.” Being sleep deprived doesn’t only affect our metabolism, but our eating habits as well. Eating is a way to keep yourself awake while writing a paper at midnight, and when the foods you’re eating are sugary, greasy and salty, you are not helping the “freshman 15” stay away. Instead, if you must keep yourself awake, try drinking cold water or a cup of hot tea instead of soda and energy drinks and grapes or nuts instead of chips. Get the sleep you need and avoid unhealthy choices to keep you alert.

Keeping the “freshman 15” off doesn’t have to be a struggle, and the habits you create in order to keep them away can benefit your health and wellbeing in many more ways than just staying in shape.

— Sarah Clemens

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