Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How To Avoid Those Freshman 15

According to Dr. Edward R. Laskowski article on mayoclinic.com you need
“at least two hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity (like a brisk walk or swimming) or one hour and 15 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity (such as running) – preferably spread throughout the week.” 
Dr. Laskowski goes on to say that doing strength training exercises (like weight lifting) twice a week is also recommended to stay healthy.

Advice like this is great but shouldn’t need be told to a spry 18 to 20 something year old. A college kid shouldn’t be sitting on their butt all day during the best years of their life. There are plenty of campus activities such as intramural sports, club events or random groups of people doing some sort of physical activity that you could easily join. So, stop sitting around stalking people on Facebook all day and start living a little.

Cut Back On Them Beers
There are 110 Calories in a single 12 oz. can of Bud Light. Let’s say you pound down 12 of those in one night at a party. Congratulations, you just sucked down 1,320 calories of brew. That is nearly the same amount of calories as 2 and a half Big Macs from McDonalds that you just consumed in a single night (no wonder you feel so crappy the next day). Its easy to lose oneself when throwing a couple back with friends, but keep in mind the toll your putting on your body when doing so and try and mediate the line between having a good time and hurting your body in the process.

Get Some Sleep
I don’t need to quote some fancy study for you to believe me when I say that staying up longer and missing sleep makes you unhealthy. Staying up late gives you more of an opportunity to eat that junk food you don’t need. If you’re asleep, there is no temptation for you to sneak in the food pantry and grab a Twinkie (or two).

According to helpguide.org, adults age 18 and older should still get around 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep a night. The article also specifically states weight gain as a symptom that someone who is sleep deprived has. It recommends that if you are having trouble sleeping for the whole amount time needed during the night, then short daytime naps can be used to make up lost sleep. Try not to take more than a 15-minute nap, though. Any longer may cause “the prefrontal cortex, which handles functions likes judgment” to shut down. “This gray matter can take 30 minutes to reboot”, causing that groggy feeling you get after a long nap, according to an article by lifehacker.com.

Manage Your Stress Levels
Being overly stressed throughout the day usually ends in either a beer, a bucket of ice cream. or your favorite “I’ve had a long day” fast-food meal. The key to avoiding this situation altogether is to stop yourself from getting so stressed out in the first place. To help with this, I found a great article by Diana Rodriguez on everydayhealth.com that gives some wonderful ways of managing your stress levels, no matter what the situation. Be it a sudden spike of stress (caused by something unexpected) or a steady building type of stress (like thinking about a report due in a week), this article has some great tips on how to cope. Things like putting it in perspective, coming up with a plan and accepting what you can’t control is just some of the great advice elaborated on to help in dealing with the stress in your life.

Try Eating Healthy
The main advice I saw when looking up how to be and eat healthy, was to stop eating foods that are full of saturated fats and are high in calories. Many of the foods you'll be making in the dorm room will be guilty of this. That Pop Tart before class in the morning, the can of Chef Boyardee for lunch and the Hot Pocket for dinner are all high in calories and saturated fats.

***Did You Know that there are 7 grams of Saturated Fat in a Pepperoni Hot Pocket? That’s 35% of your daily value! Even the Lean Pocket version has 3.5 grams, which is still 18% of your daily value!

Many sites on the matter also harped on eating a wide variety of foods as well. The message being that you shouldn’t expect to stay thin very long ordering a dominos pizza every other day of the week. To help with this, you can always get some canned green beans and stick them in a microwave for a cheap way to eat a little bit healthier. If you don't have a can opener and a full kitchen, there are also "steamer bags" you can throw in the microwave that cooks vegetables that tastes the same as if you cooked them on the stove. There are many ways you can change up your normal eating routine of "Easy Mac" every night if you just give it a little effort.