I can’t believe I’m not schlepping myself to class anymore! It’s seems like yesterday (or last year) I was filling up my red messenger bag, slipping on my bear paws (uggs for the thrifty girl), and speed walking to American Lit, so I could highlight passages in Sister Carrie.
Many students worry about gaining the freshman 15, the dreaded weight that comes from consuming too many beers and slices of late night pizza. But the freshman 15 isn’t magical. It can be avoided by healthy, consistent practices, and it all begins in your door room or apartment.
Build a Healthy Kitchen
You may not have a stove, but there are many affordable, space conserving appliances that can help you prep healthy eats.
A Blender: Blenders may be one of the best inventions of the modern world. They come in different sizes, colors and speeds, and can make smoothies, protein shakes, and even soup! This Hamilton Beach SS Blender from Target is only $15 bucks, and also works as a glass. It not only comes in purple, but black, white, and red. Check out my recipe page for some smoothie ideas.
A Fruit Bowl: This item seems like a no-brainer, but you’re more likely to reach for food that is in plain sight. The Spectrum Scroll Fruit Tree is $14.99, provides a rack for bananas and a resting place for apples, pears, oranges and whatever else you can fit in there. When you’re suffering from the studying munchies, just reach to your fruit true;) It also comes in silver.
Canisters: A healthy eating plan can include snacks! Fill these Acrylic Canisters with raw nuts, Wasa Crackers, whole grain cereal, and dried fruit. Canisters come in a pack of 4, and can be found at Target for $20.49.
Mini Fridge: Your dorm room may already come with a fridge, but if it doesn’t invest in one! This Hello Kitty Mini Fridge is only $49.99! Fill it with hummus, baby carrots, salad in a bag, natural PB, yogurt, berries, sprouted bread, and nut milk. This way, you’ll always have something healthy and fresh on hand. Prep your snacks and meals the night before. The next day grab and go!
Dorm Room Gym
Since a healthy lifestyle must include exercise! Your school probably has a gym you can use for free, but you can also sweat it out in your room. Here are some essential tools to keep on hand.
Jump Rope: Never thought this lightweight toy from grade school could help you stay fit, did you? But it can. Just jumping rope for 20 minutes (*based on a 110 pound person), can burn 174.63 calories!! If jumping rope for 20 minutes straight sounds like too much, break it up into 5 minute intervals. Five minutes of jumping, and then 5 minutes of crunches, followed by another 5 minutes of jumping. Before you know it, you’ve worked up a sweat. And you didn’t even leave your room! Valeo jump rope, $7.27, from Amazon.
Workout DVDs: Being a slave to the boob-tube needn’t be a bad, if you’re watching the right things! A workout DVD like Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred ($6.89, Amazon) can help you burn calories, and tone and strengthen muscles. Do it with your roomie! Exercise can be a bonding point!
Dumbbells: Weights, like Pure Fitness Dumbbells ($2.50, Dick’s Sporting Goods), can help build muscle and add a challenge to crunches, side twist, and even lunges. Best of all, they fit wonderfully under a bed.
Workout Kit: If you like to do a different type of exercise every day, splurge on a fitness kit! Look for one that includes resistance bands, a stability ball, hand weights or DVDs. The Handsfree Living Complete Workout Kit comes in at $56.96, but it includes an exercise mat, hand and ankle weights, stretch bands, and even a workout guide. When weather gets nippy and you want to avoid leaving your room, you’ll have a gym at your finger tips.
Is this your first year on campus? How do you plan to stay fit? Or if your days of book hitting are over, tell me how you kept in shape during your college days.