By: Kaylin Meyer

The Freshman 15 is no myth, my dear college friends. True, not every freshman gains those dreaded 15 pounds, but it’s not as uncommon as you would think. The fact of the matter is it’s certainly something you should be wary about as you start off on your collegiate career with brand-new routines and habits. Gaining a little “vanity” weight your freshman year, even if it’s only a few pounds, is not the end of the world, but establishing healthy habits now will follow you throughout life.

There are going to be temptations, there is no doubt about that; but don’t forget you are in control of your life and now that you are on your own, it’s your responsibility to make sure you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here are some real-life ways you can easily avoid gaining the freshman 15.

[title text=”Fitness or Bust”]

Regular exercise is one of the hardest parts to maintaining the body you desire. As I am sure you already know, working out helps tone, burn fat, melt calories and overall, keeps you healthy. If you don’t want to gain the freshman 15 or even the freshman 5, then it is extremely important to integrate some sort of exercise into your daily routine. It can be as simple as a 5 minute workout sesh before class or bed each night – or both!

Here’s a quick and easy fitness solution to burn some calories in just 5 minutes:

  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 50 crunches
  • 10 push ups

*Fitness Tip: As an alternative, you can do 15 jumping jacks, 15 crunches, 5 pushups and then repeat three times. You’ll get the same benefits and it’s a guarantee you’ll be happy you exercised. Plus, it only takes five minutes of your time, which could save you five pounds over the long haul.

How to Avoid Gaining the Freshman 15

Crunches are a key component of keeping away the freshman 15.


[title text=”Tuition Benefits: Free Gym”]

Most major universities feature impressive on-campus recreation centers that are free for students. Well, technically they aren’t free, but gym access is included in your tuition, so you might as well take advantage of this awesome amenity. Plus, maybe you’ll meet some new friends along the way; workout buddies are the best kind of buddies to have. You should make it your mission to find a gym friend, preferably someone in your dorm, so you can encourage one another to stay on top of your fitness goals.

How to Avoid Gaining the Freshman 15

On-campus gyms can be a student’s best defense against unwanted weight gain.


[title text=”Play Hard, Work Hard”]

For every time you party, you must focus on balancing things out with routine exercise. Hangovers can be pretty discouraging when it comes to taking a proactive approach to your daily fitness goals. But if you don’t want to gain the freshman 15, then take our advice and for every time you party, make yourself go to the gym the next day or at the very least, do the five-minute workout mentioned above in your dorm before heading to class.

Bonus Points: Read Glamour’s array of delicious cocktail suggestions, all of which are under 150 calories.

[title text=”Drink a Lot…of Water”]

Ever heard of the expression, “Save water, drink beer”? Yeah, that’s the opposite of what you need to do to stave off the Freshman 15. You should make it a priority to drink at least the recommended water intake for your body on a daily basis. Regular water intake will help you maintain a consistent weight and detox your system.

How to Avoid Gaining the Freshman 15

Drinking water throughout the day is just about the healthiest thing you can do.

[title text=”Choose an Active Elective”]

After the first semester, you’ll have a little more freedom to choose your classes, so take advantage and register for a fun elective that will have you moving. Many universities offer classes for  yoga, dance, rock climbing, tennis and judo. Taking an active elective is not only a fun way to satisfy your degree requirements, but is also a progressive way to ensure you are staying active, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and beating the freshman 15.

Need some chic workout gear, but don’t have a huge budget? That’s okay — you can still find affordable fitness gear and active wear that will help you look and feel confident, even on a student’s budget. Shop the women’s athletic clothing at Sports Authority (2.4%/6.4% Cashback) now!

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