Keep these tips in mind:
Now back to your activity level. It has everything to do with weight management. If you're eating smart but not allowing time for exercise, the pounds will find you. Most colleges have excellent fitness facilities that are included in your fees. Use them! It doesn't require a huge time commitment -- 30 minutes three to four times a week will go a long way for the way you look and feel. Schedule your workouts just as you would schedule classes.
Few high school athletes go on to play college sports; however, intramurals and team sports offer a variety of exercise opportunities without a huge time commitment, and there you will meet like-minded friends. You should also walk as much as possible and always take the stairs. If getting to and from classes involves riding a bus or tram, think about getting a bicycle instead.
It could be worse
Keep in mind the flip side of the Freshman 15 is one that is far more dangerous with even greater health risks. Eating disorders, such as bulimia and anorexia nervosa, sometimes afflict those who worry most about adding a few pounds. And some weight gain is natural and desirable. Remember that some freshmen are still growing and their bone density should be increasing. Before you leave for college, see your physician for a complete physical. Good health involves far more than a number on a scale.
One of the most positive aspects of being a college student is the way it challenges you to take charge of your life. Most know they need to manage their money and time, but the real scholars recognize they must also manage their health. If this is on your radar screen when you arrive on campus, you'll be less likely to find the Freshman 15.
Cindy Boggs, fitness presenter, author and YMCA Activate America director, has been an ACE-certified coordinator/instructor since 1989. Send your questions about fitness, training or health to YMCA of Kanawha Valley, 100 YMCA Drive, Charleston, WV 25311, or email cindys...@aol.com. Look for her award-winning fitness advice book, "CindySays ... 'You Can Find Health in Your Hectic World'" at www.cindysays.com or contact the YMCA at 304-340-3527.