5 Tips to Keep Fighting the Freshman 15 at USF

Living away from home gives us more freedom over what we eat, and that can lead to healthy or unhealthy food choices in college. Whether this is your first or second year in the dorms or you’re enjoying the privilege of living off campus, you should develop healthy habits to prevent those notorious fifteen pounds from catching up with you this year!

Here are five tips on how to take advantage of our campus resources and stay in shape at USF.

Tip # 1: Get creative with your flexi
Having a meal plan opens the door to all those foods your parents might have restricted. Pizza, cheeseburgers, fries, ice-cream and candy bars can be yours with a swipe of your USF ID! However, that doesn’t mean you’re limited to the prearranged meals the cafeteria has to offer.
Mix and match your options by putting grilled chicken on top of your salad bar creation, or use the chicken to accompany the rice and steamed veggies you bought from another station. Instead of piling on ranch dressing over your chicken, add some pico de gallo which contains tomato, onion, cilantro and bell peppers. Add some lemon juice to your vegetables for a final touch. Don’t forget to stock up on fruits and cereal for breakfasts on the go and study snacks.

Tip # 2: Power Walk up Lone Mountain
Walk up USF’s very own Stairmaster and within a couple weeks try walking over two steps at a time! The goal is to challenge yourself by increasing your speed or by repeating the action several times a week. If you don’t feel like confronting the stairs on a particular day, walk up the ramp from the side of the mountain and enter the building from the first floor. Either way your legs are in for a good workout.
Note: Make sure to have at least ten to fifteen minutes to climb up the mountain during your first couple of days to avoid showing up to your class sweaty and flushed.

Tip #3: Workout at Koret
You may regret not having taken advantage of USF’s gym after you graduate. Did you know that in the real world you have to pay for monthly membership? Why not sweat off those extra pounds while you can afford it!
Exercise independently on the treadmill, the bicycle or swim some laps in the gym’s pool.
Bring a friend with you. Schedule a weekly exercise routine with a Koret buddy that is sure to keep you on track.
Join one of the many fun exercise classes the gym has to offer such as spin, cardio kick and Zumba. This will help assign a specific time for your workout
Note: To access Koret’s group exercise class schedule visit: www.usfca.edu/Koret/Fitness/Group_Exercise_Schedule/
Also, pay attention to the gym’s posters because they often announce group outings such as horseback riding, bowling, surfing and skiing. These activities can help you meet new friends and stay active during your weekends.

Tip #4: Participate in USF’s Intramural Sports
Join an intramural team and find people who like sports just as much as you do. If you and your friends are just looking for a place to play, bring them along!
Note: To register for intramural sports view http://www.usfca.edu/Koret/Intramural_Sports/Intramural_Sports/
Tip #5: Always have a Backup Plan
Don’t have flexi anymore? This means you now have more control over how much salt, sugar and oil goes into your food. You also have more control over your portion sizes. Get a cookbook, look for recipes online or watch a food channel if you’re still not confident in your cooking skills.
Remember to plan ahead and think about how you can use leftovers to create new dishes. Fight the temptation to rely on packaged food just because you don’t want to spend money on cafeteria food and you didn’t make enough time to cook anything at home.
Keep weights, a yoga mat, or any other exercise equipment for dorm workouts in case you’re not able to go to the gym or make it to your exercise class. It’s a lot harder to get back into your exercise routine if you keep interrupting it.

Tips to Follow in 2012
If getting into better shape this year was one of your new year’s resolutions, consider these tips:

DO: “GO TO KORET for 30 minutes a day…I mean, they have great facilities and it’s free, plus 30 minutes doesn’t take that much time if you’re really willing to stay in shape.”
DON’T: “[Constantly eat] from the pizza station from the caf/Crossroads…they are delicious, but so fatty!”Jessy Mekpoh, Alumna, Media Studies

DO: “Avoid going crazy with your meal plan, and treat other people who don’t have flexi.”
DON’T: “Go to Outtahere after hours for their breakfast meals. IT WILL KILL YOUR CHOLESTEROL LEVELS.” Ricardo Garcia, Junior, Biology

DO: “Boxing with the USF Boxing Team because the workout with Coach is intense and there is a lot of support from teammates.” Contact Coach Angelo at afmerino@sbcglobal.net for more information.
DON’T: “Skip meals to lose weight.” Carmen Fernandez, Senior, Biology

DO: “Try taking a workout class instead of going at it alone if you need more inspiration to go.”
DON’T: “Spend all of your flexi on junk food, be smart about what you choose to use as energy.”
Victoria Cortez, Senior, Psychology

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