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College Students & Health Eating/Exercising/Weight Management

Healthy eating on Campus

You would like to eat better and get more exercise, but lots of things keep getting in the way: classes, studying, parties, your budget (or lack of!), fatigue, significant others, and sleep. With careful planning, you CAN find a way to eat well on campus and to add some exercise to your daily routine. Check out some of the awesome links below!

Nutrition My Plate

A great starting point for helpful nutrition information is the Mayo Clinic's Nutrition & Healthy Eating resource, which includes an expert blog. Also be sure to take this quiz on How's Your Diet? to get a better sense of exactly what you are eating and where you might need to improve. Finally, check out how you can customize the USDA nutrition guidelines with Choose My Plate.

Several great web sites have information specific to eating well while at college. College Eating and Fitness 101, which offers dining hall tips and alternative food choices, and Healthy College Food, which includes a resource list of college student cookbooks. Finally, get more general nutrition information via the additional links below.

http://www.nutrition.gov/
http://www.eatright.org/
Nutrition for Everyone

Exercising on campus

Your Basic Fitness Needs

Aerobic Exercise

  • Includes any type of exercise which gets the heart pumping and uses up additional oxygen (i.e., you breath faster and heavier).
  • Aim for at least three 30-minute sessions per week. Interested in walking for fitness? Check out www.walking.abou.com for more information.

Strength Training

  • For adults (including college students), most experts recommend 30-60 minutes of physical activity on most days. However, you may benefit from as little as 20 minutes three times per week; furthermore, you can break down your activity into 10-minute intervals.  (Try jogging up and down stairs in your residence hall during a study break!)
  • Physical activity includes aerobic exercise plus strength and flexibility training.

Flexibility Training

Staying Active

dumbbell imageYou can participate in fitness activities on campus through Intramural Sports, the Workout Center, and recreational activities such as skating and swimming.  Try this list on the Top 5 Ways to Include Fitness in College Life (scroll down to the bottom of the page). Using exercise DVDs is another easy, inexpensive way to get started on a fitness program; check out VideoFitness.com to determine whether working out with videos is right for you. (For even more inexpensive exercise ideas, try this Mayo Clinic article, Fitness for Less.)

If you are still stuck on how to get started, read this Mayo Clinic article on How to Select a Fitness Program.  Got an iPod?  Get this "Pump Awap Travelers Workout" (works great in a dorm room!) for FREE when you enter the code "JetSetPump" at checkout.  If you already participate in regular fitness activities, test your current fitness levels via a few quick, easy tests which you can perform yourself at home.  Think you are already active?  Take this quiz on How Much Do You Sit?

Managing Your Weight

Are you worried about gaining the dreaded "Freshman 15" during your first year of school?  Check out the following articles:

If you want to start an exercise program as a means to lose weight, take this Fit or Not? quiz to determine whether you are currently at a healthy weight. This personalized assessment tool also calculates your body mass index and helps you design a safe plan for using exercise to lose weight. Finally, check out the Mayo Clinic's Weight Loss Center, which offers strategies for successful weight loss as well as information on adding pounds for those who are underweight.

Finally, take a look at this excellent brochure, College Eating & Fitness 101--it ofers great eating and exercise hints, tips on dining room dilemmas, a dorm room food guide, and more!

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