Ah yes, the freshman 15, bane of a collegiette‘s existence. Freshmen everywhere consider the potential for gaining weight in college, some even think it’s inevitable. But it’s not! And this college-inspired workout will be the answer to your prayers!
Ever stop and wonder why the “freshman 15” is actually a thing? Like, why is it that collegiettes everywhere dread the idea of packing on pounds and being that friend who came home for Thanksgiving with a little less need for pecan pie than everyone else? Why is this even something we think will happen?
Well, if you’re in college, I’m sure by now you realize that it is a pretty big adjustment: new schedule, newfound freedom, and the responsibility of making your own meals and planning your days according to, well, you! Add in the abundance of food choices, both great and not-so-great, at the food court and dining halls, the extra calories you add to you diet during weekends from drinking and drunk eating – contrary to popular belief, calories DO count when you’re drunk, unfortunately – and the fact that you may not have as much free time between the classes, the meetings, the studying, and the socializing to keep you sane, and with that we have our explanation. That is why so many people believe in the freshman 15, and why many college students end up adopting some pretty unhealthy habits. So what do you do about it?
Of course, you should eat healthy, drink less alcohol, don’t binge while intoxicated blah blah blah. Realistically, you can eat healthy some days, and you can try to manage your drinking, and lock your micro-fridge before a night out, but it’s not always going to be perfect, which is why you shouldn’t think of your diet as the only tool to fight those extra pounds. Exercising regularly will not only help you maintain a healthy weight, but will also help boost your mood, improve your concentration, promote better sleeping habits, and keep you from getting sick – all thing, by the way, that seem to be major issues once we hit the college scene. But how can we exercise with such a crazy schedule, and such a limited budget? Simple: we tweak the workout!
You don’t need a gym membership to get an awesome workout! You don’t need hours of free time, fancy equipment, or even a large space to get your sweat on. All you need is some space in your dorm room, and these five exercise routines from SHAPE to burn some calories, boost your energy, and feel great!
Here’s the Dorm Room Workout:
Exercise routine #1: Put your desk to use
Shape your arms with a challenging variation of the standard push-up. With your desk up against a wall, place your hands on the edge a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Keep your feet on the ground, back flat and chest in line with the edge of the desk. Slowly lower your chest down, bending at the elbows until you’re about 6 inches from the desk. Push your body back up to the starting position. Try to work your way up to 3 sets of 15.
Exercise routine #2: Burn off that late-night snack
Need an energy boost? Instead of reaching for food, opt for a quick cardio blast by alternating 3 sets of 20 stadium runs and 20 jumping jacks. For stadium runs, start with hands on the floor and feet shoulder-width apart. Use a thrusting motion to bring your right knee into the chest. As the right foot goes back to starting position, raise your left knee. Be sure to have a slight bend in the elbow and keep your abs tight.
You can follow this exercise program without leaving your dorm room; a perfect plan if you’ve got a hectic schedule. Here are specific moves for your college exercise program:
Exercise routine #3: Get six-pack abs
Tone your tummy with the help of your textbooks. Lay face up on a mat or towel with knees bent and feet on the floor. Hold your heaviest course book directly over your head with both hands. Keeping your abs tight, slowly lift your head and shoulder blades off the towel, lifting the book in the air. Hold for 1 second then slowly release, working your way up to 3 sets of 20.
Exercise routine #4: Use your bed for more than sleeping
Sculpt your arms from the comfort of your bed by doing dips. Sit on the edge of the bed with your hands next to hips. Move your hips in front of the bed, bend your elbows and lower a few inches while keeping your butt close to the bed. Don’t sink into the shoulders or lower past 90 degrees. Push back up and repeat for 3 sets of 15.
Exercise routine #5: Get off your butt
Use your desk chair as a prop for shaping your backside with squats. Place your feet shoulder-width apart and squat down slowly as you sit back on your heels. Lower as far as you can while keeping your knees behind toes and not going below 90 degrees, then return to starting position. Try putting a chair behind you and act like you’re about to sit down, pulling up before actually sitting. Do 3 sets of 10. Want an extra challenge? Use an explosive jump to get up from the bent position and you’ll burn more calories.
So now, between eating lunch and heading to your afternoon class, hitting up the big game and getting ready to go out, and attending your weekly meetings and doing your homework, you’ll have a perfect workout to do anytime, anywhere, with no freshman 15 in sight!