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Avoiding the Freshman 15 at Penn State

With so many college related burdens on their minds including classes, homework and studying for upcoming exams, there isn’t much time for your student to think about a healthy lifestyle. Here are some quick tips that you can share with them that will make avoiding the dreaded "Freshman 15" a breeze.

Walk to Classes and Activities

Walking to class is the easiest way to burn calories while doing every day activity at Penn State University. Most notably at the University Park campus classes can be more than a mile away at any given time. If time between classes is budgeted correctly students should be encouraged to walk to and from each building as well as their dorm or apartment. Make sure if you encourage walking that your student is equipped with comfortable walking shoes as well as a compact and wind resistant travel umbrella.

Cook For Yourself (and for your friends!)

One of the best things about Penn State is the selection of food is always excellent and delicious. However, many of the best choices are types of fast food which can be high in calories and fat. Encouraging your student to cook for themselves is one of the best ways to help them avoid this temptation and develop a skill they will use their entire life. Get them started with a high quality set of pots, pans & kitchen utensils, an enameled cast iron dutch oven and send them some of your favorite recipes. Cooking meals for friends and roommates is also a great way to get motivated. stay involved and ask them to share pictures and recipes of what they have been working on in the kitchen.

PSUMoms Member Recipes

Go to the Gym...In Your Dorm Room!

Going to the gym isn't exactly the easiest thing to do on a busy college schedule. Lots of times it is busy when your student wants to go or the machines they like to use are constantly taken. There are two excellent remedies for this as a college student with limited space and time. They are a little expensive but are well worth it in the long run and make great gifts if you are looking for something unique to buy them. Bowflex makes a product called SelectTech Adjustable Weights which is an entire weight set in just two dumbbells. They can be adjusted to hold as little or as much weight as desired. It takes up hardly any room and are perfect for many different workouts. If your student doesn't have a desire to lift weights there is another very unique and compact home gym item perfect for students called Under Desk Elipticals. They fit easily under desks at school or work and are super quiet so others nearby won't be bothered. It is essentially a way to do a low intensity workout while studying.

Avoid Soda & Sugary Drinks

Avoiding non-diet soda and juices is the easiest, fastest and most productive way to avoid weight gain and health issues in a college environment. There will be "on the go" drink options absolutely everywhere on campus and most of them are extremely unhealthy because of the amount of sugar involved. Below are some much healthier options you can share with your student or purchase for them.

Use LionCash+ Instead of Purchasing a Penn State Meal Plan

Most members report that using LionCash+ around campus is a much better resource than buying an A La Carte style meal plan. It allows for much more variety in meals because you can use it at the dining halls and tons of restaurants around town. The best part is that many grocery stores around State College accept LionCash+ as well allowing your student the opportunity to use funds supplied on their LionCash+ card to cook for themselves and purchase healthier day to day options as well.

Remember: Everything is OK in Moderation

The tips we provided here are excellent and can be easy ways to avoid gaining extra weight while attending college. However, under no circumstances should any of these things be blacklisted. Fast food is ok every now and then, as is sugary soda or eating the deep fried chicken fingers at the dining hall. Just make sure these things do not become a habit for your student. After all, everyone deserves to spoil themselves every once in a while and your mental health is as important as your physical health.