by Brittany Dant
August 23 marks the beginning of Mercer’s new school year and as if buying books, getting along with a roommate, and beginning classes were not enough, Mercer freshmen have one more thing to worry about: the Freshman 15, or freshman year weight gain.
The Freshman 15 has become a dreaded thought to many college students over the years, and, unfortunately, Mercerians are no different.
But never fear new freshmen, the Freshman 15 does not have to happen to you! There are many a way to keep pounds off your first year, so here are 15 tips to help in your battle to beat the bulge.
First off, and quite possibly the most obvious, Mercer has a gym in the U.C. that is free to all Mercer students.
So instead of sitting in your dorm room, try hitting up the elliptical or working up a sweat at one of the gym weight-lifting machines.
If motivation is your key to success, try beefing up this semester’s schedule by enrolling in one of Mercer’s Physical Education classes.
From Beginning Tae Kwon Do to Golf, Ballroom Dancing and even Beginning Bowling, Mercer has a number of courses to help students shed the pounds.
Macon is known for its heat, so if sports classes aren’t in style why not go for a run, or even a walk, outside. The Macon heat will surely burn off that pizza from the cafeteria.
Try getting a few friends together in Porter Patch and starting a game of ultimate Frisbee or catch.
If you are more of a team player, Mercer offers plenty of club sports including men’s and women’s wrestling and swimming.
If club sports are too intense, Mercer has a great Intramural Sports program, so grab a few friends and sign up for any of the sports offered.
Soccer is up first this year so try lacing up those cleats and hitting the field to stay in shape, or join a team for flag football, volleyball, basketball or softball.
Can’t stand the heat? Try checking out the fitness classes offered in the U.C. gym on week nights. From ab-workouts to dance classes, it’s a great way to burn off extra calories.
But do not think that the only way to keep off the extra pounds is by exercising. There are plenty of ways to beat the bulge without working up a sweat.
For instance, it is a known fact that freshmen have an all-you-can-eat meal plan, but try not taking advantage of all the pizza and ice cream the cafeteria has to offer.
Instead try grabbing an apple or banana for dessert or have a salad for lunch three times a week.
Coke may very well be the nectar of the gods, but it is also full of empty calories. Try replacing Coke at every meal with water or Gatorade to get rid of the extra calories.
Don’t be tempted to stock your micro-fridge with junk food. Try keeping some fresh fruit handy to snack on or keep a carton of milk in the fridge if cereal is more your thing.
Swimming in Plunkett Pool is another great way to expend some energy. Luckily it also comes with the added bonus of a tan.
If you have a car, try avoiding the rock star parking closer to MEP and Plunkett, and go for one of the further spots. Even this little bit of extra walking can really help.
More importantly, stay hydrated by keeping a bottle of water handy during the day. Staying hydrated is a good source of energy to keep you going, and drinking a lot of water helps elimiate bloating.
Finally, try going shopping. Macon has a great outdoor mall and the trek between stores is a good way to walk-off some calories.
So, Mercer freshmen, don’t worry, the Freshman 15 is easy to beat. Try even just a few of these steps and you might go home lighter than you came.
15 ways to fight the freshman 15
by Brittany Dant