Top Fitness Gear to Keep You Fit in College

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Fighting off the Freshman 15 or Sophomore 20 isn’t as easy as it looks. With unhealthy food choices, busy schedules, and high stress lifestyles, packing on the pounds can happen when we’re not careful. But you don’t have to give up if you’re too time strapped to get to the gym or new to the whole workout lifestyle. These 11 fitness must-haves are practically made for college students and dorm life.

 

FitBit

Long a must-wear device for techies and non-techies alike, the FitBit isn’t just a step counter anymore. The newest models connect to your phone so you can see your incoming messages while you run, swim, walk, and more.

 

Exercise Ball and Chair

Worried about your posture? The exercise ball will take care of building that core muscle. Replaces your ugly, uncomfortable desk chair with an ballance chair (a ball inside a chair frame), and you have a workout you don’t even think about.

 

Motivational Tanks

You may not be a fan of working out, but at least you can do it with a bit of snark, sass, and inspiration. We’re loving long tanks with thin straps and phrases such as “Namaste In Bed” or “Running for Donuts.”

 

Yoga Mat, Block, and Towel

Yoga is one of the easiest workouts to do in small spaces, and with so many free videos online, you can do it from your dorm with no problem. Just equip yourself with a high-quality mat, a foam block, and non-slip towel or blanket to complete your gear.

 

Water Bottle Pack

Runners, walkers, and bikers love moving around campus, but staying hydrated can be difficult. Instead of hitting the office buildings for a water break, strap on a water bottle pack. It hooks on like a belt and usually comes with added storage for keys, phone, and money.

 

The Perfect Shoe

We love our Asics, but the truth is that everyone’s foot is different. Instead of just picking the cheapest or most familiar brand, get yourself fitted at a shoe store to get a shoe that works best with how you walk, run, and/or jump.

 

Pull-Up Bar

A pull-up bar is a must-have for serious fitness gurus looking to build arm strength. Bonus reason to get one: you can install them in your dorm room without lugging around huge equipment or ruining your dorm’s paint.

 

Sweat-Wicking Leggings with Vents

Ladies need a pair of vented workout leggings. Whether with cut outs or translucent sections, it makes workouts so much more stylish. If possible, also strive for sweat-wicking material that keeps away smell and moisture.

 

Resistance Bands

Your body is amazing, especially when it comes to working out. Instead of spending a fortune on free weights, use your own weight and a few different styles and sizes of resistance bands to create a heck of a challenging workout.

 

Adjustable Dumbbell Set

If you love the feel of a weight in your hand, dumbbells that can be “programmed” with your desired weight make excellent space savers without compromising your workout. The alternative is to buy the weights you need as you progress so you’ll always be challenged.

 

Jump Counter

One of the top ways to get an amazing cardio workout in is to jump! Jumping rope doesn’t take much room or time, and you can purchase a digital jump counter that tracks your hops and double dutches without the whole rope thing getting your way.

How to Prevent the “Freshman 15”

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Freshman 15 Health

Are you one of those people who loves to binge eat junk food and watch Netflix? Well, then you’re like me. Every freshman (including myself) is beyond excited to get away from all of the organic food that their moms gave them while they were back home — but do you want to have the “Freshman 15”? Keep reading for some helpful tips!

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Junk food sometimes, healthy food every day:

  • Unless you’re going to the gym every day and working out constantly…don’t go to the dining hall every morning for breakfast and get yourself three pancakes. Switch it off… Some days have a treat and other days get a smoothie on the go, organic cereal or maybe some scrambled eggs!

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Do not skip the most important meal of the day:

  • Breakfast is key. Grab a cereal bar, make some easy Eggo waffles in the microwave/toaster or go to the dining hall and get some egg whites. Don’t want to ever miss the most important meal of the day!

Store healthy snacks:

  •  No Doritos, Lays chips or cheese doodles. Not healthy. Not worth the calories… I am glad my mom taught me to bring healthy snacks to college because if not I would be the size of a balloon by now. Snack on some apple chips, gluten free pretzels, cheese, and grapes or a banana.

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Skip the sugary drinks:

  • Enough with the energy drinks such as Redbull and Monster. Soda is even a big no no. I do not have any sugary drinks in my mini fridge. Get a bottle of water, iced tea or low-calorie lemonade!
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Image via Monster

Use smaller plates in the dining hall:

  • Instead of using the big bowls that they leave out for us, I use the plastic plates and it definitely helps my portion size. It helps you to avoid piling on food to fill the bowl, then feeling forced to finish it even if you’re already full.

Join sports clubs, intramurals or take a Zumba class:

  • Time to go hit the gym, find a buddy and get your daily dose of workout in you! Yoga, Zumba, treadmill or a run around campus… go get those legs moving! Fitness is also a great way to meet friends that you can set healthy habits with.

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Don’t eat food when watching TV or doing homework:

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  • I know everyone loves to do this… but this is one way of gaining weight easily. I know because I do this constantly and it is not healthy. You get so engrossed in what you’re watching, and five minutes later you look down and the bag of chips has been completely annihilated. You can’t even remember eating it — which feels like a waste! Instead, have a bottle of water or some gum in your mouth while watching tv! Save your snacks and meals for a time you can actually sit down and enjoy them without distractions.

Stay hydrated:

  • Drink PLENTY of water. Whether it is Vitamin Water, Gatorade, sparkling water, or whatever it may be, keep on staying hydrated! Sometimes we trick ourselves into thinking we’re hungry, when we’re really just dehydrated.

Get plenty of sleep:

  • I know we are all in college, but don’t stay up until 4 am when you have an 8 am class — leaving you to complain to your roommate or not show up to class the next day. Get a lot of sleep so you can have a bunch of energy throughout the next day!

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The great thing about college is that things are constantly changing — your class schedule, your classmates, your favorite new hangout spots and sometimes even your social circles. So now’s the time to evaluate your priorities, and what is or isn’t working for your health. Not getting enough sleep? Maybe cut out the 8am lectures and schedule classes for later in the afternoon next semester. Having trouble finding an available elliptical during the free-time you usually use hit the gym? Consider skipping the regular Thursday-night party, and instead grab a few workout buddies and head to the gym as a “girls night”.

With these top tips, you should be able to avoid the dreaded Freshman 15. Just make conscious decisions about your eating and lifestyle habits and you’ll be fine!

6 Ways to Burn Calories Without Going to the Gym

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Avoiding that Freshman 15, Sophomore 20, or even Senior 50 isn’t easy when you’re stuck in the library or classroom all day. And with little time to go to the gym (or not being able to afford a membership), exercising itself is a challenge. However, there are some simple exercises you can do to burn off calories without going to the gym or even breaking a sweat. Here are our top 6 dorm room and college-friendly alternatives.

1.   Shop the Sales

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Love hitting the local farmer’s market or outdoor shopping mall? You’re in luck. Shopping involves physical labor such as long distance walking, lifting, and pushing of carts as a killer way to burn calories if you do it for long enough. Bring along a step tracker to ensure you’re getting at least 5,000 steps to make your shopping trip worth it.

2.   Change Up Your Study Habits

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The simplest way you can burn calories is to say no to the chair. Sitting or lying around while studying will only keep you stagnant. Instead, hit a café where there are tall tables and study there. You can also create a DIY standing desk for your dorm room this will encourage you to be on your feet while you write that term paper.

3.   Set Up a Cleaning Routine

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Cleaning, like shopping, is another way you can torch calories without evening knowing it. With cleaning, it’s the motion that counts. Pushing a broom, lifting your laundry, or squatting to pack up a storage unit are all parts of a basic workout. Do them at a faster speed or add a few more repetitions for a great heart pumper.

4.   Practice YouTube Yoga

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If you do like to work out but aren’t a fan of the gym scene, you can get in your routine from the privacy and comfort of your own space. Today, there are several online sites and apps devoted to virtual workouts. Popular and experienced teachers will walk you through the steps one by one. And if you don’t want to pay for this premium, check out YouTube, where many fitness experts share their favorite workouts for free!

5.   Avoid All Elevators

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It’s as easy as that. Just say no to the elevator or escalator. Instead, say hello to your new best friend: the stairs. It will burn calories, strengthen your legs, and boost your energy. If you only have a few stairs to climb a day, consider taking them two at a time or even backwards for an added twist.

6.   Sleep It Off

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Sleep deprivation causes your body to burn fewer calories throughout the day. So while your gym obsessed roommate gets in a solid hour at the gym, you may be doing more good than they are by sleeping in an extra hour and being active throughout the day!