Campus options can help students shed pounds

Living away from family, studying hard and partying even harder may place eating healthy and exercising regularly low on some students’ list of priorities. However, it is wise to consider the ramifications of eating everything except fruits and veggies.

A report released by the Trust for America’s Health found that “in the past year, adult obesity rates increased in 28 states, while only the District of Columbia (D.C.) saw a decline. Nationally, two-thirds of adults and nearly one-third of children and teens are currently obese or overweight.”

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) stresses the importance of an improved lifestyle to maintain a healthy weight or to stop gaining pounds. When ready to lose weight, a lifestyle change, not a fad diet, will keep the pounds off.

There are many opportunities at USF to help students maintain or obtain a healthy weight and lifestyle.

It may seem impossible to eat well while at college. However, USF offers a variety of healthy choices for students and staff. If vegetarian food is your style, you may be glad to know that USF ranked fifth in Peta2’s Most Vegetarian-Friendly College Competition. The college offers a variety of gluten-free foods as well.

Students also have to get moving. USF students have an advantage here, as membership for USF Campus Recreation is free. Start by visiting its website. It is open seven days a week with hours available to suit nearly everyone’s needs. The Campus Recreation Center offer swimming, cycling classes, weights and equipment, group fitness and for a fee, a personal trainer.

If working out in a gym is not to your liking, maybe bike riding is the answer. USF offers students a free program called Borrow our Bikes. It includes bike, helmet, lights, locks and keys.

Also, check out intramural sports or other forms of outdoor recreation to find more options to stay active. It is important to find an activity that you enjoy, so you will stick with it and it won’t be a chore.

By combining a smart, healthy diet with regular activity, you should emerge from college without the dreaded “freshman 15.”

Regina Farrell is a junior majoring in art history.