A Guide to Staying Fit on a College Campus


The entire Fordham student body now just have access to one fitness facility. Samuel Joseph/The Fordham Ram

By Emily Tanner

America is no stranger to obesity, and with the college lifestyle and lots of easy access to fast and greasy food, you have the recipe for weight gain and the trading of your favorite jeans for a pair of stretchy leggings.

A study done in 2012 by researchers at Auburn University in Alabama and published by NRC Research Press showed that 70 percent of college students will gain weight by the time of graduation, the average being 12 pounds. Nevertheless, before you cut out caf cookies for good and sign up for that crazy expensive SoulCycle class, consider these tips and tricks to making your everyday life a bit healthier.

1. What you surround yourself with matters
Sounds simple enough, right? If you do not have unhealthy food in your dorm room or apartment, you are less likely to eat it. Studies show that the longer you go without junk food, the less likely you will crave it. Keep granola bars in your room and fruit smoothies in your fridge.

Xia Madonis, GSB ’16, explained her shopping habits. “I stick to healthy foods when I’m at the grocery store on Arthur so I don’t even have [junk food] around me as an option.” You can treat yourself every once in awhile, but if you keep up with healthy eating habits, chances are you will eventually only crave the good stuff anyway.

2. Drink…in moderation
Staying fit in a college environment can be hard when, for some students, alcohol consumption is a part of their weekly routine. This is not to say you cannot live an active, healthy lifestyle while also somewhat-regularly consuming alcohol, you just need to be aware of what you’re drinking and how to make up for it in other aspects of your life.

Did you know one glass of red wine is the equivalent in calories to a large slice of sponge cake? Or a pint of hard-cider has the same amount of calories as a powdered doughnut? This one was the kicker for me: A pint of beer has the same amount of calories as a large slice of pepperoni pizza. These comparisons are not meant to scare you, but to put what you are drinking into perspective.

3. Stay active
Lazy Saturdays, movie nights, sitting on the couch chatting with friends — the college lifestyle is quite conducive to all of these things when you are constantly surrounded by friends. Instead of watching the Season 4 of “Friends” again, why not go for a run in the Botanical Gardens? What about going to Manhattan for a quick lunch instead of spending those two hours in the caf? It is productive if you get a something healthy for lunch and spend the day walking around Manhattan.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Join an intramural sports team. If you make exercise a part of your routine, eventually you will not even think about it anymore and it will be something you’ll want to do, rather than see as a chore.

Believe it or not, not getting enough sleep can lead to weight-gain. Getting less than six hours a night can affect your hormone levels and trick you into thinking you are hungry when you are not. It also affects your metabolism, causing it to slow down.

5. Make time for yourself
When you are constantly trying to keep up with others, you can find yourself fitting your own schedule and needs to what your friends want to do. Next thing you know, you are going to DD with one friend and getting dinner on Arthur with another the same day. Make time for yourself. Eat foods that will benefit your mind and body. Salmon, blueberries and avacados are known to be good for your physical and mental health. You can purchase the latter two at a nearby grocery story.
Mental health and physical health are more related than most people realize. A day filled with exercise and good food will leave you feeling much healthier and happier.