“Are you eating well and getting enough exercise?” This is the question that my dad asks me literally every time we speak on the phone. It comes right after the standard “How are your classes?” question, and right before the update on how our pets at home are fairing since I’ve been gone (yes, this happens). “Yes, Dad.” I always mumble back, not at all attempting to hide my annoyance. I mean, c’mon dad, do you really think that college kids, when not at class, just lazily lie around all day and then go out and drink and eat mass quantities of high caloric substances all night?!
Okay, Dad. So you may be on to something, but we do other things too! Sometimes, on one of the 6 days out of the whole year when it’s actually nice, we lay out on the quad instead of on our cot-sized beds. Also, we don’t always choose to drink beverages that are high in calories! Diet Pepsi is a popular option in the dining halls and vending machines. So yeah Dad, we’re decently healthy here at college.
However, when those responses are neither enough for my dad nor my own health conscience, I try to make healthier decisions. These simple healthy choices can appease any health worries you or your parental units may have.
Are all the machines at Ernie Davis always taken when you arrive? Are you tired of running into your most recent random hook up when lifting weights at Archbold? If the school’s gyms aren’t cutting it for you, get your exercise on The Mount. No, there isn’t a gym up there, but there are steps! If you’ve never climbed the 123 steps that lead to the top of Syracuse University’s most glorified mound of dirt, then you’re in for a wonderful workout. Just walking up them once is enough to get your heart racing; so try picking up the pace and running them a few times. Just avoid going to Graham when you reach the top. Those French fries and slices of cake will negate all the work you just did, and you don’t want to have to climb up those steps again, do you?
Control Your Big, Hungery Eyes:
Making healthy choices in the dining hall is another way to combat the freshman (or sophomore, or junior, or senior) 15. It may be difficult to lay off the pizza, hamburgers and pasta, as these choices sometimes seem to be the only edible items the dining hall has to offer. When this is the case, you may partake, just watch how big your portions are. To avoid eating multiple servings of delicious, yet totally unhealthy, foods, try eating a salad before shoveling that slice of cheesy-pizza goodness in your mouth. You may become full before you’ve eaten the whole slice, which saves you extra calories. Plus, how impressed will your parents be when, in response to questions about your health, you inform them you made a salad at the dining hall for dinner!
Watch Out For DUIs (decisions under the influence):
Now, we all know it’s easier to make good life decisions during the day than at night. But sometimes this phenomenon is taken to the extremes when students’ thought processes go a little funky on late weekend nights. When you sense that your ability to make proper food choices is becoming a little impaired on a Saturday night, for reasons that are clearly (un)known, try these simple suggestions to avoid a late night junk food fest.
- Avoid Kimmel. I know this is very hard to do when you’re severely famished at 1 a.m. on a Saturday, but it can be done. Sure you might walk in with the intentions of buying an apple, but ten minutes later you’ll probably find yourself at the checkout line, Gordita Crunch from Taco Bell in hand.
- Pay attention to what is in your grocery cart at Wegmans. Your room can become a dangerous den of calories late at night if you don’t have the proper snacks. Instead of stockpiling Ramen noodles, Oreos and fun-sized candies in your room, try buying fruit, low calorie cereals, or (plain) popcorn.
Gaining weight at college happens. If you’re smart however, you can avoid the extra poundage and also be able to proudly state to your dad that you are eating well and getting enough exercise. Okay, Dad?!