Avoid the ‘Freshman 15’

Tony Gorder

Tony Gorder

The Freshman 15: a dreaded phrase and an even more frightening reality.

While the phrase may not be true for all college students, many do gain weight during the college years. However, with a little work, students can achieve healthy living at SDSU.

Eating properly is one way to stay healthy, and SDSU has plenty of places to eat.

“Each location offers a variety of healthy options,” said Jill Akland, director of dining services.

Eating veggies and salads with low fat dressings are healthy choices.

“Load up on veggies,” said Akland.

Whether students are getting a wrap, pasta or stir fry, the more vegetables, the better.

That doesn’t mean meat is off the menu. Students should try to eat skinless chicken when possible in their pasta, wrap, sandwich or salad.

“Chicken is a lean meat and a good protein source,” said Akland.

Akland said students should also eat multigrain bread and stay away from white bread when possible.

Even coffee drinkers can adopt healthier habits by getting soy and low-fat milk as opposed to whole milk.

Akland said it is not only what students eat, but how much they eat.

“Watch your portion sizes,” she said. “Portion sizes are key.”

Portions are especially important in all-you-can-eat dining services like Larson Commons.

Healthy eating is a factor in how much is served, according to Akland.

“We take into account nutrition, as well as what the students are looking for,” said Akland.

“I try and eat right because I worked hard to keep in shape during high school,” said Eric Nefstead, a freshman general studies major. “My well-being is important to me.”

Exercise also plays a large part in staying healthy.

“As a student, you can use exercise as a way to reduce stress and sleep better,” said Shari Landmark, coordinator of community fitness.

Nicole Nordquist, a sophomore math major, has been working out in The Wellness Center since mid-September.

“I hadn’t worked out since high school, so I decided I needed to get back into shape,” said Nordquist. “It feels good to be active, and it’s actually pretty easy once you get into it.”

Students decrease blood pressure, cholesterol and the chance of gaining the Freshman 15 from exercising, according to Landmark. Students who are not active may run the risk of depression and laziness. They also may have negative attitudes and lack motivation.

Landmark said The Wellness Center is a good place to start.

“We have personal trainers available, fitness evaluations to set goals and dietitians to look at nutrition,” said Landmark. “It’s free for you to come use.”

Personal trainers are free for students to meet with once. With a trainer, students can find a program that is right for them. If they wish to continue to meet one-on-one with a personal trainer on a regular schedule, there is a fee.

Physical fitness evaluations or PFEs are available for free as well and help set goals for students, while dieticians can give students useful tips on healthy eating.

“A lot of times it seems easy to eat right, but sometimes it helps to have a few suggestions,” said Landmark.

“I’m trying to be healthy – plain and simple,” said Nefstead. “I’m not going to let the Freshman 15 catch up on me.”

For more information on the Wellness Center and ways to stay healthy, students should go to studentaffairs.sdstate.edu/WellnessCenter.