Beating the Freshman Fifteen

Staying Fit and Healthy During the School Year

Leah Ching
health and fitnessThe university experience is arguably one of the best, most stimulating times in a young adult’s life. University can be a mosaic of cultures, ideas, and exciting new experiences. Pile course loads and deadlines on top of all that fun, and university can suddenly seem overwhelming and incredibly stressful. Not only is everyone trying to find their niche; there’s also all-night cram sessions, coffee binges, and the all-too-familiar late night McDonalds run after a night of downtown bar-crawling.  Finding a healthy balance can be challenging, but that’s why the Argus sat down with personal trainer Jolene Pugliese to put together a few tips for incorporating fitness, health, and a sense of wellness into your time at university.

Exercise Regularly:

While this may sound like stating the obvious, it can be easy to skip that workout, hit the snooze button and decide to Netflix and chill instead. As a student, try to take advantage of the on-campus gym membership paid for in your tuition fees. Thunder Bay is also an amazing city for outdoor activities like hiking, biking and exploring trails.

If you’re not a fan of the gym, Jolene talked to us about a great alternative. Here’s what she had to say. “HIIT workouts are gaining popularity lately. These take no more than twenty to thirty minutes and all you need is your body. HIIT consists of short interval bursts of exercises.” You can find lots of HIIT workouts online. Check out the Insanity Workout online for an example.

Plan Ahead
Planning when you’ll have time to work out around classes, work, and social life is important. Planning extends into almost every aspect of your student life, and will set you up for success. You can work exercising into the busiest of days; podcasts on iTunes like “20 minute yoga” are great ways to get a little activity into your day.

Bike and Walk

Thunder Bay is great for bike paths and walking trails with beautiful views. Ditch driving and walk or bike to class, you’ll get exercise and help the environment too.

Stay Nourished

Jolene spoke to us about how to work nutrition into your diet. “It’s important to be prepared. I always tell clients on the go to focus on eating whole foods (food in its most natural state) and not to turn to quick fixes like shakes. Feed your body with the right fuel.”

Stick to Healthy Snacks
Jolene also suggested some foods for students on the go, “Fresh fruit like apples and bananas, bags of mixed nuts, sliced cucumbers, and baby carrots are all great for students on the go, and are filled with nutrition. Hard-boiled eggs and pre-packed chicken provide protein and help you stay nourished.” Try hitting up the Farmer’s Market (held every Saturday morning at the CLE grounds) for lots of great local food and products. Other local gems include Bonobo’s foods, Kelly’s Nutrition, and Tim’s Whole Health.

Manage Stress

While it’s easy to take your stress out on chocolate, take it out on the pavement instead. Go for a run, do some yoga, or hit the gym. It’s more effective in relieving stress and won’t cause you to feel tired and sluggish afterward. The on-campus Wellness Zone offers free yoga and meditation classes regularly. This is just one of many resources available to keep students healthy year round.

Do Something You Love
Run, journal, volunteer, join an intramural sports team or club, watch the sunset! It’s important to remember to make time to enjoy the life you’re living and work a sense of wellness into your life. Spend less time stressing about term papers and more time enjoying all that beautiful Northern Ontario has to offer.


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