RWC helps fend off the freshman 15
Published: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 17:09
With all the stress of meeting new friends, getting acquainted with classes and being away from home, avoiding the “freshman 15” can seem nearly impossible. Many studies say that weight gain is a common tendency among college students, however, UCF offers a number of resources to help students manage their weight and pursue a healthy lifestyle.
The Recreation and Wellness Center offers the Group Exercise program, personal training and various fitness challenges throughout each semester.
The Group Exercise program provides an extensive variety of fitness classes directed by nationally certified trainers. Some of the options include resistance training, mind and body, cardiovascular, endurance and spinning exercises. All of the classes are free of charge.
“Staying active is very enjoyable for me and I believe in trying any variation of physical activity at least once. It keeps working out fun,” said Elysa Weissbaum, a junior sports and exercise science major.
Personal training is also available to all students. The initial consultation is free. The personal trainers help define fitness goals, teach exercises, build muscular strength and equip clients with the tools necessary to support a healthy lifestyle.
During the course of each semester, the RWC also offers a number of different fitness challenges. The 12-week RWC Half Marathon Training Course began on Monday. Interested students have until Thursday to sign up.
A Fitness Triathlon Challenge will be held Oct. 1 through Oct. 31. Participants have four weeks to complete a full triathlon, which consists of 26.2 miles running, 112 miles biking and 2.4 miles swimming (88 laps).
The RWC has a lot to offer students for physical fitness. However, Kimberly Halliday, assistant director of fitness at the RWC, says avoiding weight gain takes more than just exercising.
“A lot of avoiding weight gain comes down to making sure you’re establishing healthy lifestyle habits in your daily routine. That doesn’t just necessarily mean working out; it’s a combination of everything. It’s the exercise combined with getting enough sleep, the proper food preparation, making sure you’re doing as much grocery shopping as possible and making healthy choices in the Marketplace and other places on campus,” Halliday said.
Many students may find it a challenge to eat healthy in college. Wellness and Health Promotion Services, separate from the RWC, assists students in making healthy lifestyle decisions.
“Our [WHPS] CHOICES program offers students education and support for making behavioral changes such as reducing weight and increasing exercise. A peer advocate works with them on motivational issues and they meet with our dietitian during the process as well,” said Peter Mastroianni, assistant director for WHPS.
According to its blog by registered dietitian Megan Van Camp, three ways students can avoid the freshman 15 is by not taking the all-you-can-eat meal plan literally, avoiding skipping meals and limiting late-night eating.
Coming to college can mean a lifestyle change, and Weissbaum made one in the right direction.
“When I first moved away from home I wasn’t healthy at all. I learned really quickly that what I thought was convenient was actually awful for my body and if I just spent an extra few dollars and few minutes into preparing my meals, I’d be a lot healthier,” she said.
To ensure a healthy lifestyle and avoid the freshman 15, take advantage of all the resources UCF has to offer.