Before I left for college, people always warned me about gaining the notorious “Freshman 15.”
For those of you who do not know, this is the 15 pounds students supposedly gain during their freshman year of college. The all-you-can-eat setup at the Rock Café definitely had me worried. Fortunately, I actually lost weight when I began college. Being in a regular routine with classes, work and track practices made it easy to find time to work out.
What I had not anticipated was gaining weight during the summer after my freshman year of college. It is not like I blew up, but gaining five to ten pounds is still significant. I continued eating like an athlete over the summer even though I was no longer working out five days a week at the same intensity.
Lacking a routine in the summer and too frequently enjoying “lazy days” adds up on the scale. To avoid this, hold yourself responsible and set aside time at the beginning of every week to schedule times for doing fun summer activities or hitting the gym.
For those of us staying in Big Rapids this summer, the Rec Center will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Friday. It offers ellipticals, a track, a weight room, a pool and various other workout machines.
We Michiganders understand that any bit of precious sunshine needs to be taken advantage of. I am a firm believer that sunny days automatically elevate one’s mood, so get outside and play. Beach volleyball is a great game for a group of bored friends. There are two sand courts located on campus, so all you need to provide is the ball.
Another great activity for groups of friends is tubing. I know tubing typically consists of laying around in the sun while slowly drifting downstream for two or three hours, but incorporate some exercise into trips down river. Pull off to the banks and swim for awhile. Swimming upstream and fighting the current is a good way to strengthen your leg muscles and work up a sweat.
For things to do on your own, try going for a jog or a walk through nature. Getting out of the hustle and bustle in town can be rejuvenating. Go for a brisk bike ride or pull out your rollerblades.
Staying hydrated during the warm months is extremely important. After any physical activity, be sure to drink lots of water. Wear sunscreen as well to avoid burns and skin peeling.
When you’re feeling too lazy to work out this summer, remember that the sunshine will be here for only a short amount of time. Don’t let summer be the time that you gain weight. n