For many years, parents, teachers and the media have warned college freshman to watch what they eat and their level of activity when going off to college to avoid gaining the dreaded “Freshman 15.” That is still good advice, but now a new study conducted on over 7,000 students shows that most college students only gain 2.5 to 3.5 pounds during their freshman year and that this weight gain is typical for all young adults and not exclusive to college freshmen.
The study, co-authored by Jay Zagorsky, a research scientist at Ohio State University’s Center for Human Resource Research, also revealed that the only factor that made a significant difference between students’ weight gain and non-collegiate peers’ weight gain was heavy drinking. However, those students that drank heavily still only gained less than a pound more than non-student peers who didn’t drink as much. The average student doesn’t even gain a total of 15 pounds by the time they reach graduation. The typical woman gains between seven and nine pounds, while men gain between 12 and 13 pounds over their college career.
Changes in lifestyle and the added pressures of academic expectations can wreak havoc on the health of new freshmen. It is no wonder this first trying year can cause one to pack on some extra pounds. Determination, organization and composure can combat the prevalent “freshman 15” and the following Sun Salutation (series of 15 poses) can instill just that.
By practicing these yoga poses one right after another while moving with the breath, you will burn calories, increase flexibility and double your stamina. Be prepared for the challenges that lie ahead in your first year of college. Start today.
Sun Salutation Series
1. Intention Setting
To begin, start by sitting or standing in a comfortable position and set your intention. This can be anything from getting an A+ on a test to making it to class on time. Setting an intention will help you realize your goals, and coupled with a yoga practice it will have a little bit more impact.
With obesity becoming increasingly prevalent, it’s no surprise that college students are leading inactive lifestyles. But what’s surprising is that the “Freshman 15” no longer applies to freshmen.
Students are more likely to gain weight their sophomore, junior and senior years. A recent study shows that college students become increasingly more sedentary within their last years of higher education.
“Basically, students came out of college significantly less active and heavier compared to the start of their freshman year,” Jeanne Johnston said. “But it is a gradual process.”
Eli Sussman is a guest author for DietsInReview.com Healthy Back to School. As a recent graduate of Michigan State University, and co-author with brother Max of the college-friendly cookbook Freshman in the Kitchen, he knows a thing or two about navigating the food choices available to college students. Learn more about Eli and Max on their book’s site Freshman in the Kitchen.
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