Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Guest Post from Sam at Fitness, Food, and Faith

Hi Twirling Clare fans!! Sam here from fitness, food, and faith.  Clare asked me to do a little motivational post on health and fitness for college students. Sometimes it feels impossible to maintain a healthy lifestyle while living in a dorm room surrounded by junk food, parties, and the constant desire to just take a nap!  I wasn’t always the healthiest during college, but those four years were when my love of group exercise and cooking meals really started to develop. 

Here are my tips for living a healthy life as a college student:

-          Learn to shop for groceries.  Buy lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and keep the processed food to a minimum.  Fruit like bananas and oranges are easy to throw in a backpack and don’t even require washing!

-          Drink lots and lots of water.  I would fill up my Nalgene bottle several times during the day and always had it with me in class, at the library, or hanging out in my dorm room.

-          Walk or bike to class.  Skipping the bus or car will allow a little extra exercise every day that can really add up over a semester.  Avoid walking or biking in flip flops if you can.  A sturdier shoe will be better for your foot.

-          Wear Sunscreen.  College students are outside a lot between walking to class, studying on a bench, or grabbing a quick lunch in the courtyard.  Plan ahead and put sunscreen on every morning even if you don’t think you’ll be outside for that long.

-          Eat breakfast every morning (and try to keep those Chick Fil A biscuits to a minimum!) and pack plenty of healthy snacks to last you all day (here are a few snack ideas).  I also found it hard to learn proper portion size when faced with an all-you-can-eat cafeteria 3 times a day.  Think about how you are fueling your body instead of mindlessly plowing into a huge bag of chips.

-          Take advantage of on-campus fitness facilities.  When I was studying at Texas A&M, I really fell in love with kickboxing, indoor cycling, and strength training classes.  Now I enjoy teaching all of those classes and realize how motivational group exercise can be.

-          Find other fun ways to get in exercise like a quick game of Frisbee between classes, joining an intramural team, jogging or hiking with a new friend, jump roping in your dorm room, or running the stairs of your football stadium. Here are some exercises you can do in your dorm room.

-          Know your limit with alcohol and don’t use college as an excuse to overdo it consistently.  Peer pressure is a crazy thing, but it’s not worth over-indulging for your health and wellbeing!

-          Develop a healthy and consistent bed time routine.  Try not to pull all nighters, and if you can, don’t study in bed. Here is a blog post I wrote with the help of my husband on good sleep health  that is especially important for college students.  You may want to find some earplugs if you have a hard time falling asleep in a noisy dorm room.

-          Find ways to manage stress and anxiety by making time for yoga or quiet relaxation, exercising regularly, and avoiding stress eating.  A quick phone call home or a study break with a friend always helped me to refocus and get rid of some anxiety.  Also, I found focusing on others (helping with the kids at church or volunteering in the community) gave me a better perspective and slowed that negative spiral that can happen during stressful times.

I’d love to “meet” you, so swing on by fitness, food, and faith when you get the chance and say hi!  I post 2-3 healthy recipes each week along with additional health and fitness tips. 

Thanks, Clare, for having me! 


  1. These are great tips! I wish I had followed some of them a little better when I was in college! I definitely consumed too much Chick fil A :)


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