BY: Chelsea DeLuca Montminy | Resident Director of Laguna Hall
Avoid the freshmen 15 by putting your dorm to use! It seems the odds are against you after move in day. With the new stress and freedom college offers you; the all you can eat opportunities at the café, late night events with late night snacks, the need for constant coffee – but let’s be real we usually drink more cream or sugar than actual coffee. Exercise not only helps us avoid the freshmen 15 but it helps us be healthy and it helps naturally reduce stress. Part of being in college is learning to care well for our bodies, which is also caring for our souls. We are temples of the Holy Spirit, and exercising and eating right are ways to steward our bodies. We are His creation. He made us well, and part of being made by the Creator and made in his image, is to care for our bodies, to love our bodies by eating well and working out. To work out to be healthy, not to be a certain size or look a certain way, but to love and care for the bodies God has given us. Just in case you think the freshmen 15 is a myth it does creep in and happen. This transitional period brings a lot of dynamics, sometimes we gain weight as a result. We need emotional, spiritual and physical health in these transitions. Gaining weight is not bad, we want to learn to be healthy with what we have, learn to steward our bodies well.
- Cornell University researchers found that college freshman can gain half a pound per week on average.
- The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) found that both male and female college stu dents eat approximately 500 additional calories between the hours of 8 p.m. and 4 a.m.
So what are some ways you can work out when you don’t have much time, money or space? Next time you reach for coffee for extra energy consider working out for energy. A balanced exercise plan includes, Cardio, Strength Training, Stretching and guess what?!?! You can do all of these in your room! Here are some ideas to use for working out, at the end is a few links to resources. Enjoy 🙂 Cardio: Aim for about 30-60 minutes 3 days a week but anything is better than nothing Mountain climbers – hands on the floor, arms shoulder width apart, draw your knee into your chest one at a time, kind of like running in a plank position. Do intervals 30 seconds fast, 30 seconds slow, rest, try a minute at a steady pace, break for 20 seconds and go again: High knees –running in place and bringing your knees up past your waist Butt kicks – running in place, kicking yourself in your butt Jumping jacks – remember being little and jumping jacks were fun? Now it’s a workout DANCE – grab your friends and have a dance party Run the stairs in your building with your floor mates Run to back bay with friends Run some sprints on the soccer field Strength Training: 8-12 exercise 2/3 times a week. If you aren’t gaining or maintaining muscle you might be losing it. Be creative and have fun. You can google any of these! Desk push-ups– hands shoulder width apart feet on the floor in a plank position facing the desk – lower down and lift up slowly and then quickly try to do 10 slow and 10 fast; You can do variations with halls on the wall, edge of bed, chair, and floor. Six pack abs: use your heavy text books sit ups: lap on your back with your feet on the floor, pulled in almost touching your butt, hold the text book to your chest and come up and down, try 3 sets of 30; Russian twists: same position, come up slow holding the text books to your chest, twist and tap your elbow on the ground on your left, then twist all the way to the right and tap elbow continue for 30 taps on each side. Use your chair for leg lifts: sit on the edge of the chair, holding yourself with your arms and lift both feet off the ground then bring your knees into your chest – repeat 3 sets of 30 Planks: hold yourself in a plank position for 10 seconds, build up to as long as you can hold, challenge yourself and go for 2 minutes – have a competition with your roommate or floor mates, who can hold a plank the longest? Squats using your Desk Chair as a target: put your legs shoulder width apart, optional to hold a heavy text book to your chest, squat slowly, keeping your knees behind your toes, and tapping your bottom to the chair, but don’t sit, continue for 3 sets of 15. For more intensity do a jump squat. Forward lunges: keep holding that text book, start with feet shoulder width apart, step forward with one foot, keeping the knee behind the toes, and come back and do it again, do 3 sets of 15, on each leg. For more intensity, you can stay in a lung position and jump instep of step, repeat 15 time on each leg. Use your bed or chair for triceps dips – sit on the edge of your bed, place your hands on each side of you close to your hips, slide your butt off the bed but stay close, and slowly dip up and down. Superman: Lower back exercise lay on your stomach facing down, arms at your side, exhale, lift head, and upper body up, “crunching” towards the hips, and lower slowly, repeat 10 times. Stretching: Reduces our chance of injury, helps us relax, and you don’t need any extra equipment.
Here is a link for a few stretches, you can also go to Youtube and look up yoga videos. http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/stretching_benefits.asp
Remember working out is part of stewarding our bodies well. It is part of learning how to care well, learning what our bodies need to serve God, what our bodies need to do our homework, to be healthy in community. Our bodies all do well with different kinds of workouts, so try these, check the links, google dorm room workouts, try high intensity, low impact, yoga, try a variety and see what is good for you and your body. Dorm room workouts are great ways to keep working out while at college. Let me know if you have questions or want more dorm room workout ideas. I encourage you to be creative with movement in any space you have, see it as fun to learn to workout in a new space and season of life.
More Dorm Workout Ideas:
Great resources for different video workouts that can be done in your dorm with no extra equipment https://www.fitnessblender.com/videos
More intense 5 day dorm room training, great workouts http://tone-and-tighten.com/2014/08/best-dorm-room-workouts-weekly-workout-plan-at-home-bodyweight-exercises-to-get-you-through-the-week.html
Awesome resource for strength: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=629&page=2 https://www.pinterest.com/explore/dorm-room-workout/
Follow two Vanguard alums as they provide great resources for High Intensity Interval Training: https://www.instagram.com/hiitburn/