If you haven’t heard it before, I’ll be the first to tell you that the Freshman 15 is a very real thing. I’ve always been a pretty active person and I ate reasonably well, but I put on those 15 pounds the same as everyone else in the first few months of being in college. I shifted from homemade healthy meals to all-you-can-eat dining hall food, and I lost the structured fitness regimen that my many years of competitive cheerleading provided. This is a common issue for a lot of people, especially those who were intense high school athletes that no longer have that disciplined routine to keep them in shape.
Luckily, I was able to bounce back from that (although I tend to gain weight every time I go abroad… so we’ll see how I’m doing when I get back from Oxford). By adjusting my diet and finding a workout plan I can stick with, I definitely feel like I’m in much better shape than I was freshman year. In this post, I’m going to talk about some of the different workouts I enjoy and that I regularly incorporate into my regimen. Hopefully, you’ll find one you love.
1. Pure Barre
Pure Barre has become my holy grail fitness routine. While I don’t have it here in Oxford, I’m usually in at least 5-6 classes per week when I’m at home. It’s the perfect combination of cardio and strength exercises, which is what creates results. When I started attending regularly last January, that’s when I finally started dropping that Freshman 15. I can’t recommend this fitness routine enough.
(Bonus: most Pure Barre studios have a retail section up front as well so you can indulge in cute workout clothes after your sweat session. I’m not ashamed to say I own an embarrassing number of barre-related tank tops at this point.)
2. Organized sports
While you may not be participating in the intense collegiate-level sports, that doesn’t mean you can’t join an intramural or a club team. I have friends on a couple of these teams at UGA, and I know that they all love it. Additionally, joining a sports team is how I’ve managed to stay in (relatively good) shape while in Oxford: I’m on the rowing team for my college here, and having those regular training sessions that set up a feeling of accountability is a great way to stave off that “I’m too lazy to go to the gym today” vibe.
In other news, I actually have my first crew race today – it’s the first in the series of races that happen at the end of this term. Wish me luck!
People either love or hate running. For some reason, I’ve always been in the former category – a good long run is my form of therapy. At times in my life, running has been my primary form of exercise, particularly when I was training for half marathons and such. However, it’s gradually become more of a “secondary” exercise in my routine. I use it as cross-training for rowing and as my more cardio-intense workout while I’m at home doing Pure Barre regularly.
If you’re one of those people who falls into that second category, I’d 100% recommend starting a running schedule and holding yourself accountable to it for a month or so. Hopefully, in that time, you’ll find that you hit a point where you actually end up liking it. I always have that moment in a run where I get a huge rush of endorphins – it’s the best feeling in the world if you can find it. “Runner’s high” isn’t a joke.
What’s your exercise of choice?