Admission News Health & Wellness

5 Ways to Stay in Shape Your Freshman Year at College

Written by CB Community

Going off to college can be one of the most exciting times in a young person’s life.

You’re probably looking forward to meeting some new people from different backgrounds and making lasting friendships.

This is also likely the first step that will lead you down your chosen career path.

There’s a lot to look forward to about college, and having more autonomy is at the top of that list. You have to realize, though, that being more in charge of your actions than ever before means nobody is telling you to eat healthily.

The “freshman fifteen,” referring to the fifteen pounds that some freshmen put on at college, can be challenging to avoid. Here are ways to prevent it from happening:


Some college campuses, if you’re attending in-person, are ideal for biking. You might be able to bike:

  • To and from your classes
  • On bike trails near the college
  • Around the neighborhood near the dorms

Biking burns calories, and if you own a bike from when you were younger, you won’t even have to buy a new one. Just make sure to be careful and only bike in suitable places.

Accidents with cars colliding with bicycles are common, and you’ll likely come out on the losing end of such an encounter.

Getting a Gym Membership

Going to the college gym is another way to stay in shape during your freshman year. You can do things like:

  • Ride the stationary bike
  • Take a spin class if the college offers any
  • Lift weights

Often, you can get a discounted gym membership as a college student. Some smaller schools don’t have the best facilities, but larger or more expensive universities often have excellent ones, with top-of-the-line equipment.

If you live in the dorms, you might get a free gym membership as part of that. You can go by yourself, or arrange days to go with your friends. Working out as a group will help keep you motivated.

Use the College’s Pool

Most schools have a pool in the same facility as the gym. If they have a swimming program, then they might even have multiple pools. Swimming is excellent exercise, as it works several muscle groups.

You’ll probably know how to swim already if you used to do so at camp or the local YMCA.

If you don’t know how, see if you can locate a friend who can teach you. It’s also a way to cool off on warmer days.

Find a Yoga Studio

College-age individuals often know that yoga is useful for staying limber, but it also improves your strength and balance. It helps you control your weight as well.

It might not seem to be as intense as lifting weights or running on a treadmill, but a hot yoga class can burn a ton of calories, and keep you toned.

It will also give you a sense of inner peace and tranquility, and after you’ve been cramming for a midterm, it’s the ideal way to wind down.

Play on an Amateur Sports Team

There are also likely to be some amateur-level sports teams associated with the college.

For instance, you might want to play softball, basketball, doubles tennis, or volleyball. Any of those are perfect ways to burn calories, and you get to sharpen your competitive edge as well.

Even if sports that you engage in have no official college affiliation, that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable.

If no team exists for your favorite sport, you can always grab some of your friends for an impromptu game. All you need is a ball and bat to get a softball game going and some space in a nearby public park.

Eat Healthy and Take Care of Your Body

While all of these are suitable ways to avoid the freshman fifteen, it’s also in your best interest not to go overboard on the junk food.

You’re out on your own for the first time, assuming that you’re not still living at home. Just because you have access to the cafeteria, that doesn’t mean you should forget about green vegetables and eating a balanced diet.

You can best avoid those extra pounds through a combination of exercise and diet. Don’t forget that alcohol plays a part as well.

You might have ready access to beer or other adult beverages for the first time. Make sure to drink responsibly, and also in moderation.

A diet that’s heavy on beer is heavy on empty calories, and that easily translates to weight gain.

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.