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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: Keeping healthy in the dorms

If you live in the dorms, maintaining your health without the resources you’ve previously enjoyed can be difficult. However, with a carefully planned diet, routine gym visits and a willingness to either work out at dusk or dawn, you can stay in shape.

There are going to be three major obstacles to maintaining your physical form. The difficult access to healthy options which is both tasty and affordable, the difficulty in balancing your social life with trips to the gym and the extremely crowded nature of the Student Recreation Center.

Many of us enjoyed home cooked meals prepared either by family or ourselves prior to living in the dorms, but that all changes around the time your resident assistant starts trying to organize community events, also known as day one.

Your dorm will have a kitchen and fortunately they are rarely crowded and access is easy. Unfortunately, the grocery stores are too far away to reasonably walk and if you or one of your friends has a car, you can count yourself among a privileged few.

Many freshmen at this point fall into the trap of only eating at campus eateries, and while there are healthy meal options you’ll quickly grow tired of them. Fortunately, the university provides students with a transportation service known as SafeRide which will take students to and from various locations on and off campus including grocery stores. This free service is rarely used to its maximum potential and waiting times are never too long that SafeRide becomes unfeasible.

Your next major obstacle is finding time in your chaotic schedule to routinely work out. Many freshmen follow no schedule besides the one that their classes demand and some don’t even follow that. Academic work will be done on a whim and the prevalence of social activities often engulfs a student’s free time.

The best way to work around this is to turn going to the Rec Center into a social activity. I’m not advocating for a Rec Center based drinking game — although I’m sure one exists. I am rather suggesting that you bring your friends to work out.

Perhaps some guy or gal has caught your eye and you’re hopping to get to know him/her better — take them to the Rec Center. If you have a friend that you’ve been too busy to hang out with invite them to go lifting with you. Not only will you push each other to be better, but during the down time there will be plenty of time to joke and share in each others company.

The final obstacle in obtaining the body you’ve always wanted while living in the dorms is the Rec Center itself. We attend a very large university and while our Rec Center is top-notch with plenty of machines and a dedicated staff, there are simply too many students looking to work out. A 30-minute workout in your hometown gym could turn into an hour between waiting for machines and allowing people to work in-between sets.

The simplest way to work around this is to go at unusual times. During the fall and spring semesters, the Rec Center opens at 6 a.m. and closes at midnight. If you’re an early bird or a night owl it might be worth getting your workout in at the crack of dawn or near the stroke of midnight.

If you take anything away from this, just make sure to remember that it’s very possible to stay in shape while living in the dorms. While the Rec Center is what most of us use, there are of course alternatives such as running around campus, joining a sports team, or anything thing else you can think of make sure you stay healthy.

Follow Jackson Morrison on Twitter.

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