Run into a healthier lifestyle with the help of CSUF resources

In Opinion

After a long day of jotting down notes during class, suffering through customers at work and dealing with the other random absurdities of life, the last thing anyone wants to do is eat a salad or run a few miles.

However, students need to put time aside to better their habits if they want to live healthier, less sedentary lives, and there’s no better time to start than now.

There is a reason the freshman 15 exists, and it’s all too easy to fall into an unhealthy lifestyle especially with the stress of school and work.

But thankfully, CSUF has great resources available for anyone willing to drop that package of Takis and pick up some carrot sticks instead.  

“College students are challenged with the skill that are required to balance life and to make an active lifestyle a priority,” said CSUF public health and health education professor Laura Chandler.

According to the American College Health Association in the California State University Fullerton Executive Summary of spring 2016, only 2.9 percent of students reported that they ate five or more servings of vegetables per day.

In terms of exercise, the numbers weren’t any better.

The report stated that only 13 percent of students have done at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 5-7 days out of the week.  

When students do make efforts to improve their eating or exercise habits, they often get reeled in by fads and trends that aren’t based on science. Victims of a gluten-free, Atkins or low-fat diet serve as prime examples.

Rather than falling prey to the latest trends, students should make an effort to take control of their eating and exercise habits now to make for a healthier long-term solution.

With the many resources available on campus, it’s not as hard as it seems to start a healthy lifestyle right now.

Not only do students get a free membership to the Student Recreation Center, but there are exercise classes offered by the kinesiology department.

“I strongly recommend every student to sign up for a one unit activity class,” Chandler said. “It breaks up your day. It will keep you active. You have to go. It keeps you motivated.”  

Students with gym anxiety may beg to differ and may not be eager to work out in front of others in a class or while at the gym.

“There are so many fun different types of activities that you don’t have to be an athlete to get involved with,” Chandler said. “Find something that works for you even if it’s pingpong or frisbee or volleyball or tennis or walking.”

Students who attended Discoverfest last week might have noticed all the different activity clubs there are on campus, which are most likely still accepting new members. Unlike going to the gym alone or attending a class, this route allows just as much exercising as socializing, giving students a support group of people who have fun together by being active.

For those who prefer to be active outside rather than in a gym, the Fullerton Arboretum provides a nice little nature walk and yoga classes.

Don’t worry about missing out on opportunities like Discoverfest, FOODucation workshops are available weekly around Fullerton and students can sign up online.

College students’ health won’t improve by continuing to live sedentary lifestyles  filled with poor eating choices. Taking advantage of the many opportunities offered on campus can steadily improve eating and exercise habits.

It won’t be easy and at times it might not be the most fun option, but learning to live an active lifestyle can prevent students from permanently becoming part of the couch they sit on all day.

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