Avoiding the freshman 15

August 16, 2009 5:55:17 AM PDT
Recent studies of college students show they gain an average of 7.8 pounds in their freshman year and the scale continues to go up each year of college. Cathy Lang, fitness expert and author of "Wardrobe Workouts: Bye Bye Bra Fat" joined us with tips. If you could only give one piece of advice about avoiding the freshman 15 what would it be?
All you need is a good pair of shoes! No special equipment necessary. With a great pair of shoes you can walk, run, and do basic exercises like squats, lunges & push ups in your dorm room or outside for free.

How do you choose the right shoe?
Find a shoe that feels good on your foot and that is the right size. I suggest getting help at the store so you get a proper fit. Cross trainers are a good choice if you don't specialize in one specific activity. You can find a good shoe at any price point.

What can students do while walking to class, sitting in class and spending most of their time in the dorms to stay fit?
Squeeze their butt with each walking step, tighten their calves while sitting at the computer by pointing toes and always take the stairs in the dorm.

What is the best/most effective exercise for weight-loss?
The exercise you will do regularly. It doesn't have to be torture to count as a workout. Whatever activity fits your schedule best and that you will make a part of your routine is the best choice for you. Just make sure you get your heart rate up.

We hear all the time how the celebrities stay thin with cleanses or the zone diet. What is the best diet to lose weight?
Again, it is about habits and routine. Weight loss is a simple mathematical equation-calories expended need to exceed the calories you take in in order to lose weight. If your daily caloric intake is reasonable you can treat yourself occasionally. When in doubt opt for fresh fruits and veges to fill you up, but there is no magic plan or food combination that will help you stay fit in a healthy way.

If you only have a limited time, say 30 minutes , to exercise a few days a week should I even bother?
Absolutely! 30 minutes of purposeful exercise 3/4 times/ week will definitely put you on the path to a lifetime of fitness. Every bit counts.

Do people with fancy gym memberships get a better workout than those who just seem to play in the outdoors?
Not necessarily. It all comes down to how hard you work and how consistent you are. The fact is that those outdoor enthusiasts just might enjoy what they are doing more therefore they may do more of it and in the end be the fitter group.

Tips: 1- Shuttle buses are great, but as long as the weather permits WALK to class! Walking at a moderate pace burns approximately 118 calories (for a 150lb individual) in 30 min . Assuming each class is about 15 minutes from your dorm & you walk to and from 3 classes a day you could burn 354 calories a day giving you the opportunity to lose a pound in 10 days.

2- If you are too busy with schoolwork to pay attention to how many steps you are taking a day let a fun device like the Nike ipod sport kit do it for you. This gadget will keep track of distance travelled walking or running and calories burned.

3- MIX IT UP- of course you need a little study break now and then, but you also need to get back to the books. Control the amount of time you step away from your studies by making 30 minute music mixes. Play-lists of your favorite songs are a great way to unwind by going for a jog or simply dancing around your room. When the music stops it is time to get back to work but you will be energized & less stressed from your 30 minute activity.

4- The best things in life are free-some of the most effective exercises don't require any special equipment or even a lot of space. Push-ups, dips, squats/lunges and crunches can all be done right there in your dorm-room.

Cathy Lang is an industry leading fitness veteran who has been seen frequently on TV across the country. Based on over 17 years of feedback from her female personal training clients Cathy created a first-to-market brand that customizes workouts according to desired wardrobe?Cathy Lang's Wardrobe Workouts.

For more than a decade, Cathy Lang has incorporated these lessons and taught women how to customize their workout for the variety of styles each woman wants to wear. The former trainer of NFL and NBA athletes brought this straightforward, highly individualized and personally relevant fashion-based approach to fitness to the masses in her book, Cathy Lang's Wardrobe Workouts: Bye Bye Bra Fat (Nightengale Press, 2004).