Thursday, September 16, 2010

The (post-grad) Fifteen: Staying Healthy and Fit in Your New Life

You think after you pass the freshman 15 that you're transitional weight gains are over. Whoever planted that idea in my head was a liar. If anything, staying healthy gets even harder after college.

Sure, the all-you-can-eat dining halls have vanished. But so has the three hour gap between Econ 101 and Writing the Essay that you used to hit the elliptical. Finding time to go to the gym when you're working full-time can be difficult for a recent graduate. Since most of us are not early risers, we're stuck at the gym waiting in lines for treadmills. It's such a miserable experience, we just stop going.

On top of that, the rush to and from includes a stop for an Egg McMuffin and a Big Mac. Then your clothes don't fit right because you've gained wait, which makes you stress out because you can't afford a whole new wardrobe and you just want to crawl into a whole somewhere.


Take a deep breath. No use giving yourself an ulcer.

Let's discuss a few ways to keep the extra pounds off while you adjust to a new lifestyle:

1) Make It Social. As I said in my earlier post about Fitting in Fitness sometimes the best things to make things priority is to make it fun. This rule not only applies to fitness but also healthy eating. I have been motivated to eat healthier because my friends and I get to together and make dinner for each other. Is it always amazingly healthy? No but I'm sure the homemade casserole is better for me than a trip to the county fair. For the Record, I'm breaking this rule this weekend.

2) Crack the Books and learn something new. Whether you are learning how to cook vegetarian or how to do yoga. Sometimes the most invigorating experience is succeeding at something you have always been afraid of. For example, I've always been terrified of using an oven or running a 5k ( I wish I was a good runner but I'm not). I'm running a 5k for charity this fall (with friends of course! Rule #1).

3) The Price is Right. Don't let the financial labels associated with healthy scare you. We can't all afford a membership to Sports Club LA but that doesn't make you a lesser person. It's funny because I have a friend who was talking about joining a gym and he refused to join a YMCA because they had a "stigma."

I love that I joined a YMCA. The people are friendly and low-key and the Healthy Lifestyles director is always looking to improve the facilities and classes for members. Additionally, I'm not shelling out every month, being pressured to find a personal trainer or locked into a contract.

You also don't have to shop exclusively at Whole Foods or Trader Joes. There are Farmer's Markets and many chain supermarkets now have special sections for Gluten Free, Vegetarian or Kosher eating. Plus, the supermarkets have buyer rewards programs. Overall it's just about finding the price point that works for your budget. If that answer is zero, find a hike instead of joining a gym. Use to find a running club. Healthy living should be for everyone not just those who can afford super trainers.

How about you readers? How do yourself thin but your wallet fat?


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