Avoid the dreaded “freshman 15”

Living within approximately half a mile of Wake Forest’s nine dining options — not including the four coffee shops — definitely has its perks. Whenever you get hungry, no matter where you are, there is something nearby to satisfy it.

Choosing the most appealing option, however, will likely not be the healthiest. All of these options will surround you for the next four years, so you should start making healthy choices as soon as you arrive on campus so you don’t fall victim to “freshman 15.”

Chick-fil-A, Boar’s Head and Moe’s Southwestern Grill are undeniably tasty, but you’ll want to eat them sparingly. The healthiest choices are usually the Pit and the New Pit, since they have a variety of options every day, and they always provide salad and fruit. The Pit — a nickname for the Fresh Food Company — also has a deli where you can create your own sandwich. Make sure to grab plenty of vegetables, as well, from the Southern Kitchen.

Check out the menus on the Campus Dish website for nutrition information.

Also, try to avoid eating hamburgers and pizza for every meal.

Sometimes, they may seem more appetizing than the healthier option, but they will really add up in the long-run.

Subway is a good alternative if you want to watch what you eat but don’t feel like eating in the dining halls. However, remember that not everything at Subway is healthy, so pay attention to the menu to make sure you choose a wholesome sandwich.

The other side of staying healthy is exercising, and it’s easy to stay in shape with numerous amenities like  the fitness center, gym, track, tennis courts, Reynolda trails and more. Living right on campus near all of these resources makes the hardest part of exercising simply getting out the door.

That can be difficult, though, when exercising comes after studying, several club meetings, office hours and whatever else you may be involved in.

Working out is easy to forget in the short-term, since you will have deadlines almost every week for your entire four years at Wake Forest, so it is important to make time, even if it’s only half an hour on a really busy day.

By working out regularly, not only will you avoid gaining weight, you will also have less stress and be able to focus better when you do sit down to write that paper or study for that exam.

According to a publication by Harvard University, exercising reduces stress and anxiety, so there is a benefit to your body and your mind.

The gym can be crowded at times, so the best times to go are in the morning or before it closes it at night. I personally enjoy working out at night as I find it relaxing before bed.

Also, if you just want to go for a walk, try the cross-country trails by the Barn. They will lead you on a scenic walk through the woods.

You’re going to be at Wake Forest for four years, so make sure you take care of yourself while you’re here by eating well and working out.