5 Healthy Habits of College Students Who Don’t Gain the Freshman 15


As a college student myself, I know it’s hard to find time for fitness in a busy schedule. However, after a few years of learning how to balance the workload, I’ve gathered 5 healthy habits that college students who don’t gain the "freshman 15" do instinctively.

1. They bike/walk to class.

Seems easy, right?

Do it everyday that it’s not raining. Get up 30 minutes earlier to walk, and you just scored 30 minutes of exercise. Walking at a brisk pace gets the heart rate up to around 120bpm, which is just enough to give your legs a workout, while also burning up to 50 calories per 15 minutes! (Calculations based on a 120lb female.)

Walking with a 25lb book bag forms lean leg muscles and works your core as well! Hello, abs!

2. They don’t eat pizza and ramen every night.

It’s a known fact: you can eat a larger quantity of healthy food than high calorie, processed food when dealing with food portions.

People who don’t gain the freshman 15 don’t overeat. They eat sensibly and until they’re full. They also eat more healthy food such as veggies, fruit, and lean meat. If they eat pizza, they have a 2 slice max, and that’s their meal for the night. Learn to portion control, and you can eat whatever you want.

(Disclaimer: If you’re working out religiously, veggies and lean meat will enhance your body composition and performance tremendously compared to smaller portions of junk food.)

3. They find time for exercise.

The number one excuse is “I don’t have time.” However, students that don’t gain the freshman 15 think differently.

I promise you, as a college student, you have more time now than you ever will. If you have morning classes, you likely have a free afternoon. If you have afternoon classes, you likely have a free morning, and if you work, you likely have a free night. If they can find a free 30 minutes to an hour somewhere in their day, you can find it too. And once you find it, dedicate that time to doing something active. Preferably going to a gym, but if that seems too intimidating, hitting up the walking track at your local college, (the Sanderson has a walking track indoors, tons of treadmills, and a walking track outdoors around a lake behind the building, and it normally stays open till 11pm) or completing a youtube workout on your phone in your dorm is totally doable.

4. They turn exercise into fun social outings.

Grab a friend and attend a fitness class!

Most local colleges have tons of fun fitness classes that offer student discounts! For days when creating your own workout doesn’t seem appealing, instructed fitness classes are my go to!

There are so many fun exercise classes in Starkville!

From OrangeTheory and Midtown Pilates to Firefly Yoga - there is always a class available for you to join!

The Sanderson even offers free spin, water aerobics, yoga and HIIT classes! Most gyms offer free Zumba and yoga classes with a membership! Instructed exercise classes are really great ways to fit in amazing exercise and make friends!

To see what fitness classes are available in your area, download the MindBody app! You’ll be able to find local classes and book your session right from your phone!

If you’re into running, try asking a friend or two to join you for a run around campus or North Farm!

5. They get involved with intramural sports.

If you played sports in high school, intramural sports are a perfect way to stay in shape while still doing something you love!

Most colleges offer a wide variety of sports such as tennis, rugby, football, soccer, ultimate frisbee, and even disc golf. Find something you love, and jump into it! You’ll make great friends, and you’ll burn calories while sweating out the stress from your classes. Intramural sports are for college students, so they are flexible around your schedule!

Don’t be afraid to get involved!

So there you have it! Five easy and healthy habits to form to stay fit in college! You’ll find that the college students who stay fit, are the ones who stay motivated. Here at Mississippi Millennials, we strive to keep you motivated in every aspect of your life! Stay tuned for more healthy tips on exercise and nutrition!


Morgan Gill is a Clinical Exercise Physiology major at Mississippi State University. Pursuing a future in Physical Therapy, she pushes herself to maintain a 4.0 GPA and keep fitness a priority. She mixes her exercise with weight lifting, workout classes, running, and yoga.