The dreaded “freshman 15” is on the forefront of some students’ minds even before they head off to college. I’ve found it’s the sweets from the cafeteria and the snacking in your residence hall that can get you.

It’s possible to fight back even if you are the pickiest eater in the world—like me. Whether you’re interested in keeping your figure or building your body up, Young Harris provides multiple options for every student to stay in shape while having a good time.

One of the most obvious places to work out is the Recreation and Fitness Center. The facilities include a basketball court, an elevated track, a rock climbing wall, tons of fitness and weightlifting machines, a dance studio, locker rooms and the Balance Café, a healthy food and juice bar. There’s a wide range of different machines students can use such as treadmills, ellipticals and bicycles. The great thing is, anyone can come and exercise whether you’re the strongest guy on campus or just a small girl wanting to improve your endurance—all it takes to get access to the equipment is a swipe of your student ID at the front desk, and then you’re good to go!

A lot of students take advantage of the awesome area surrounding campus by participating in outdoor activities. The YHC Outdoor Adventures program I mentioned a few weeks ago is one way to have fun outside. A lot of students gather on their own to play ultimate Frisbee and flag football out on the lawn. It’s simple enough—just gather a group of friends, make teams and get moving. Another easy option to stay active is either going on a hike or taking a jog around campus. You can hook up your iPod and go run by yourself on the road or a nearby trail. On the other hand, if you like working with others towards the same goal, join a fitness group in the Recreation and Fitness Center. There are free group fitness classes like yoga, “Ab Attack” and more that aim to help students live healthier lifestyles. 

Even if you’re not interested in working out or playing sports, it is definitely still possible to stay in shape. Students at YHC walk all over the place. You may have a math class in the Brown Building on one side of the campus and then walk to the other side of campus for your computer class in the Office of Information Technology building. A final piece of advice for prospective students: Bring some comfortable walking shoes... I prefer Converse!