Weight loss a challenge after holiday hibernation

William Price

As students return for the spring semester, the gym begins to become more packed with students trying to shed their winter hibernation weight and get spring break ready.

The RAC adjusts its schedule to accommodate those who came off a lazy December and wish to get back in the workout routine.

According to a study done by nutritional scientist RC Baker, Americans, on average, gain 500 percent more weight through late fall to winter as opposed to the rest of the year.

“That’s one reason we’re open until midnight in the spring and not in the fall, to accommodate for the large influx of people getting back in shape,” Chris Butler, assistant director of marketing & communications at Campus Recreation and Intramurals, said.

College students, on average, put on 10 to 14 pounds of fat from the beginning of freshman year to the beginning of senior year, according to research conducted at Indiana University in Bloomington and Tufts University of Boston.

In the majority of these cases, the weight was put on during the winter months.

“I think the most damaging part of holiday season health-wise is the having your schedule interrupted,” Jody Langdon, assistant professor of health & physical education at Georgia Southern University, said.

“We have a ton of programs and ways to get moving again this semester, from intramural bowling to strongman competitions,” Butler said.

CRI will be organizing 10 different intramural sports leagues this semester as well as over 10 different fitness programs.

“We also offer fitness assessments where students can come in to the wellness center at the RAC and get a free fitness assessment so they can begin to set goals and get the ball rolling,” Amanda Kepshire, public relations graduate assistant at CRI, said.

CRI also offers healthy cooking lessons for students this semester taught by a student studying nutrition.

Students don’t always have to do formal exercises. You can go climb the rock wall or play intramural soccer; these things don’t always seem like exercise, but they’re great for you and relieve a lot of beginning-of-the-semester stress, Butler said.

­“I think the most important thing is to make sure you do at least one thing every day, even if you’re just going on a walk, it’s all very important,” Langdon said.

Kepshire said, “The most important thing is to get yourself to the RAC. No one regrets working out after the fact; you’ll always be glad you did.”