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Column: Getting Started on a Healthier Lifestyle

By Acadia Otlowski

It’s so easy to say, “I’ll start tomorrow.”

We all have those moments where we want to start getting into shape and eating healthy, but there’s always that excuse when we are faced with a steaming pile of French fries or a juicy burger.  There’s a lesson to be learned from this, and that lesson is to start today.

Let’s face it, eating healthy is easier said than done. For a student who is on-the-go at all times, it is often easier to just grab a quick bite to eat and keep going. But not only is the food that is served by fast food joints bad for you, eating quick meals makes students less conscious of what they eat.

Perhaps this is the cause of the notorious “Freshman 15.” Students are no longer sitting down to have a meal with families. Students focus on schoolwork, their social life and their jobs, neglecting one of the most important aspects of one’s life: yourself.

Students need to start off slow if they want to succeed at any lifestyle change. Studies have proven that the reason a majority of New Year’s resolutions fail is because of the natural tendency to jump in headfirst to the new lifestyle without any sort of specific plan or intention. To start living a healthier lifestyle one must make small steps towards a specific goal.

For example, I am looking to get back into working out. It is my goal to get back to working out five or six days a week. But if I jump in straight away, I will find myself exhausted and overwhelmed. So my plan is to go to the gym twice this week for two 15 to 30 minute sessions.

Keep in mind that starting the day with breakfast at McDonalds doesn’t mean that going to the gym later is pointless. Sometimes we eat badly and sometimes we regret it. But starting the day off wrong does not make the whole day a waste.

To make a lifestyle change, remember to start slow and start today. Saying that you will start tomorrow is like procrastinating on your health and the more you put it off, the harder it will be to start. It doesn’t have to be a big change, it could be as simple as eating four salads a week. A little goes a long way in improving one’s health.