Fighting the “freshman 15” now


Junior Keaton Knuth plays volleyball in PE. PE classes are trying to establish healthy routines now that students can also take to college. Playing sports, as many classes do, are a good activity for friends to stay healthy.

Emily Bauman, Staff Reporter

The “Freshman 15” is the label assigned to the stereo typical 15 pounds of weight gained during the first year of college. The change in activity, diet, and overall routine cause a general increase in weight in freshman randomly set at 15 pounds.

Creating a healthy lifestyle now will establish routines and patterns that will be easily transferable to a college dorm or recreational center. Staying healthy doesn’t mean students need to work out for several hours a day. They just need to find a healthy hobby that they will want to do during their free time, something that may be hard to come by when going to class.

Until the soon to be class of ‘23 takes up their residences at their chosen schools, staying fit in Bloomington-Normal this summer can be accomplished. Even better, Bloomington Normal has a wide variety of low-cost options to not break the bank this summer while trying to stay healthy.

Going to a gym might be the easiest and most obvious route for many students this summer because the equipment and machines are all available.

In the last year, Planet Fitness opened its mall location. They are offering a new summer deal to students  to increase their membership.  All students, aged 15 to 18, can use their facilities for free this summer. This deal can be found on their Facebook page or inquiries can be made by calling the gym.

If working out in a gym gets too redundant or isolated from the summer outside, Bloomington Normal also has several outside and unique activities to burn some calories and get the heart pumping.

Bloomington Normal has the Constitution Trail for walkers, runners, and bikers year round. Winding its way through town, the Constitution Trail is a local and relatively easy way to get outdoors and be active this summer.

Many people will walk in groups, chat and enjoy the outdoors, as staying healthy can be a social activity. “Just walking the trail with my friends is one of my favorites things to do. We all just get together and walk aimlessly,” said Emily Hartman (12).  

Local pools such as Fairview, Anderson, O’Neil, or State Farm are great alternatives to working out. While soaking up the rays, swimming is actually one of the best workouts for the whole body.

New to town, the Proving Grounds is a bouldering facility open to the public. At a low cost, around 20 dollars for a day pass, walk-in climbers can climb the various walls for a fun, challenging workout according to its owner Chris Majerczyk.

Michaela Stork (12) said about Proving Grounds, “My class visited and all I could think was ‘I want to try this’ and it’s actually something that I feel I could just try one day”.  This is a safer option to rock climbing because it is relatively close to the ground and does not require any pre-training

Local parks offer a free place to do other alternative workouts. Youtube and Google offer various pre-planned workout videos that can be followed independently outside at a park. Try searching easy daily workout plans in either search bar to find trainer and athlete plans free to use.

It’s hard to say that working out is something fun or something many people want to just do, but it’s key to preventing the dreaded freshman 15. Make working out during next the school year a habit by finding fun, local, and cheap alternatives to working out this summer to beat the freshman 15 before you even fall victim.