The dreaded Freshman 15 that haunts every college freshman’s dream can be beaten. Trust me. I’ve done it and you can too. But if you’re going to be busting your butt at the gym, then these are the 10 things that I consider absolute musts to be a healthy college student.
1// Metal Water Bottle
One of the first things that I did when I started really getting healthy was to cut back on the amount of soda and juice and replace it by drinking water. And because I walk around a lot on campus, it gets hot so I like cold water.
A metal water bottle keeps the water bottle cold for as long as you can imagine. They’re not as cute as some of the plastic water bottles out there, but I think these are definitely more functional. I’m personally a fan of water bottles with straws like this one from Target or this one from Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
2// Stupendous Sneakers
Hehe, see what I did there? Anyway…
Sneakers are those all important things that keep your knees from getting messed up so they are an absolute necessity. Of anything on this list, this is the one worth investing in. Just about everyone who works out has a favorite brand, a brand that creates the right amount of padding, grip, and support for you. If you’re like me, you’re going to want to do a bit of research and for that I recommend the American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society’s article on How to Select the Right Athletic Shoe. If the idea of doing pre-research bores you, go into a store and try on different kinds.
My personal favorite brand is Nike. They have good ankle and upper foot support. But my mom swears by Mizuno’s running shoes. According to her, they give her good arch support which she needs because she’s got heal problems. Ultimately, the only way you’ll find your preferred pair is to put them on your feet and try them out.
3// Compression Shorts
Chub Rub, as it is so affectionately called, is the wonderful thing that happens when two meaty parts of your body rub against one another. It’s usually used in reference to the meeting of your thighs and it normally causes chafing. Compression shorts are the solution to this problem.
These wonderful babies are super tight shorts made of synthetic fabric that slides against one another and they keep your thighs dry to avoid chaffing. The best place to buy them is easily Epic Sports because they’re so cheap.
4// Workout Gear
In conjunction with those compression shorts from above, you need some other cute workout gear.
Again, I recommend Epic Sports because they’re stuff is cheap while maintaining good quality. Unfortunately, their clothes aren’t the cutest which is why you definitely need to do some shopping around. Even though I hate shopping, buying workout gear is always just a little bit of fun.
Music is life. It’s the only way I manage to survive a strength workout. Other times, it’s the only way I can get in a mini yoga session with my roommate in the room.
Again, this is another one of those things where every person is going to have a preference. I’m personally a fan of the Active InEar Headphones by Samsung which you can buy here for $30 or you can buy them cheaper through Amazon for less than $15. If you prefer earbud headphones to earpods, Skullcandy’s are pretty cheap (less than $10) at BestBuy. I’d personally invest in a good pair with either AKG’s Y20U or Smile Jamaica by House of Marley. I don’t have any personal recommendations for wireless headphones because I haven’t used any. But, through some research, it appears that the AYL Bluetooth 4.1 Wireless Sport Headphones are some of the best on the market and they’re fairly cheap at about $30.
Of course, the best way to find your fave set of headphones is through research and trial-and-error. But make sure to have a set you love.
6// Workout Website
This is specific to those days when you don’t want to go to the gym or if, like me, you don’t go to the gym because it makes you uncomfortable. You still need to get in some variety and workout videos are the way to go.
My personal favorite site for good cardio and strength training exercise is Fitness Blender. YouTube is another great place to find videos but I prefer Fitness Blender because you know that all these videos are going to be done by pros.
7// Yoga Mat
These are great for those days when you exercise in your dorm or when you’re doing yoga. There’s really no need to spend a lot of money on these, because you can find a good one just about anywhere.
The one that I have is similar to this one from Target. There’s also this one from TJ Maxx and both of them are under $10. You can, of course, choose to splurge and get a marginally nicer mat but you’re going to change it out in a few years so there really doesn’t seem to be much of a point.
8// Set of Dumbbells
Another necessity for working out in your dorm.
Although I’m a big fan of body weight training, it’s good to get in other types of training. And that doesn’t stop if you’re going to be working out in your room. So grab a set of 5 and 10 pound weights and keep them stored near your new yoga mat.
9// Gym Bag
So you’ve got all these new found toys, but where are you going to keep them? In a new gym bag of course.
There are so many fun options to choose from. There are duffel bags like this one from Adidas or this one from Dalix both of which are under $20. There are backpacks like this one from Teamoy that’s a mix of a backpack and a drawstring bag or this High Sierra Sport Backpack. And countless others out there that you might like.
Pick up one and enjoy going to the gym with your gear in style.
10// Healthy Post Workout Snacks
Yummy food. Save the best for last, right?
I’m personally doing a terrible job at this but that’s okay. There are a myriad of great snacks out there so I’m just going to leave you a couple of links to check them out.
Being healthy is a necessity, so make sure that you have these essentials to make your life a little easier.
What are your health essentials? What about other healthy snacks?
**Updated 1/18/2018 to include Health Ambition’s post after Helen asked me to include it and I determined that it was a valuable resource for y’all. This is not a sponsored post.