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Tip of the Week: College Eating and Fitness

March is National Nutrition Month. This Tip of the Week will help you to learn easy ways to include food & fitness in your busy schedule. Eat nutritious meals and snacks. Food is the fuel needed to keep your body and brain energized. Balance healthy eating with fitness. Exercise helps to relieve stress and keeps your body strong. Listen to your body. Recognize when you are hungry and full, and act accordingly. Be creative. If you don't like the hot food offered, try to combine foods from different areas of the dining hall. For example, add a grilled chicken breast to a salad. Geneseo has multiple dining halls that have different food choices. Try all the dining halls and see which ones you like best. Make time to eat. Even if you can't sit down for a full meal, pack a healthy, portable snack such as fruit, an energy bar, or a sandwich. Food is the fuel your brain needs to help you think. If you skip a meal, you may have trouble concentrating, get a headache or feel like you didn't get very much out of your class. Try to eat a variety of foods and don't skip meals. The nutrition table below provides suggestions of foods to choose at meal times. Utilizing campus services can also help you maintain good nutrition. If you have any food allergies, food intolerances, or food preferences, talk to the campus food services director or meet with the CAS dietitian to discuss changes in weight or appetite.

Top 5 healthy eating tips

1. Make time for meals. Eat three meals per day plus snacks that will give you energy and keep your metabolism active all day. Pack healthy portable snacks such as fruit or a granola bar when you're on the go. 2. Balance your meals. Eat healthy meals that contain foods from at least three different food groups will help to ensure that you get all the nutrition you need to stay healthy. Be sure to eat different combinations of grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and healthy fats. 3. Don't forget dairy. Your bones still need calcium to stay strong. Dairy foods and some dairy alternatives, such as enriched soymilk, provide protein as well as calcium. 4. Stay hydrated. Proper hydration is important for healthy skin and organs. Drink water even if you are not thirsty. Waiting until you are thirsty to have fluids means you are already partially dehydrated. Pack a bottle of water in your backpack. 5. Choose appropriate portions. Food portions are often more than one serving size and they're getting bigger and bigger. You may not realize how much food you are actually eating. When you are at a restaurant, plan on taking half of your meal home or spiltting an entrée with a friend. When eating at the dining hall, take smaller portions to start and go back for more if you are still hungry.

Top 5 ways to include fitness in college life

1. Walk or bike to class. Be active on the way to class instead of taking the LATS bus or a car. 2. Join an intramural sport team. This is a fun way to meet new people and fit in exercise, too. 3. Go for a walk with friends. Stay fit and catch up with friends at the same time. Instead of taking a short cut back to your dorm, take the scenic route and get in a little extra exercise. 4. Take a fitness class as a course. This is a good way to include fitness into your routine and get credit, too. Consider weight-lifting or dancing. 5. Check out the Workout Center. Over 1800 members utilize our Workout Center for aerobic and weight workouts. They may also offer classes such as yoga, cardio, or pilates. Call 245-5348 for more information.

Eating well and staying fit at college doesn't have to be a challenge. Remember to balance nutritious foods and exercise regularly. You'll feel better and have more energy for studying and for time with friends.

*This material is adapted from the Center for Young Women's Health in Boston.