The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Health & Fitness

September 23, 2012

The freshman 15: College offers both healthy and unhealthy opportunities

(Continued)

Todd Pfingsten, director of campus recreation at MSU, said they get about 2,000 people each day through the turnstiles at Otto Arena.

He said the use of the facility is boosted by several factors.

“It’s a combination of both word getting out about our facility, and they’re making better health choices,” Pfingsten said.

During tours of the facility and summer orientations, Pfingsten said they impress upon students the importance a well-rounded college life.

“We talk about the need for getting involved, getting engaged, the need for health and wellness,” Pfingsten said

If you’ve got the exercise part down, the rest comes down to what — and how much — you’re putting into your mouth.

Snacks can be a killer, Gonzalez said. And while it’s not realistic to do away with snacks, dramatic improvements can be made on the nature of those snacks.

She said instead of potato chips or Cheetos, try keeping a little Greek yogurt or string cheese on hand. Pre-portioned nuts are also a good idea. And, of course, fresh fruit or vegetables, while they may be a tough sell, always do a body good.

Gonzales also advises drinking plenty of water. Staying well hydrated can stave off hunger. And with alcohol use, drinking can lower blood sugar, which can cause hunger.

“Dehydration can mask hunger.”

Finally, Gonzalez said it’s extremely important to not skip breakfast. A healthful breakfast lays a good nutritional foundation for the rest of the day and can prevent over-snacking.

“If you skip that meal in the morning, your body will try to play catch up later.”

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