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Staying Healthy at Smith


Personal trainers for hire at Smith:

Kelly Coffey,, (413) 687-2543,

Robin Maltz, (413) 584-5857,

Rosalie J. Peri, R.N., (413) 221-0019,

Joan Kosa Griswold, (413) 268-7482,

Kelly Coffey ’02 is one of several personal trainers who offer assistance to people in the Smith community with getting in better shape. Coffey, who once weighed in at more than 300 pounds, knows what putting on pounds in college is all about. As an authority on the subject, she offers:

15 Ways to Avoid the ‘Freshman 15’

by Kelly Coffey

Temptation, thy name is Freshman Year: New digs, new food options, and sometimes a few new pounds. Who hasn’t heard of the “Freshman Fifteen,” right? Truth is, a little weight gain is expected during such a transitory time, and is fine if it’s put on in a healthy way and stays within a healthy range. The following suggestions can help you form good college-time habits, ones that will keep you in the pink not just weight-wise, but mentally and emotionally as well.

1. Explore.
College is a time of intense learning, and a measure of that learning happens in the dining hall. Try taking small portions of experimental items. If you don’t like it, don’t eat it. Once you know what you like, stick to it.

2. Compete.
Try a new sport! Take it from this alum: sports will never be more available to you, and they’ll never be more fun. Not only can sports help you to stay healthy and fit, they can also be catalysts to new friendships and passions.

3. Anticipate.
If you know you’ll be hurtin’ for a snack in the wee hours, grab an apple or two for the road at mealtime. If you have a good, nutritious snack at the ready, you’re a lot less likely to call Domino’s.

4. Eat.
If micro-mini portions are all you’re taking in, your body may flip into famine mode, desperately clinging to every morsel you consume. Supply it with a steady stream of nutritious food, and your body’ll torch carbs and fats with reckless abandon.

5. Relate.
All of us want to stay healthy. Find a like-minded wellness buddy and support one another’s efforts to eat well and exercise. Chat goals, hold one another accountable, and egg each other on! 

6. Notice.
Girl answers phone while reaching into a bag of Cheetos. Two life updates later, the Cheetos are a distant memory. We’re often unaware of what we’re eating because we’re distracted. Paying attention can save you lots of unnecessary (read: unhealthy) calories. 

7. Sweat.
We often crave more of what we consume in stressful times. Next time you’re stressed, take in something it will only serve you to crave more of: Oxygen. Walk. Run. Scan the athletics website for facility hours, classes and activity-related events.

8. Nap.
Napping is simple, it’s free, and it can supply you with real energy, unlike the sugary snacks we often turn to in the afternoon slump. Just 15 minutes of good, vertical quiet time can invigorate, give you more clarity, and vastly improve your dinner-time conversation skills. 

9. Talk.
Few things are as effective at making something a reality like talking about it. If your goal is to be a healthy and active First Year, mention your intentions to a friend, a housemate, or someone else you feel comfortable with.

10. Be.
Scholastic pressure, peer pressure, meetings, parties... Maintain sanity and balance, and keep comfort-food cravings at bay, by carving out ample time to relax, breathe, and be your own best company.

11. Tea.
Pastries and cookies and cake, oh my! Here’s a novel idea: at Tea, stick to the tea. This suggestion alone is likely to save you a pound or two.

12. Plan.
Plan for, and let yourself really enjoy, a once-weekly indulgence meal. You’ll still feel in control, and the reward will keep you from feeling deprived and subsequently going off the deep end.

13. Do.
When you feel yourself being pulled to the dessert table, let that momentum lead you somewhere else. Imagine how terrific you’d feel if you got something small accomplished every evening right after dinner.

14. Relish.
We’re often quick to criticize ourselves for doing something “wrong,” and miss when we do something great. Each time you make a healthy choice for yourself and your body, take a moment to lavish yourself in (perhaps silent) praise.

15. Train.
Think of personal trainers as fitness tutors. Whether your goal involves your weight, strength or endurance training or flexibility, a personal trainer can significantly increase your odds of success. For-hire trainers are available for the absolute beginner (that would be me!) through the seasoned athlete (see below).

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