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Campus Health

Health Education


Find a balance between food and physical activity

Physical activity has a number of benefits! It lowers the risk of heart disease, colon cancer, and type II diabetes. It helps to building and maintain bones, muscles, and joints. It helps build endurance and muscle strength. It helps manage weight. Plus, physical activity can improve your self-esteem, help you to manage stress, increase energy levels, and improve sleep!

Incorporating physical activity in your day can be easy! Below are tips to help you do so:

Incorporate physical activity into your day:
  1. When parking on campus, always park as far away from your destination as possible and walk—don't cheat and take the shuttle!*
  2. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.*
  3. Take a walk between classes or during part of your lunch break. A walk along the canal is a great way to incorporate physical activity and enjoy one of the best spots in Indianapolis. If it's raining, walking a parking garage ramp or up and down through a building (with multiple floors—take the stairs!) is a great alternative on a rainy day.*
  4. Walk off campus to find lunch - the 10th and Indiana area is not far and has many restaurants.*
  5. Toss a Frisbee or football with friends in the courtyard between classes.
  6. Take a class in HPER—you can't skip it because you’ll be graded!
  7. Sign up for noon fitness walks or participate in intramural sports.

*Tip: Invest in a pedometer to wear each day and keep track of the number of steps you walk. Challenge yourself to increase the number of steps you are walking each day. Challenge your co-workers or friends to a weekly contest to see who can get the most steps each week—you could even have a small weekly prize! You'll sneak in more steps throughout the day and have fun while doing so.

Freshman 15

Upon arriving at college, many freshman experience weight gain often referred to as the "freshman 15." Researchers at Cornell University [] found that incoming freshman gain an average of 4 pounds during the first 12 weeks of the school year. There are a number of reasons why weight gain occurs:

  1. The stress one feels from being in a new environment, homesickness, sadness, and anxiety can lead to finding comfort in food and overeating. The 4 pounds of weight gain found in the Cornell study was caused by consuming an extra 174 calories a day.
  2. New eating habits formed by eating food on-campus and consuming more fast food.
  3. Late-night study sessions often lead to late-night, unhealthy snacking.
  4. Much of the socializing that takes place in college does so around food—pizza parties, ice cream socials, etc.
  5. Lack of parental oversight to plan and prepare healthy meals.
How to avoid the freshman 15
  1. Limit your unhealthy food choices. Even though it's tempting to eat French fries everyday now that you're away from home, try to make sensible food choices at every meal.
  2. Become aware of your habits - keep a food diary that includes what you eat, how much you eat, where you are, why you are eating, and any information that will help you find patterns in your eating habits.
  3. Always keep healthy snack items on-hand so that you are not tempted by the vending machines.
  4. Think your drink - sodas, specialty coffees, fruit juices, and alcohol have lots of calories! Choose drinks that have low or no calories, such as diet soda, skim milk, regular coffee (with skim milk or low-fat creamer and no-calorie sweetener), and water.
  5. Plan ahead - if you know that you will be going to a pizza party for dinner, eat a lighter lunch.
  6. Don’t skip meals. Eating regularly can help prevent overeating at a later time.
  7. Rather than using snack time as a way to socialize with new friends, grab your friends and go for a walk or join an intramural team instead. You could also start your own fitness-oriented student organization with Campus and Community Life - student organizations are great ways to find people with similar interests and a great way to become involved on campus.
  8. Sign up for a fitness class! IUPUI offers all types of physical education class (see HPER listings in Onestart). You can often find pilates, yoga, strength training, and even Mini Marathon training! Earning a grade in a fitness class is a great way to stay motivated and keep going! Enjoy your elective classes!
  9. If you live on-campus, walk from Ball Residence Hall or River Front Apartments instead of taking the shuttle during the day. At night, however, especially if you are alone, remember you can always call campus police for an escort (escort service is available 24 hours a day/7 days a week).
  10. If you live near campus, walk or bike to class instead of driving.
  11. Have a break from classes? Grab a friend and walk to Circle Centre, a sporting event or concert, the Eiteljorg Museum (free with your JagTag!) or the Indiana State Museum.