Studies have shown that students gain an average of 3 to 10 pounds during their first 2 years of university. Most of this weight gain will be in the first semester of the first year. This is mostly due to the fact that you’re on your own now and can do or eat whatever you want. I’m sure you’ve found your lounging time has increased because mom’s not there nagging you to “go do something.” Along with this, mom is also not there to cook for you. Let me guess, mac and cheese has become your friend?

As a reformed first-year “15’er,” I feel it is my duty to inform the masses on ways to “keep fit and have fun.” I’ve compiled a few fun and cheap activities to do close to campus that’ll get your ass moving and keep you healthy.

Gordon Glaves Memorial Pathway
This is somewhere to take in the great outdoors. You can walk, run or bike this path, located about 1 ½ kilometers from campus off Market Street behind the Civic Center. It’s almost like a choose-your-own-adventure book: you can take a walk in the city and check out some of the historic sites Brantford has to offer, or you can embrace your inner hippy and follow the trail through the woods and fields. It gets you out of the downtown hustle and bustle, plus it’s relaxing.

Wayne Gretzky Sports Center
You can’t talk about being fit in Brantford without at least making mention of “The Great One,” even if it’s just the sports centre named after him. This place is PACKED with goodies just waiting to get your heart pumping and sweat dripping. Located on 254 North Park Street, it’s about an eight minute drive from campus. The sports centre has three arenas, an Olympic size pool and a fitness center. They offer classes such as kickboxing, yoga and Pilates. Basically, there’s something for everyone.

Brantford Farmers Market
Located just over a kilometer away from campus on Icomm Drive, and open all year round, is the Farmers Market. This is a great place to take a walk to, not only for the exercise but for the delicious (and cheap) goodies. You can find anything from fruits and veggies to original artwork. It has everything your typical market has so grab some fresh tomatoes, a head of lettuce and make yourself a fresh salad, damn it!
If you can’t seem to tear yourself away from campus, there are lots of things to do right at home that’ll keep you active and help combat that dreaded “Freshman 15.” There’s a recreation center located in the Wilkes House basement, so get your iPod, zone out and think of spring break as you’re sweating like a gorilla in heat. You also have access to personal trainers on campus if you’re not sure what to do once you actually get to the gym. For more information about on-campus fitness, head to mylaurier.ca.

Healthy Living No-No’s

1) Lay off the sauce. I know it’s hard, but just try. Your gut will thank you.

2) Bagels are the devil. A 12-grain bagel from Tim Horton’s will pack on around 52 grams of carbs. That’s roughly a quarter of what you should have daily. Throw some cream cheese on that and you’re asking for trouble.

3) If you live in residence, walking to class is not exercise. Well, unless you’re speed-walking with your ass cheeks clenched. That’ll probably do something.

4) Smoking is bad. Just think of your face looking like a well-worn baseball glove 10 years from now. You can’t exercise when you’re trying to suck in air and dreaming of your next fix.

5) Speaking of smoking, try to stay off the reefer. It’ll make you gorge on cookies topped with ice cream and Tostitos. Believe me.

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