Foiling the freshman 15 weight gain

Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:59am EST
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Their grades may catapult them into the top universities, but many first-year college students have to learn their fitness ABCs to avoid the dreaded weight gain known as the freshman 15.

Experts say weight gain, whether 15 pounds or five, is a real problem for many young adults thrust, after years of parental supervision, into a make-your-own-rules campus life of midnight pizzas and all-nighters.

And too many lack the physical education to mitigate it.

"Freshmen need help with working out," said Nduka Anyanwu, a certified personal trainer in his senior year at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York.

"They feel intimidated by the gym atmosphere. They don't know how to start, so they walk in and they walk right out," added Anyanwu who, as student manager of his school's fitness center has witnessed this bewilderment firsthand.

So after semesters of helping individual students find fitness, Anyanwu wrote "FitTionary: The Beginner's Fitness and Nutrition Guide to Staying in Shape on Campus," to spread his knowledge of fitness fundamentals.

"I tried to water down everything for people who have no clue," Anyanwu, an engineering and management major, said of his book, which includes information on nutrition as well as exercise.

"I tell them what a treadmill is, what an elliptical is, what stretching is, what a bicep curve is."   Continued...

<p>Personal trainer and author of "FitTionary: The Beginner's Fitness and Nutrition Guide to Staying in Shape on Campus" Nduka Anyanwu poses for a picture at Clarkson University Fitness Center in Potsdam, New York in this handout picture taken September 2010. REUTERS/Christopher Lenney/Handout</p>