The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

HPE professor cites need for exercise

By Sarah McVean/nw news editor

Tarrant County has the highest obesity rating in the state of Texas. Of the 10 fattest cities in the U.S., five of them are in Texas.

Angela Neary, assistant professor of HPE, gave a workshop, Fitting Fitness and Healthy Eating Habits into College Life, Sept. 11-12 during the Student Success Days on NW Campus.

“ The number one excuse why people don’t eat well or exercise is ‘I don’t have the time,’” she said.
Fitting an exercise schedule and healthy eating habits into a college schedule is not always easy or convenient.

The first step is making the time.

All students can make the time to exercise. Thirty minutes of cardiovascular exercise four days a week is the recommended schedule, Neary said.

Getting organized with meals and healthy snacks is the second half to fitness.

Plan a trip to the grocery with a list of items to get. Neary said people should think in advance about recipes and snacks and try to plan meals for the week.

Reading labels can help someone understand the food’s nutritional value and the actual number of servings in each package. They can seem deceiving at times, Neary said.

Portion control is important, Neary said. Students should have healthy snacks on themselves all day to avoid eating or overpaying for junk food. Energy drinks are high in sugar and caffeine; drinking a glass of tea that naturally has caffeine will have the same effect.

“ My granola bar cost a dollar at the book store; I bought a pack of 48 for just $10 at Costco. This way you’re eating real energy food and saving money,” she said.

“ It only takes 3-5 minutes every day to pack a lunch, compared to a $6 value meal,” she said.

Students should write down a time during the day where a walk could take place, even if it is for 15 minutes.

All campuses have a gym and all enrolled students can use it. Students can bring clothes to change into when class is over and can lift weights, run or swim.

“ You have to make the decision; you have to have the motivation; you just have to get in there and do it,” she said.

The main focus of the workshop was getting motivated to stick with exercise and educate oneself on healthy eating.

Reinforcing with positive rewards every week can help keep someone from “falling off the bandwagon,” Neary said.

“ It’s okay to go through the drive-thru every once in awhile,” she said. “Just don’t make it an everyday activity.”

For every 100 more food calories consumed each day than are burned, people gain one pound a month.

In order to lose weight, one must reduce calories and increase physical activities, Neary said. By having healthy eating habits and exercising regularly, people will reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.

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