Fighting the 'Freshman 15'

By Perry Russom

August 26, 2013 Updated Aug 26, 2013 at 11:57 PM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Every day this school year, TJ Lewis hopes you can find him at the East Gym on Binghamton University's campus.

He's a freshman at BU, only five days into his college career, and he was already at the gym sweating it out with his buddy Patrick.

"Gotta stay healthy and keep off the 'Freshman 15'," said Lewis.

In high school, he played football and basketball, but now in college, he isn't playing any organized sports.

To feed his workout habit, he's putting his time in at the gym.

"It helps to let off stress," said Lewis. "Being overweight and being out of shape, that would be horrible for me."

While he does his part in staying fit, BU is doing theirs.

"The way our program is designed, we don't just bring students in and say, 'Here, you have to be active,'" said Jennifer Wegmann, a health and wellness lecturer at the university. "We bring students in. We say we want to you be active. We'll show you how to be active. We also want to tell you why you should be active."

It's a requirement for each student to take what they call a "B-Class" before they graduate.

It's a class combining wellness with an activity component.

Out of the gym and into the dining hall, Wegmann said portion size is based off of how active the person is.

The more active they are, the larger their portion size they can handle.

Students don't just have to go to the gym to stay in shape.

The university offers intramural sports, fitness classes and there's a hiking trail through their nature preserve.

Wegmann said even a simple walk around campus does the job.

"That is a great way to increase physical fitness, burn calories and it also helps students stay healthy," said Wegmann.

Wegmann said for the B-Classes, half of the time is spent discussing wellness with the other half spent doing the activities they've joined.

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