Maintaining a healthy lifestyle at McGill

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Everybody has probably heard of the infamous ‘freshman 15’—it is a dangerous and inevitable consequence of unhealthy college behaviour; however, there are ways to avoid an unhealthy weight gain. Determination, willpower and a healthy mindset can make staying healthy at McGill a habit, not a task, and McGill campus services can help with that.

Staying active on campus

1. A membership for the fitness centre costs $32 a semester—a much cheaper fee than most gyms—and provides access to a variety of workout machines and weights.

2. The McGill Gym also offers fitness classes like yoga, Zumba, and boot camps, for those who get bored of running on treadmills and want to exercise in a fun and social environment.

3. Students can join intramural sports teams, individually or in groups, from a selection of more than 10 sports. Intramurals are a great way to get active and hang out with friends at the same time.

4. Student’ Society of McGill (SSMU) offers mini-courses including dance and fitness classes.  Mini-courses not only help students stay in shape, but also allow them to walk away with a new skill—like knowing how to salsa or swing dance. Committing to one of these activities, which happen only once or twice a week, is a manageable way to maintain an active lifestyle.

5. Join a club! There are a variety of sport and physical activity-based clubs offered at McGill by SSMU. Examples include McGill Muggle Quidditch Club and the SSMU Boxing Club.

6. Take advantage of other free or cheap workout classes around McGill. Fit For a Cause offers $2 fitness classes with all proceeds going to a local charity. During finals, Healthy McGill offer free yoga classes. There are also fitness centres around the McGill area that offer free introductory classes, for example Moksha Yoga on Saint-Laurent and Spin Energie on Parc.

7. Walk as much as you can. McGill is located on a hill, so while you may hate walking up to Stewart Biology Building, your legs will thank you. Prioritizing walking can also include taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and going on walks as study breaks.  

Eating healthy on campus

8. It is tempting (and cheap) to live off of bake sales and samosa sales around campus, but there are many healthy alternatives to choose. The Student-Run Cafe in the SSMU Building offers vegan and gluten-free meals, while Midnight Kitchen serves free (or by donation) vegan lunches daily. Other options include delicious salad bars at all residence dining halls, healthy smoothies at Liquid Nutrition, and salad bowls at Quesada as an alternative to burritos.

9. Buying fresh food is made easier through the McGill Farmer’s Market, which offers delicious, local, and seasonal produce on McTavish Street during the fall season, They also offer the option to pre-order vegetable baskets and pick them up on campus, meaning you won’t even need to head to the store to acquire healthy groceries. 10. See a dietician. It is always okay to ask for help, especially when it is regarding health. McGill Student Health Services offers dietary help and has a dietician on campus. Book an appointment to address any questions or concerns you may have, or just to make sure you are on the right track.