Freshman 15 Prevention: The Power of Walking


There are many ways Teens can prepare for a healthier, college weight management experience.  “Just One Thing” to bring to college to support the prevention of unwanted weight gain is your ability to increase walking.

This very doable practice, “Move More”, carries many rewards. The ability to eat higher calories minimizing weight gain is one.  Many of my teen and young adult clients, incorporate “more” walking into each day. As part of a healthy lifestyle, this one thing has been key to maintaining a stable weight from one year to the next.

“Exactly how does “Move More” make a difference in my weight?”

There are so many benefits to “owning” the skill of “Move More”,  a foundational way of understanding the value is as follows:


Consider you are “a calorie equation”. Preventing weight gain requires staying within your calorie budget.  Simplified, consider your calories available daily or your “maintenance budget” is based upon your weight.

To calculate, a reasonable place to start is to take your weight and multiply times 10.  

* Labeling on packaging suggesting we all have a 2000 daily calorie budget is misleading.


Good news: this is not the whole story! Your calorie budget is not set in stone. You can make it bigger: The more you move, the larger this daily budget.

Simply put, “Moving More” allows you to “afford” a higher calorie intake.

Let’s look at an example:

A 150 lb. woman has a daily maintenance budget of approximately 1500 calories. If, throughout her day, she adds 90 minutes (450 calories) of intentional walking, her budget becomes 1950 calories.

If one eats “under” this Total, weight loss results over time.

Conversely, eating “over” results in weight gain, over time.


Your Weight is a Reflection of:
Calories required for weight maintenance PLUS how much you move,

As compared to calories eaten.

Unfair though it seems, the average college student is at risk for unwanted weight gain. (Read Kids Health article)

Increasing “your budget” by walking makes maintaining weight so much more doable.


Commonly, my clients do the following:

  • Walking meetings

  • Walk with family members

  • Walk when on the phone

  • Develop a number of “walking buddies”.

  • Park and walk that extra ten minutes to a destination.

  • Decide to take 5 minute “walk-breaks” throughout your day. This adds up!

Remember, the more you move, the more you can afford to eat. Playing the  “Move More” game prevents the average and predictable weight gain. If you do not want additional weight to be part of your college experience, begin now!