Back-to-School Fitness

Zoe Brian ’17
Contributing Writer

With a full class schedule, work-study and social life all taking up precious brain space, it’s frustrating trying to focus on staying healthy while at school. However, sometimes it only takes a few small tricks to keep your body feeling its best. Here are some helpful and easy suggestions for keeping your body healthy and working for you.

       We all love food, but sometimes it’s hard to find food that loves us back. Use these simple guidelines to help you get the most out of Smith Dining.

Plan Ahead

The most important part of healthy eating is planning ahead. The Smith College Dining app makes it easy to see what is for breakfast, lunch and dinner, so make good use of it and plan out your meals. Notice that Hubbard is having a sundae bar for dinner, and you’re craving ice cream? Just factor that into your plan for the day, maybe skip the cookies at grab-and-go and focus on extra vegetables on your plate at lunch and dinner.


A good rule of thumb is the 50-25-25 rule: 50 percent of your plate should be fruit and vegetables, 25 percent protein, and 25 percent grains, cheese, etc. Aim for most of your plate to be taken up by vegetables; fruits provide some nutrients but are also high in sugar. You can eat tons of vegetables without filling up or taking in too many calories.

Taste the Rainbow

When putting a plate together aim for a variety of colors in your food. More colors usually mean you will be getting more vitamins and nutritional benefits from your food. If you have a plate that is 50 shades of brown, chances are it won’t be nearly as nutritious as a plate with greens, reds, oranges, browns and yellows.

Smith Nutritionist

A little known fact about the Schacht Health and Wellness Center is that they have an on-site nutritionist once a week. The nutritionist works one-on-one with you to create a healthy and manageable plan. Sadly, the nutritionist is only here once a week, so they do book up quickly. However, getting an appointment is definitely worth the wait.


       Make sure to utilize all the free workout options available at Smith, including one-credit ESS classes, Get Fit Smith, and open access to the gym are all great options for working out on campus.

ESS Classes

I don’t know about you, but there is something about knowing I’m getting a grade (even if it is just a pass/ fail) that makes me feel accountable for my exercise routine. Smith offers tons of classes for credit that will force you to work out twice a week. Kickboxing, yoga, weight training, salsa and fencing are just a few of the options. Be sure to check out the ESS section of the course catalogue for a complete list.


A number of clubs on campus focus on staying active. Rugby, Ultimate Frisbee and the Running Club are just three examples of social sport clubs that get you working out while having fun and making friends.

Get Fit Smith

Get Fit Smith is an especially good program of free, guided classes for anyone looking to work out in a fun and social way. The program offers multiple classes every day at no cost. Classes range from Awesome Abs to Zumba and everything in between. The Get Fit Smith schedule is available on the Smith Athletic website.


There are tons of beautiful trails around Smith and Northampton for biking, jogging, walking, running, skating or whatever means of transport you prefer. Take a break to explore the path by Paradise Pond, a popular location for dog walkers and local townsfolk. Fresh air and movement will help you unwind and improve your focus when you return to work.

Leave a Comment