{image id=1300777 size=large caption="We love junk food but wow is it bad for us" byline=true}Well folks, winter has been brutal but the groundhog has officially decided that spring is coming soon. So, of course now is the perfect time for all of us to get out of our winter hibernation and start getting those beach bods ready for summer. The freshman (or sophomore/junior/senior) 15 can be hard to beat, especially when the New England cold makes running outside seem masochistic. Don’t worry, though. We’ve got some tips for you to actually start getting into the healthy habits you’ve been telling your family about since the beginning of the year.

Try A Balanced Meal

Remember the five food groups you learned about in elementary school? Surprise, they still exist! Even small changes to mix up your diet with foods from each of these groups can make a big impact (especially if you exclusively eat grilled cheese sandwiches every day). Additionally, by branching out you may even find a new random Harvard University Dining Services dish that you love along the way.

Grab Some Friends

The worst thing about trying to start some new ~healthy habits~ is actually sticking with them, so enlist your squad to hold you accountable! Even better, send them this article to guilt them into actually trying some of these tips with you. After all, trying healthy habits is so much easier when your lunch buddy doesn’t have 14 cookies on his/her plate at every meal.

Actually Get Sleep

Most of us already know that sleep is important for helping our performance on all those p-sets, tests, and papers we’re working on, but did you know it can also help you get fit? Sleep plays a big role in keeping the hormones that affect hunger and metabolism balanced (a.k.a. making you more likely to want the most unhealthy midnight snack you can find when you pull an all-nighter). It’s easier said than done, but really try to clock in those eight hours every night – your body, mind, and pset buddies will thank you.

Pray to Get Quadded

Freshmen may see this as a hot take with Housing Day coming up quickly, but why not have your workout routine built into your everyday life? Skip out on the river run and pray to the Quad Gods that you get placed far enough from classes where you can knock out your workout for the week just by running to class. Plus, running to J.P. Licks to get ice cream balances out, right?

So maybe the days of hitting the books (or Cabot Aquarium) instead of the gym are starting to add up, but second semester is the perfect time to turn your life around. If worst comes to worst, you can always get fit by running away from your problems!