Fight the Freshman 15: 5 Fitness Gadgets to Help You Stay Healthy at College


For students, the first year of college introduces several new hallmarks: new school, new friends, and a brand-new sense of autonomy and freedom. But sometimes that freedom leads to a bad habit or two—like dating that guy who always carries around a copy of Infinite Jest or promoting pizza to its own food group. To help fight some of these freshman failings, we’ve put together a list of our five favorite fitness accessories. They won't stop you from choosing problematic paramours, but they can help you to stay healthy and happy.

Forerunner 935

Garmin is no stranger to recognition and best-of lists. The navigation and fitness giant has been a perennial leader in the wearable game, churning out sport watches and fitness trackers that are as sleek as they are sophisticated. Pressed to pick just one, we would definitely recommend the crown jewel of Garmin’s sport collection, the Forerunner 935. The 935 isn’t just Garmin’s best running watch—it’s arguably the best running watch ever made. With some of the most advanced sport tracking features on the planet, including detailed heart-rate data, GPS-backed performance metrics, and real-time physiological measurements, the 935 is the ultimate running accessory. In addition to running dynamics, the 935 also incorporates multisport functionality, so you can track cycling and swim data, making it the perfect accessory for student athletes of any stripe.

Garmin Forerunner 935 Sport Watch

Fitbit Versa

In addition to killer looks, the Fitbit Versa offers students arguably the best overall fitness and sports-tracking features on the market, including more than 15 exercise modes, an optical heart-rate monitor, and four days of battery life. On top of that, the Versa also allows you to store music locally on the device, so you can stream songs directly from your wrist—which is great for long walks to class, grinding out tough workouts, or playing your favorite hype song before that finals presentation.

Fitbit Versa Fitness Watch

Watch Series 3

Dedicated fitness watches and trackers are great, but most lack the processing power to compete with devices like smartphones and tablets. Cue the Apple Watch Series 3. If you haven’t heard of the Apple Watch, most likely your fitness regimen includes bench-pressing that rock you’ve been living under. The latest iteration of Apple’s do-everything device includes all the features you’ll need to battle the freshman fifteen, including an optical heart-rate monitor, smart coaching, and a ton of wellness applications and features. Like the Garmin 935, the Series 3 also features a barometric altimeter, which helps it track your activities more accurately. And, like the Versa, the Apple Watch allows you to store music locally. No more silent workouts or strapping that iPhone to your arm. With the Series 3, you can work out to music sans smartphone—just you, your playlist, and the Apple Watch.

Apple Watch Series 3 42mm Smartwatch

Gear S3

If you’re an Android user or someone who prefers a more traditional design, consider the Samsung Gear S3. Available in “classic” and “frontier,” the Gear S3 offers fitness features like the Apple Watch and Versa, but with a look that’s more refined. In terms of your fitness goals, the Gear S3 provides daily activity tracking and supports third-party applications from some of the biggest names in the fitness community, including Garmin, Nike, Under Armour, and countless more—the result being an incredibly handsome wearable that will keep you looking as good as it does.

Samsung Gear S3 frontier Smartwatch

Aria 2

In addition to its trackers and watches, Fitbit also manufactures several non-wearables that can help students stay healthy. Chief among those is the Aria 2, Fitbit’s Wi-Fi-enabled smart scale. More than just body weight, the Aria 2 also measures Body Mass Index (BMI), your lean mass, and body-fat percentage. It integrates seamlessly with other Fitbit devices (such as the Versa), and it syncs with the Fitbit app, so you can see your progress and get chart readouts and statistical trend analysis of how you’re doing. If wearables aren’t your thing or if you want to supplement your current Fitbit device with a weight- and body-composition-tracking scale, check out the Aria 2.

Fitbit Aria 2 Wi-Fi Smart Scale

What fitness products do you recommend for freshman and first-time college students? Let us know in the Comments section, below!