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Three Keys To Physical Health

Hey! My name is James Bowen, and I am going to lead a freshman guys Journey Group this semester. Freshman year is hard. Trying to stay healthy during all the fun and stress can be even harder. Here are three keys I have found to be physically healthy during your first year at UA.


If you live on campus you are going to walk a lot. This is not a bad thing,

The University of Alabama is really beautiful. This was my main form of

exercise during my freshman year. I would burn 400-500 calories without even realizing it just by walking back and forth between my classes, the dining halls, and my dorm. If you want

somewhere to run or a nicer walking path, I would highly recommend going to the Tuscaloosa

Riverwalk. My freshman year was during Covid so I made a point to walk/run on the Riverwalk

every day. (Those are some fond memories from that time!) The walk itself is beautiful,

especially in the fall, and is just the right size for a nice jog. If cardio is not your jam, there are

two really good gyms on campus. The Robert E. Witt Recreational Center (the Witt) is

closer to dorms. but I personally prefer the Student Recreation Center (the Rec). It's a little farther but better in my opinion.


This one might be a controversial one but try to remember to get enough sleep in between studying for classes and making new friends. The proper amount of sleep each night helps with both physical health and mental health. The best way to do this is with proper time management so make sure to stay ahead of your work so you are not doing it late into the night ten minutes before its due.


This one it's pretty obvious, but I ate like an absolute pig my freshman year. I had a rather large meal plan and spent almost all of it at Raising Cane’s over by Lakeside Dining. If I could do it again, I would ration out my fast food eating to 1-3 times a week max. This would have not only helped me eat healthier, but it would have also slowed my spending. I learned way too late that the best dining hall is Fresh Food Company. It is located in the middle of campus so go there for as many meals as you can. Another piece of food advice is to stock some small non-perishable meals in your apartment for when you don’t want to go out. I have a distinct memory of walking in the pouring rain to get some food. Please learn from my mistakes and get some peanut butter and jelly for when you are studying late or just don’t feel like walking.

"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;" 1 Corinthians 6:19

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." James 1: 2-5

James Bowen


Birmingham, AL


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