The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Although sometimes pricey, it pays to be healthy

During this time of year, most students are concerned about getting back into shape and back into that spring break swimsuit. Unfortunately, becoming healthier and getting back into shape comes with a price – a big price.

The price of a gym membership will vary. If you are a student, access to the Dedman Center is included. Chance Kidwell, a senior finance major, works out five to six times a week. When he is not taking advantage of the Dedman Center, his membership on average costs $20 a month.

According to SMU personal trainer Martha Phillips, “Exercise should be a part of everyone’s life because we’re in a convenience society. The computer, for instance – we never have to move because of it. Physical health will see problems because we’re not meant to be sitting all the time.”

The price for a personal trainer is set at SMU, $60 per session, but package discounts are available. Off-campus training can average between $60 and $100.

When paying for a membership or a personal trainer, you are paying for the community. You are given a place to work out and feel motivated to continue with your personal goals. The positive environment keeps people wanting to learn, said Phillips.

The cost of a membership is worth the self-gratification after working out. When people want that instant gratification, they will pay any cost for memberships, diet foods and personal trainers.

Katie Atkins, sophomore art history major, does not exercise on a daily basis, “but every now and then I get a workout kick. I try to walk every day,” she said.

Monitoring your diet to healthy portions is important for anyone trying to get into shape, Phillips emphasized. “There are good and bad choices,” she declares as she eats her Wheat Thins and peanut butter, a healthy snack to get through those small hunger attacks, “but vegetables are definitely better than this.”

The cost of organic foods is more expensive than foods grown regularly, which are grown with pesticides. At Albertson’s, organic gala apples are $2.99 per pound; the processed gala apples are $1.99 per pound. That dollar difference is paying for the organic handling practices.

The guidelines, according to the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), state that all organic items should be clearly marked, organic produce is palletized and stored separately, and organic agriculture products are displayed to avoid commingling, customer confusion or contamination.

Atkins prefers to shop at Central Market, where a wide variety of fresh organic foods is available. “I think it tastes better,” says Atkins about the organic foods she purchases. On average, she shops once a week and spends approximately $40-$60. Atkins’ grocery cart consists of dairies, salads and fruits.

“I’m not a big candy person, but I like cake,” Atkins admits with a smile.

It is so much easier to hit that Dollar Menu at McDonald’s when your wallet is on a slim budget. Fast-food restaurants are available to the consumer during any time of the day and night. The foods offered may taste good, be affordable and be more available, but it is not necessarily healthier than other foods.

Kidwell claims, “Mentally, protein or diet food will make me happy because I want to look a certain way. Physically, my stomach wants the junk food.” He does not mind putting down a few more extra bucks on food that will make him feel better about himself. On a normal basis, Kidwell can spend approximately $15 on a healthy meal that will provide nutrients that he needs for his diet. On his “cheat days,” Kidwell can spend $6 on a cheeseburger and stay satisfied for that brief moment, but he prefers to avoid that regardless.

There is no magic key to looking good and staying healthy, but eating what you want in small portions and exercising daily can help achieve anyone’s goal.

If you want to get into that sexy swimsuit for spring break and look your best, you can eat almost anything you want, as long as you keep up with a diet and exercise routine that is right for you. Individuals can budget their eating and workout habits the way they prefer. Paying the extra money is worth the taste and worth the feeling.

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