Between exams, papers and maintaining an active social life, many college students feel they can’t really find the time to keep up on their personal health and wellness until an illness catches hold and stops them in their tracks. With most colleges providing health care and endless physical activities for students, staying healthy in college is about as easy as it will ever get. Here are a few tips to help students make the most of the resources at their fingertips and to ensure they stay healthy and illness free throughout their education.
- Learn proper portion size. To avoid eating too much of even the healthiest foods, keep track of how much you’re eating. For most people, meat servings should be about the size of a deck of cards and other servings vary by the type of food.
- Vary your meals. When the cafeteria has your favorite foods daily it can be easy to return to those old favorites every day. Changing up your diet from day to day is an important part of good nutrition so take advantage of the variety of selections available to you.
- Eat breakfast. Start your day off right with a good meal when you get up. Whether you’re rolling out of bed at noon or up at the crack of dawn for class, make sure you start your day with a balanced, healthy meal.
- Keep healthy snacks around. It’s easy to eat healthy if you keep the Cheetos at bay and stock your dorm room with fruits and other healthy snacks. You’ll be more likely to reach for these than junk food if you keep them nearby or in your backpack.
- Drink moderately. While college students are known for their partying, you can still have a good time without consuming all the calories that come along with binging on beer, plus you’ll avoid the hangovers and other negative effects. Drink in moderation and you can have a good time without hurting your health.
- Don’t fight stress by eating. It can be tempting to reach for a bag of chips or some cookies when you’re stressed out about an impending exam. Eating won’t help your stress go away, so avoid filling up on snacks. Try working out or taking a break instead.
- Drink water. Drinking enough water can help boost your concentration as well as keep you from overeating. Make sure to keep hydrated as you go through your day by bringing water with you.
- Limit sugary and caffeinated beverages. Beverages may not fill you up, but they sure can help fatten you up and have a detrimental effect on your overall health. You don’t have to completely give up soda and coffee, but you should scale back in order to keep yourself in tip top shape.
- Stretch first. Help yourself avoid injuries by stretching each time you exercise. Simple stretches before and after you work out or engage in physical activity can help keep you active and pain free.
- Ride your bike. Instead of taking the bus or driving to class, try biking instead. It will give you a few minutes of exercise between your courses.
- Play a sport. One way to get yourself motivated to exercise is to make it a game by playing a sport. Join an intramural team or play recreational sports through your school to get active and have fun at the same time.
- Use safety equipment. No matter what sport you’re playing, make sure to always use the proper safety equipment. It will keep you from getting hurt which will allow you to stay active more often.
- Head to the gym. Most schools provide students with gym facilities they can take advantage of for free. Head to the gym between classes or when you get up in the morning to squeeze in a workout.
- Take advantage of fitness courses. Along with gym facilities most students will have access to fitness classes they can take. Since you’re already paying for these through your tuition you may as well take advantage and get a workout that will help keep you in shape and motivate you.
- Walk to class. While taking public transportation might be quicker, walking will give you a chance to stretch your legs, burn some calories and relax before your next class.
These tips will help you become more active and healthy.