While college can be the best time of your life, it can also be the most stressful. On top of keeping up with classes, assignments, and finals, you also have to maintain a social life. With all these things that you have to juggle, it can be easy to neglect your own health. If you are a college student who wants to remain healthy, you are in the right place! Here are some great tips to stay healthy during college:
1. Develop Healthy Eating Habits
It cannot be stressed enough that eating a healthy diet is key to one’s overall health and well-being. Although it can be difficult to eat healthy in college, especially when your options are very limited, there are still things that you can do to develop healthy eating habits. First and foremost, never skip breakfast.
No matter how early your morning class is, be sure to grab a banana or a granola bar to keep your energy up before lunchtime. Without eating breakfast, you may end up overeating for the rest of the day.
Also, do not skip meals. Even though you are extremely busy, there is always time for you to grab a hearty bowl of salad or sandwich. If you are one of those people with late-night cravings, be sure to have healthy snacks prepared so that you won’t reach for junk food or unhealthy snacks to satisfy your cravings.
Another effective way to keep your appetite in check is to eat healthy snacks throughout the day. Fruits, nuts, and string cheese are great snacks to have on hand. In addition, make sure that your meals have a good balance of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, carbs, and healthy fats.
2. Squeeze Exercise into Your Day
The idea of exercising may seem far-fetch to you, especially with a busy college schedule. However, you can still fit exercise into your schedule by walking to classes. This is an easy and effective way to squeeze in some extra minutes of exercise into your daily routine. Many colleges also offer fitness classes and intramural sports programs.
These are fun ways to get your body moving and also meet some new people in the process. Some colleges also offer free or discounted memberships to gyms for you to take advantage of.
3. Get Plenty of Sleep
It is not uncommon for college students to pull an all-nighter to study for an exam or party with friends until dawn. However, you should not make this a habit. Lack of sleep can lead to decreased cognitive function, fatigue, headaches, and weight gain or loss. Although seven to nine hours of sleep are recommended for college students, it is almost impossible to get this much sleep while also maintaining a social life and academic performance. To get as much sleep as you can, take a short nap during the day and keep your room dark and quiet before you go to sleep. Also, avoid drinking caffeine, drinking, or eating right before bedtime.
4. Make a Habit of Washing Your Hands
The last thing you want to experience during your time in college is missing class or messing up the big exam because of the flu. When you are in college, you are almost always in close contact with others. Just walking around campus can expose you to a host of germs and viruses that can get you sick.
To lower the risk of getting sick with contagious diseases, always wash your hands before every meal and any time you will have to touch your eyes, nose, or put something in your mouth.
5. Do Not Smoke
It is common knowledge that smoking is bad for your health. Even so, college students still turn to cigarettes as a way to relieve stress or socialize. Smoking can put you at risk for a range of health problems, including lung cancer, heart disease, and emphysema. If you have trouble quitting, you can go to your student health center for available programs to help you.