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6 Tips For Staying Healthy in College

6 Tips For Staying Healthy in College

College can be a wonderful experience, but it can also be a very stressful one. If you don’t take the time to maintain your health, you may find yourself running out of steam before the semester is through. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to help keep you in tip-top shape so that you can perform at your best and get the most out of your education.

1. Make the Right Food Choices

Everyone has heard of the “freshman 15,” alluding to the weight gain most incoming freshmen experience during their first year in school. Much of this is attributed to being in full control of your food choices for the first time. Most student diets are full of pizza, burgers, and beer. These types of food can leave you feeling sluggish as they are not healthy food choices.

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By making your diet a priority, you can make sure you are consuming all of the nutrients you need to support optimal health. It can also help you fight off weight gain while maintaining your energy. Don’t skip breakfast, even if all you can squeeze in is a banana, ensure you are getting your daily doses of fruits and vegetables, lean meats or proteins, and top it off with healthy fats. That way, you can be sure you are eating well-rounded food choices which are crucial to maintaining your health.

2. Avoid All-Nighters

Sleep is also critical to health. Staying up late every night cramming for tests, or partying with other college students won’t give you the ability to fight off disease, or even to focus properly. Try to arrange your schedule to allow for a full eight hours of sleep every night. If you absolutely must miss some sleep, see if you can fit a nap into your schedule the next day to make up for some of the difference.

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3. Get Your Shots

No, not the alcoholic kind – the kind that can save your life one day. It is easy to take a minute to get a flu shot and is highly recommended for those living in dorms. The close quarters make it easier for disease to spread. Getting your flu shot can make you immune to some of the strains that are expected to be particularly powerful that year. That means that even if your roommate catches it, you should be able to skip it.

4. Hydrate for Health

Just as making the right food choices is challenging for some students, remembering to stay hydrated can be even harder. Make sure that most of what you are drinking is plain water, or consider decaffeinated tea if you prefer some flavor (as long as you skip the sugar). Avoid having too many sodas and excessive alcohol consumption.

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5. Stay Active

Some people, when they go away to school, don’t keep active. Many spend their nights partying, drinking, playing video games etc. There are very few who take the time to go out and get some exercise. Staying active and doing a few exercises per week can really help to keep healthy. Even if it’s joining a school sports team or a club team, try to do something active at least once a week.

6. Kick Back and Relax

Every now and then, you need to stop and put your feet up. Relaxation can be critical to your overall health – both mental and physical. It helps you fight stress and gives you a way to break from the educational routine.

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Now, you don’t have to just sit there and do nothing. Choose activities that help you feel at ease. For someone people, spending time with friends can be rejuvenating, while others may prefer curling up with a good book. The most important part is to take the time to recharge, no matter what that means. Your body will thank you for it.

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Shelly Green

Entrepreneur writer and a blogger

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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