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.
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.
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.
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.
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.