You have probably heard of the ‘freshman fifteen’ or heard college students talking about their increasing caffeine intake, and you are probably wondering how to stay healthy in college.
Between your studies, making future-related decisions and (typically) experiencing a ‘real’ independent phase of life, college is a rewarding and at times challenging experience and opportunity. Many people find that they aren’t as healthy as they expected throughout their college years. But college is a wonderful time to establish healthy habits and create a sustainable lifestyle that gives you space to learn and do what is necessary for your future, but to also take of yourself in the meantime.
Let’s go on to learn a few tips for students on how to stay fit and healthy in college.
How to be healthy in college
Get quality sleep
Quality sleep is crucial for your health. Unfortunately, it is often an aspect of life that many college students find themselves lacking in. If you make an active effort to get quality sleep every night and find a sleep routine that works for you, you’ll experience improvements in your physical and mental health. After all, it is while you sleep when your body has the proper time to rest and recover. Have you found yourself tossing and turning at night, unable to fall asleep? Discover how to fall asleep fast.
Exercise and staying active can be difficult to dedicate time to when schedules are hectic, but making a conscious effort to do so is extremely important. Many college campuses have fitness centers that are bundled in tuition fees and on campus, so it is possible (and more convenient) to make it a part of your routine for when you are on campus. It can be motivating and more fun if you go to the gym with a friend, meet up with someone to go on a walk, or join an intramural team or pickup game of your choosing!
Eat healthy (or as healthy as possible)
When you eat a nutritious meal, it properly fuels and nourishes your body. These are two things you certainly want as a college student. Meal planning and prepping are especially helpful so that you always have healthy options on hand. It is also helpful to have healthy snacks, so stock up on fresh produce and always have a pack of nuts, a protein bar or fruit with you as a healthy snack option. It is also helpful to keep caffeinated drinks limited so that you don’t get too dependent on the caffeine. You can get natural energy elsewhere, such as after a workout, a nutritious meal, or after an inspiring conversation with a friend!
Manage your stress
With exams and all that comes along with your studies as well as being a college student in general, it is natural to experience to go through periods of high stress. This is a great time to establish stress management techniques that work for you, such as meditation, practicing gratitude, journaling, talking with a friend, or finding another method that enables you to manage stress. Stress is a natural part of life for everyone, and if you can establish effective stress management techniques during your college years, you will be immensely grateful for this later on in life as well while you work towards earning your diploma.
Take care of your mental health
Stress management is vital, and so is the rest of your mental health. When there is so much going on as a college student, leaving your mental health as an ‘I’ll get to that later’ can end up sneaking up on you (especially during stressful times such as times of exams). So be proactive and in-tune with where your headspace is at and check-in with yourself consistently. This is also a beautiful habit to develop at as early of an age as possible.
While you are on the go running between classes, the library, home and social outings, don’t forget to stay hydrated! Keep a reusable water bottle with you so you can properly hydrate and support your body.
Maintain your space
When your space is clean and organized, there is less to distract you and less to take up ‘mental’ and ‘physical’ space. While it is an easy excuse to say ‘I’m in college’, a space that you maintain and keep to your standards is the space that you create an environment for yourself to live in.
Listen to your body
Have you ever experienced a time when you have been running so hard in ‘just life’ that you end up getting sick or feeling run down? Let’s avoid that to any and every degree possible. Listening to your body and knowing when you need to sleep, when you need a home-cooked meal and a night in to relax and de-stress, and when you need to get up and move after sitting in the library, will all help you stay healthy and feeling at your best (as possible). Listening to your body is a lifestyle choice and commitment that again, you will be thankful for throughout the rest of your life!