College means taking on new challenges, exploring life with a different mindset, and learning from your mistakes to become a better person. College life can be exhausting, especially with so many new responsibilities coming your way, and so many new people entering (or maybe leaving) your life. Let’s see to the top ways to stay healthy for college students.
Making the transition from teenager to adult in such a short period of time can be anxiety-triggering. Your body might react unnaturally to this anxiety – you might feel the need to eat more and become less active. We’re all familiar with Freshman 15, so if you’re a college newbie, want to stay away from it, and want to keep your mind sharp, here’s how to do it.
1. Take any opportunity to be active
If you’re driving, this could really get in the way of you staying active. Forget about your car for the next couple of days and try biking or walking to class. You will get the daily cardio exercise in, and you’ll start feeling more prone to exercising every day. You don’t have to waste this time; you could listen to a podcast or your favorite music while walking or biking.
If you live on the top floor of your apartment building, take the stairs both ways. Forget about the elevator. Walk up and down whenever you can and work your body. Also, sign up for your campus gym and start going every 2-3 days. You don’t have to spend too much time here; 40-50 minutes will suffice for beginners. You could also sign up for a fitness class on campus (or not) or practice yoga.
2. Eat healthy meals
Food is the most important factor that determines your weight. How can you expect to stay slim if you’re only eating fast foods? There is no way your body can survive on that and be healthy at the same time. This is why you’ve got to replace really bad food choices with healthy substituents.
Here’s an example by Dan, essay writer service and nutrition expert. Have a big breakfast, cook oatmeal with cinnamon and honey and mix it up with some bananas and berries. You could add kiwi and peanut butter. For lunch, have a big side of broccoli next to your chickpeas or lentils. For dinner, eat a healthy salad and drink hot tea. Don’t forget to snack in between meals. Replace fruit jellies with hummus and carrots. Stick to this for at least 21 days and you’ll see a big difference in your looks.
3. Forget about all-nighters
Sleep is crucial to your health, so avoid all-nighters as much as you can. Staying up every single night studying for tests and exams can burn you out. Once your energy is drained, you won’t be able to do anything at all anymore. You might get sick since your immunity is slowly decreasing. To stay in shape, get enough sleep – that would be seven to eight hours per night. If you’ve got no choice but to pull an all-nighter, try to take an afternoon nap the next day to make up for the difference.
4. Stay hydrated
Getting enough sleep and eating healthy meals are two important precedents to becoming healthier – but don’t forget about the water! Drinking plenty of it will ensure that you stay active and can really boost your energy. You should strive for an entire gallon per day if you can.
Don’t try to replace water with something else (at least nothing that’s high in sugar). You could go for some unsweetened green tea or lemon water if you have to. Avoid drinking any type of soda or consume alcohol; they not only drain your energy but also push you to gain weight.
5. Take care of your mental health
With so many changes taking place, you might find it hard to focus on your mental health. While it can be challenging to do so, you must find time for it. Your mind determines your success, so checking with yourself every now and then should be a priority. You could journal or start a daily meditation practice. In any case, find a way to track your progress and see how much you’ve developed over the year.
6. Take time to relax
If you’re doing things and forgetting to breathe and relax, you will burn out. If that happens, you won’t be able to recover too quickly and might lose track of all the goals you’ve been trying to achieve. Take breaks and find time for yourself. Do what you love. Travel, dance, draw, paint, or sing. Find time for yourself; it is absolutely crucial if you want to stay healthy.
What Nobody Talks About: Student Edition
Besides staying active in college, consuming the right amount of food, staying hydrated, and taking time to relax, you should also be concerned with your sexual health. This is an extremely important subject to tackle, yet so many students forget to even consider it. Since students explore their sexuality while in college, here are some important tips on the subject not many people talk about.
- Get tested for STDs just to make sure. The more frequently, the better. You should do it at least once per year.
- Use protection for safety, even if you are in a long-term relationship.
- Discuss sex with your partner. If you haven’t begun your sexual life yet, getting to know what it is all about before doing it is important. Discuss everything openly with your partner. Let them know what you think you’d like or dislike, what you don’t feel comfortable with, and what you expect out of it. Being open helps maintain the emotional and physical sides of it in good balance.
- Get checked regularly to make sure that you’re safe, regardless of your sex. Getting checked regularly reduces the risks associated with cancer, for example.
- Attend informational sessions about sexual health in college. Some more liberal colleges offer these classes for free. If your school doesn’t offer such classes, search for courses around you. It’s always good to stay updated and knowledgeable when it comes to this topic.
- Find someone to talk to. Sex is closely related to your emotional well-being, so opening up about your experiences to someone other than your partner might be helpful. You can get a different perspective on it or get more information on some issues you might be confused about. Being curious about it is perfectly normal, so be courageous and ask. Always ask! There is absolutely nothing wrong about it.
- Do not engage in any sexual activity you’re not comfortable with, even if that means saying ‘no’ to your partner. If you ever feel pressured to do something, think twice about it, talk to someone you trust, and only then make a decision. Do not let yourself be influenced by someone else – when it comes to your body, it is your decision and no one else’s.
Being active in college is crucial if you want to stay healthy. Take any opportunity to be active, eat healthy meals and don’t snack too much, avoid all-nighters if you can, drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, take care of your mental health, and find time to relax. Good luck!