In college, balancing school work, extracurricular activities, and relationships can seem like a task, but staying healthy doesn’t have to be. Resources on campus like RecSports and the Center for Health Education and Wellness can help you stay happy and healthy as the year continues.
Some of the most important things you can do for yourself while in college are eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and exercising regularly. Here are some tips for staying happy and healthy:
- Eat breakfast: Not only will this help you focus in your courses, but it will prevent those mid-morning cravings for sugary treats. Low on time in the mornings? Stock up on protein bars. You can eat them on the go to stay full and focused until your lunch break.
- Drink water: Drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water each day. Carry around a sports bottle filled with water and drink it throughout the day to keep from becoming dehydrated.
- Limit fast food: Order salads or sandwiches that don’t contain fried or greasy meat. Select healthy pizza toppings such as olives, mushrooms and green peppers; if you can’t go without meat, opt for Canadian bacon, which is much lower in fat than pepperoni.
- Snack healthy: Keep healthy snacks in your room. Try raw veggies, yogurt and fresh fruit, popcorn, pretzels, low-fat string cheese, applesauce, or granola bars.
- Get as close to eight hours as possible: There will be some nights when getting eight hours of sleep just is not an option—looking at you finals week. However, try to do it as often as possible. Getting enough sleep allows your body and your brain to recharge, helping you stay alert and focused in your classes.
- Establish a routine: The body loves patterns and consistency. When you have a regular sleep schedule it’s easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. So try to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day, even on weekends.
- Change your environment: Make you room conducive to sleep. Keep your room a cool temperature and make sure your bed and pillows are comfortable. Eliminate distractions such as phones or tablets, light and noise. Blackout curtains and eye masks can keep out the light, and ear plugs and fans can help cancel out noise.
- Limit Naps: Naps can be great but only if they don’t disturb your nightly sleep schedule. Avoid them if they begin affecting your ability to fall asleep at night.
- Opt to walk (or bike): When given the choice between walking to class or taking the stairs and driving to class from Fort Sanders or taking the elevator, it can seem like a no-brainer to pick the least rigorous choice. However, this is an easy way to get some extra exercise in for the week—and may even save you some time!
- Work out together: It can be hard to motivate yourself to go to the gym, so pick a friend and work out together. Try one of the many group classes offered at the TRECS, ranging from yoga and pilates to cycling and body sculpt.
- Bring your notes to the gym and do cardio while you study: What better way to manage your time than getting a workout and a study session in all at once? Doing this can make staying healthy and keeping your grades up go hand in hand.
- Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week: This is the recommended amount of exercise a week to remain healthy and happy. It will not only get your heart-rate going but can also help you relieve stress. Try working out five days a week for 30 minutes.