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10 Essential Health Tips For the Busy College Student
Hours of classwork turns into days of studying that amplifies into months of intense courses. Such focus on academic studies can undoubtedly lead to health neglect for students. While it may not be purposely so, many students who enter college gradually move away from healthy habits in exchange for a busier lifestyle. Courses, studying and tests are carefully balanced with extracurricular activities and work, leaving exercise and a healthy diet to the wayside. Though it may be easy to stray from a healthy lifestyle in college, these tips can help ensure your health is at the forefront of your thoughts and actions.
It’s All in the Planning
At the beginning of every week lay out a plan of what you intend to eat every day, and shop for the items that you need to prepare these meals. Organize, prep and pre-cook food so that assembly is quick and easy. You may even prefer to put intended meals in special containers for easy grab-n-go transport.
Use Beneficial Kitchen Tools
Cooking takes time that college students run short on. Get help from a slow cooker or advanced cooking mechanism, like an InstaPot, to help prepare healthy meals in a short period of time.
Schedule in Exercise
If you plan to exercise in your free time, chances are you will not do it. College students have minimal down time, which means exercise must be prioritized. Schedule it in just like a class or work shift to ensure you stick to it.
Focus on Liquids
Not only should college students focus on drinking more water to stay hydrated, but they should also avoid caffeine-based beverages like coffee, tea and energy drinks. These beverages can be packed with sugar and fat leading to weight gain.
Keep Snacks Handy
Late classes and unexpected study groups can be torturous without the proper fuel. Keep healthy snacks that require little to no prep in your bag. This will help keep you from getting ravenous and making unhealthy food choices later.
Make Sure You Eat
Staying healthy does not mean you have to eat less. In fact, restrictive dieting can lead to slower metabolism and weight gain. Eat as much as you need to be fulfilled. Just make sure you are fueling your body with healthy options, like whole grains, fresh vegetables and hydrating fruit.
Break Up Study Periods with Exercise
Studying for hours is hard on the body. Be sure to get up and stretch or walk between periods of studying or in between classes. A quick jog or brisk walk can wake up the body and mind.
Get Enough Sleep
Reduced sleep can lead to more cravings, a slower metabolism and reduced energy throughout the day. Make sure you are recharging your body with regular sleep patterns. Take naps throughout the day if you need to.
Attitude Towards Healthy Habits
Maintaining healthy habits in a high-stress environment full of unhealthy food, alcohol and social events can be hard. Make sure to reward yourself for reaching goals or sticking to your plan. This will make staying healthy worth it short-term.
Give Yourself Grace.
You are going to slip up here and there. You are going to cave into late night pizza or overdo it on sugary beverages. It is not the end of the world. Pick up where you left off at your next meal or next day and keep moving forward. Your future self with thank you.
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