While college is a fun period for most of the students, it is also the time when many unhealthy decisions are made. Forced to squeeze by between the studies, work responsibilities, and social and family life, the very first thing that students sacrifice are their healthy habits. When you are under twenty, a few sleepless nights now and then, eating junk food, or fueling yourself with dozens of coffee-cups per day may seem no big deal. However, catastrophic consequences won’t be long in coming if it becomes a normal routine.
We wish there was a magic pill to keep you safe and healthy with all the stress a college offers. But unfortunately, it requires regular work based on careful planning and the right decisions made at the right moment. Luckily, the job is not that hard if you know the fundamental health principles for college students.
Here they are:
Stick to a Healthy and Nutritious Diet
If you are not Adam Webber from “Blast from the Past”, you already know the huge importance of healthy eating for students. From every screen, someone tells you that a healthy diet not only helps to be energized and cheerful during the day, but also facilitates learning, emotional balance, and good decision-making. It is always easy and fast to stuff your stomach with junk food, but absolutely unbeneficial in the long run.
Instead, choose the least busy day in the week, and use it to cover your food needs for the week ahead. Buy enough fruit and veggies, cook your favorite meals, portion them, and put the portions in the freezer. Next time you get hungry you won’t need to waste several hours cooking. Try to choose healthier options instead of fat and sugar-rich meals. However, don’t be too harsh. Once or twice a week, make cheating days when you can allow yourself your favorite desserts or something forbidden. Just make sure it doesn’t become a habit.
Make Time for a Regular and Sound Sleep
No matter how hard it may be to find time for a good night’s sleep, it is the right thing to do if you want to be a healthy and efficient student. To succeed, you need to stick to traditional time management recommendations.
Start with building your schedule where you include all the major dates like exams, deadlines, meetings, events, you name it. If you are a working student, scheduling is twice as important, so make sure you include your shifts as well. Next, plan your activities in such a way that you have 7-8 hours per night for your healthy sleep.
It doesn’t mean though, that from now on you should cut all your social contacts and stop coming to parties. Just make sure that you can do that without destroying your health. Plan parties in advance and vacate the next day for a proper after-party rest.
Regular stress has a highly damaging effect on the human body. Not only does it hamper learning and memorization, but also causes various CV, GIT, and oncology diseases. And while college years can’t be called calm and peaceful, it’s important to learn to reduce stress if you don’t want to end up on a hospital bed.
There are many ways how you can bring your inner balance back. Some students find it helpful to visit their places of power where they get inspiration and energy to continue the day. Some try meditation. While others prefer to go for different martial arts to punch their tension out.
Whatever is your case, one thing is known for sure: once you find something to help you relax and retain a peaceful state of mind, you’ll notice improved health and better academic results in no time.
Choose a Workout to Your Taste
Keeping your health in a good condition is much easier and cheaper than fixing the negative consequences of bad decisions. Luckily, physical activity is a great prevention method that helps students to stay upbeat and ready for daily academic and social challenges that fall on their shoulders.
Besides, a workout shouldn’t necessarily mean heavy training at the gym. There are tons of different exercises you may do alone or with your friends – it’s just a matter of choosing. What’s known for sure, students who work out at least 3 times a week, report better emotional control and academic performance. They also admit being more goal-oriented, confident, and happy about life.
You may join a stretching group or dare your BFF in tennis. Alternatively, there are numerous online trainers who, for moderate pay or for free, will make up a training program to follow without even leaving your dorm room. If you find something you really enjoy, sticking to it will be a real pleasure.
Don’t Shoulder More Than You Can Handle
The success of your healthy habits depends significantly on how busy you are during the day. It is said that a daily norm of completed tasks for an average person doesn’t exceed five. It means that if your to-do list contains more than that, you’ll either drain yourself out trying to accomplish everything planned or torment for failing. In either case, you’ll be dragged into the swamp of disappointment and additional stress.
In college, it is essential to master bargaining and delegating. Asking your friend for a favor, discussing a deadline extension with your professor, or using professional assistance when you can’t make it on your own – try whatever helps you reach your goals without sacrificing your health and well-being.
One of the Purdue University students shared his secret of making college studies less burdensome: “I do study groups with my friends so I always have someone to explain difficult terms and concepts, or test me. Oh, and I use one really good college essay writing service. It releases so much time!”
No matter how hard your college life is, your health should be your top priority. If it is, everything else will fall right into place.