Healthy Living in College with Jessica of Belle Adore
22 August 2016
Between busy class schedules, loads of homework, extracurriculars, jobs, and an active social life, college students can sometimes put their personal health and fitness on the backburner. It’s no doubt that the start of a semester is one of the busiest times of the year especially for freshmen who are facing a huge lifestyle change. One of the biggest adjustments they face relates to their eating and exercising habits. Eating late night snacks, working out less often, and the amounts of stress that students are put under during the school year is a recipe for disaster for the health of a student. The Freshman 15 is 100% inevitable so I’m sharing the tips I’ve learned from my first year of school to help you be your healthiest self as the year begins!
1. Keep a Routine – It is incredibly important to establish a schedule and stick to it! Start the morning with a healthy breakfast, make time to eat a sufficient lunch between your classes, plan a workout schedule that works for you, and create a study plan so that you can avoid having to pull all-nighters before any major exam.
2. Keep a Healthy Diet – With a full service dining hall open at almost all times of the day and the freedom to make your own meal choices, it is easy to lose track of what you are putting into your body. It should go without saying that you should incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet a few times a day. Always start your day with a healthy breakfast, even if it’s just fruit and yogurt. Keep healthy snacks around like almonds, fruit, or granola bars if you need an afternoon snack. Along the same lines, try not to fight stress by eating. It’s tempting to reach for a bag of popcorn or candy when you’re studying for a test but instead, trying reaching for a healthier option. Drinking enough water is essential to a healthy lifestyle as well. Staying hydrated boosts concentration and helps fight the temptation to overeat.
3. Head to the Gym – Most colleges have top of the line fitness centers that are available for all students to use. Take advantage of your school’s facility and any of the fitness classes they offer. Going to the gym is a great way to relieve stress and give yourself a much needed break between classes. Make plans with a friend to hit the gym before class or after dinner – being accountable to someone else will make you put in the effort to show up.
4. Stick to a Sleep Schedule – If there’s one thing that college students are known for, it’s staying up late and sleeping in attitude. A lack of sleep doesn’t just make you tired, it also reduces your ability to focus and be productive. Most people need about 7-9 hours of sleep each night. While it might be impossible to get that much sleep every night of the week, it’s important for students to try to get a full night’s sleep whenever they can. Other ways to promote healthy sleep patterns are: avoiding doing homework in bed as it is important to keep your work space and sleep space separate, taking naps during the day just not too close to bedtime, creating a nighttime routine that will signal to your body that it’s time for sleep, and avoiding drinking caffeine or eating sugary food right before bed.
5. Find Ways to Relieve Stress – The amount of stress that college students face can be detrimental to their health if they don’t have ways to relieve it. Take a break from homework to grab a coffee with friends, indulge in an episode or two of your favorite Netflix show, hit the gym, or relax with a hobby you enjoy doing. Anything that will take your focus away from work for a little bit is a great way to relieve some of your stress.
These tips are meant to be a suggestion to help you be your healthiest self once the school year starts! Don’t think of this as a rigid schedule you must follow but try incorporating some of these tips into your day and you’ll notice yourself feeling healthier and happier!