Staying Healthy In College

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

College can be overwhelming at times. In fact, it might seem overwhelming more times than not, which can take a toll on your health (both mental, physical, and emotional). While it is very important to keep yourself in check and healthy in every aspect, today's post is going to cover the physical aspect of staying healthy.

For some, this might be a struggle (especially when binge-watching Netflix and snacking all the way through sounds way more inviting than a stair-stepper) and others it might be a piece of cake. There are a few simple things that you can change to your every day routine that could lead to a healthier college lifestyle!



1. Drink a lot of water

At any given time, I have three reusable water bottles in my fridge (I need cold water!) waiting in the wings. I drink anywhere between three to five reusable bottles a day and rarely drink anything else (aside from tea and coffee in the morning). Water has so many health benefits that drinking as much as you can helps. If you don't like drinking just water, put some fruit or vegetables in it (lemons and cucumbers are great infusers) or get Crystal Light packages to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. Carry a bottle with you, put it into tumblers with straws (sometimes I'm more apt to drink water if it's through a straw). Just try to make a conscious effort to drink more water throughout your days.

2. Eat fruit and vegetables every day

Take advantage of that meal plan (if you have one) and grab some apples from the dining hall to bring back into your room. Hit up the salad bar on campus or bring fruit with you on the go. Even just a side of vegetables with your lunch or dinner is going to help you in the long run. Slowly but surely adding these foods into your daily diet will fill you up with nutritious goodness and just make you feel better later on that day.

3. Put snacks in bowls

Raise your hand if you cannot resist eating almost an entire bag of goldfish in one sitting. It's hard to control yourself when you're snacking, especially if you're distracted by television or homework and don't even notice what you're doing. Portion your snacks into bowls (I use cups because my bowls are massive and would yield either too much of the snack or make it seem like there wasn't enough in there) and leave the bags and packages out of sight so you are not tempted to eat more.

4. Walk everywhere 

It's very rare for me to take public transportation downtown. Unless the windchill is out of control, I'm walking anywhere that it is safe to. I've walked miles upon miles in nice weather just because I know it's good for me and if you have a nice shuffle happening on my phone (or good company), it's time well spent!

4b. Take the stairs

Elevators take forever, they're normally crowded, and unless it's a ridiculously high floor (or you've got luggage or a heavy load) there's really no need to take it. Take those couple flights of stairs to class. It's the little things that add up!

5. Blogilates/Tone It Up/Pinterest

I hate gyms (for the most part). I get self-conscious, I don't know how to use machines, and I can't even use the machines I want to because of knee problems. However, I do genuinely enjoy working out. In order to get the physical activity that I want to during the week, I resort to exercise and routines that I can do while I'm in my room. Sometimes I make up my own routines based on moves I've seen on Pinterest, in fitness routine videos, or gifs on Tumblr. If I'm not feeling creative or want to extend my workout time, I rely on the Blogilates or Tone It Up YouTube channels for regimented routines that keep you active and motivated.

6. Use campus gyms

As a full-time student at my university, we get a free membership to our rec center on campus, which includes all of the classes that are offered. In my dorm there is also a small fitness center in the basement with the study room and laundry area. Depending on which atmosphere you prefer (rec center is more competitive but motivational and fitness center is private and lets you work out at your comfort level), it's worth it to take advantage of the options that you're given on campus. Check out the facilities and try to get friends to join you to make it a group effort!

Above all, it's really about feeling comfortable with yourself and being at your level of healthy. You don't have to do any of these things, or you can do them all! As long as you feel okay and happy, that's all that really matters.

What's your favorite way to stay healthy in college? 

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