Late night study sessions, all you can eat dining hall passes, takeout and beer do not amount to a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately in college while some aspects of our daily lives are unavoidable there are steps we can take in order to stay healthy throughout our college years!
Whether you live on or off campus, here are a few tips to help you keep yourself on track:
1. Focus on Fitness
Instead of taking your stress out on the pizza bar in the dining hall, take it out on a treadmill! If you are lacking motivation, grab a buddy and hit the gym together. It’s not easy to skimp out on a workout when a friend is relying on you, so buddy up and motivate each other! Most colleges offer cool fitness classes like spinning and kick boxing. If you’re not a treadmill person, spice up your workout with different classes!
The average student should get about 30 minutes of exercise per day. Exercise counts as any activity that gets your heart beat up. Walking to class,going for a brief jog, Even taking the stairs instead of the elevator increases your heart beat and adds towards that 30 minutes.
2. Cook at Home
If you have the option to cook for yourself, defiantly take advantage! When you’re the chef you know exactly what and how much of something is being put into your meals. Being able to control how much butter, sugar or oil goes into meals allows you to be more conscious of your food choices. If living with a group of friends, coordinate nights to cook together or nights were you each take on a meal and serve to one another. Cooking can be fun, social and also help you maintain a healthy lifestyle!
3. Fill Yourself Up With Veggies and Fruit
Full up on fruits and veggies throughout the day to curb cravings. College students simply don’t get enough of these two food groups. The average college student should eat at least 2 cups of fruit and about 3 cups of veggies everyday. To get extra servings top cereal or yogurt with strawberries, raspberries or bananas. To squeeze a serving of veggies, top your pizza with peppers, onions, broccoli, or whatever you prefer!
Go to ChoseMyPlate for more information and tips about what you should and shouldn’t eat.
4. Step Away From the TV
Mindless eating often occurs while watching TV. When eating in front of a show it is hard to realize how much we are consuming, because our minds are elsewhere. Being away at school, out of our parents house, there is no one telling us when dinner is, or what and when to eat. A good way to avoid mindless eating is to make your own rules.
If you tend to sit in front of the TV and eat, try and change your pattern by sitting down at a table and away from technology.
5. Go to Sleep!
Late night studying or staying out with friends can make it challenging for many students to get a proper sleep. Budget your time to make sure you get in your ZZZs. Organizing your day to make sure you get your sleep will not only be make you happier, but you will not be relaying on food and caffeine to get your energy up throughout the day.
Lack of sleep contributes to diabetes as well as obesity. Not to mention waking up groggy puts a damper on everything else you have going on the next day.
6. Cut Back on Soda, Drink More Water
Growing up, we have all been told by our parents and teachers to avoid drinking soda. We were told it causes diabetes and obesity. While the occasional soft drink is not life-threatening, drinking soda everyday, multiple times a day can really affect your health. I’m not just talking about regular soda, diet soda is also a culprit. Studies show that those who consume diet soda on a regular basis are more prone to over eating, most likely because they are rewarding themselves for not consuming calories from their drink. Not to mention sodas are filled with all sorts of chemicals, that over time can cause harm to your body.
Overall, limit the soda and substitute it for good ol’ water! Studies have shown that while most students do gain around 5 to 8 pounds freshman year, it’s no where near the “freshmen 15”.
Students continue to pack on weight throughout the four years, not just the first. It should be called “college 15”. To avoid the weight gain, tweak your lifestyle, incorporate the tips above into your routines to ensure a happy and healthier you!