Making Time to Stay Healthy
By Ariana Pugh
February 22, 2012
Ariana provides different ways to stay in shape without getting off schedule.
In college, staying healthy is often the last thing on your mind. Just finding time to eat dinner seems like an accomplishment, and forgetting your essay and sprinting back to the dorm totally counts as a workout. But making sure to focus on your health means more than just driving away the Freshman 15 – it’s about making sure you’re at your top form so you have energy for class, that internship, and you still have time for a little fun on the weekends.
One of the easiest things to do is get exercise. In addition to the obvious physical benefits, it releases stress-busting endorphins and gives you energy for the day ahead. If your school’s fitness or gym center is halfway across campus, you’re not going to be super motivated to head over after a long day of class. But there are simple, easy exercises you can do right in your dorm.
Try doing some simple stretches before heading off to class – they’ll increase circulation, helping you stay awake and focused before a long lecture. If you’re stressing studying for a huge exam, take a 15-minute break and do a few crunches or pushups. You don’t even have to break a sweat!
Eating healthy can be difficult, especially if you’re on a meal plan with limited cafeteria options. A less-than-perfect diet can result in sluggishness, poor focus, and that dreaded Freshman 15. You can get around that by choosing the healthy options that are available: rather than buying chips to munch on in your room, opt for some salted nuts. If your school’s salad bar is less-than-maintained, pick up some bags of baby carrots for an easy snack.
Sleep is one of the most difficult things to get in college: after all, it’s pretty difficult to balance a social life and good grades and get a solid eight hours. It’s unreasonable to expect that you’ll get to bed by a decent hour every night (or ever), but if you do miss some hours, you can make the day after easier by staying hydrated with plenty of water and healthy eating.
Coffee will help, but too much will make it harder to sleep the next night. The same goes for naps – a twenty minute snooze might be just the ticket to keep going, but longer than an hour and you risk being wide awake when you try to get to bed.
Staying healthy requires some sacrifice, but the benefits pay off in the end – you’ll probably find the increase energy gives you more time to actually relax!
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