By MAYA PAGE
Between going to class, studying, working on assignments and trying to maintain a social life, it is easy for college students to forget about their health. Among all the stressors that college brings, it becomes harder to hit the gym and easier to grab a slice of pizza. However, developing a healthy lifestyle in college can improve academic performance and creates healthy habits for the future. It isn’t easy, but here are five simple tips to help stay healthy in college.
1. Establish a routine
College comes with a lot of freedom, which can be great, but also has consequences. Students go from home-cooked meals on a regular schedule, to making their own food choices. After settling into the new semester, students can establish set meal times and a work- out routine. Wake up early enough to have a healthy and wholesome breakfast, carry snacks throughout the day if there is no time for lunch and eat dinner at a reasonable hour. It will come in handy to have a daily planner to create scheduled time slots for eating, working out, studying and social activities. Eating at odd times of the day or skipping meals can be very harmful to overall health. Time management is everything!
2. Take advantage of the Fitness Center
The Fitness Center is an amazing asset to the FDU campus that students should take advantage of, both residents and commuters! The Fitness Center is open until 11:00 P.M Monday through Thursday and is even open on the weekends (check out the FDU Knights website for hours of operation). Commuters can make use of the on-campus gym and work out during long breaks. Students can even take yoga, Pilates and Zumba classes. Find a workout buddy and make going to the gym fun!
3. Be smart in the dining hall
It can be extremely hard to eat right when the choices offered aren’t the best. Breakfast is such an important meal because it affects the body’s energy throughout the whole day. Instead of going for the bacon, pancakes, and bagels, choose fresh fruit, and granola with yogurt, or eggs. Lunch and dinner often have the same options of pasta, french fries and pizza, but instead of going for what is easier, students can request the chefs to make them something that is a lot healthier than what is being served. Ask for some grilled chicken then go to the salad bar to make a grilled chicken salad. Try to limit bread and always remember to have a fruit or vegetable at every meal.
4. Have a consistent sleep schedule
Every college student will inevitably experience the stress of an all-nighter, but don’t make it a habit! Sleep deprivation reduces brain function, causes headaches, and will only hurt performance in classes. It is necessary to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. To stay on a regular sleep schedule, try not to eat before bedtime or look closely at
electronics. An hour before sleeping should be spent in the dark and quiet to get the best night’s rest.
5. Drink lots of water & limit caffeine intake
Staying hydrated is one of the most vital aspects to taking care of the body. Water will help with concentration and produces energy. Always bring a bottle of water to class and choose water with meals instead of soda. Caffeine can seem necessary when trying to stay awake during late- night studying, or for that 8 a.m. class, but drinking too much caffeine can be harmful. The combination of sugar and caffeine will result in crashing and feeling bad afterwards, causing the desire to have more. A reminder that when ordering a drink at Starbucks, go for a regular coffee over a fancy Frappuccino drink because they tend to have more sugar than actual coffee and contain a lot of unhealthy ingredients.
College can already be so stressful, don’t make it harder by not taking care of yourself! Remember, it isn’t about weight, trying to maintain a strict diet, or being on rigorous schedule. College is supposed to be fun! It is about feeling like the best version of yourself mentally and physically.