1. Get enough sleep. This is so underrated but extremely important. Sleep gives you energy... to pay attention in class, study well, make WISE decisions. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Did you know not sleeping enough can cause stress which leads to weight gain?
2. Don't procrastinate. Procrastination leads to stress, which you guessed it, leads to weight gain. Not to mention, if you procrastinate you'll be rushing to finish that project which will lead to skipped workouts & Cheetos for dinner.
3. Exercise!! Duh, I know this is obvious. But seriously, exercise makes you feel SO much better. Feel better, do better. This list of reasons to exercise is probably miles long. So, if that means taking the long way to class, joining a yoga class, or simply stretching every half hour while doing homework, get. your. body. moving.
4. Choose healthy foods 85% of the time. Let's be real, it's college. You're bound to eat Ramen for dinner a few times. Pizza will show up, and ice cream is a good stress relief. However, if you choose to abide by the 85/15 rule (healthy food 85% of the time, unhealthy the other 15%), you'll be much better off.
5. Join intramural sports! Almost every college campus has this option. I know MVNU has volleyball, ultimate frisbee, soccer, basketball, bowling & many more. Check them out!
6. Make it FUN!! Seriously, though. Do something you enjoy. If you like running, run. If Crossfit is more your style, do that. Maybe you like yoga. Try different things & do what works best for you. Everyone is different, you don't have to do what everyone else is doing.
7. Drink water. I'm going to go all mom-mode on you. But for real, so many people are chronically dehydrated. You are made of mostly water, so you better be drinking it. You should drink half of your body weight in ounces each day. So, if you weigh 150lbs, you should drink 75 ounces of water per day. Also note, for every 8oz of coffee or pop you drink, you need to drink an additional 8oz of water to rehydrate. (I learned that while shadowing a doctor, so I'd listen to it.)
8. Eat your veggies. Not only are they lower in calorie, but they are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. This means your body is getting the necessary nutrients to make you feel better & fiber keeps you fuller longer. But make sure you get a mix between the types of veggies you're eating. Mixing it up between cooked veggies & raw ones isn't a bad idea either.
9. Make it a group effort! Get your roommate on board, meet friends that are exercise science majors, being healthy with other people is much more fun.
10. ACCOUNTABILITY. I can't stress this enough. You will be more successful if you have someone holding you to your goals. You'll do that workout when no one is looking. You'll choose an apple over a bowl of ice cream. Plus, you get the chance to encourage other people to be healthier at the same time.
11. Find a stress relief. Let's be honest, college is stressful. It's a whole new world and as I mentioned previously, stress leads to weight gain. It's extremely important to find a way to relieve your stress in a healthy way. Maybe that is working out, or drawing, or music, or binge watching Netflix (this can become unhealthy). You need a way to relax every so often.
12. Don't freak out when you slip up. We all slip up. One cookie isn't going to make you gain fifty pounds. Everything in moderation :)
13. Turn off your electronics. Your mental health will thank you. Read a book for fun, go for a walk, dance in the rain, get coffee with a friend, or even take a nap!
14. Keep an eye on your mental health. Your mental health is JUST AS IMPORTANT as your physical health. Maybe you need to see a therapist for anxiety or depression, maybe you need to let out a good cry, maybe everything is okay right now. My point is, the stresses of college can add up very quickly and when your mental health is out of whack, everything is.
15. Drink water. I know it's listed twice. It really is that important. Skip the pop and fill up your water bottle. Also, a little extra tip, hydrate before you caffeinate... which means water before coffee.