We all know that the "freshman fifteen" can be very real. But the concept of gaining weight so quickly, in such a short period of time, during your first year in college has become so normalized that it's really caused an unhealthy mindset. This mindset is making it okay for young adults entering college to eat poorly and treat their bodies badly. But honestly, it is not that difficult for young adults to lead a healthy lifestyle while in college. It can be simple and maintainable as long as you are cautious of your daily actions.
Your body is a temple. We all know that we should take care of our bodies to the best of our abilities. In my opinion, the biggest part of that is making sure that you are eating right. A healthy diet is the easiest way to maintain a healthy weight and improve your overall health. As a college student, it's easy to fall into the habit of eating fatty dining hall or fast food at every meal because that's the quickest and most convenient thing to do rushing from class to class five days a week. However, when you're running out the door at 8 a.m. to make your lecture, grabbing a granola bar or a fruit like a banana or an apple goes a long way when it comes to stopping you from eating badly or eating too much throughout the rest of the day. Try a salad or a sandwich with a side of fruit from the dining hall instead of fat-filled foods. Lastly, replace your snacks like chips and candy with things like chopped up veggies, fruits, and nuts. Making small adjustments such as these can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle while in college.
The majority of people cringe at the word "exercise." But fitting in a little physical activity into your schedule can make a huge difference in your healthy lifestyle as a college student. Although finding the time to get a hard and sweaty workout in can be challenging, that's not what it has to be like when you think of exercising. The easiest way to be active is by walking. Walk to your classes or take the stairs back up to your dorm room. Find the substitutes for things like shuttles or elevators to give you the opportunity to be active. Also, colleges and universities offer free or discounted memberships to the campus gym. Therefore, when you do find the time to workout, take advantage of this free perk.
The last two things I'd like to mention are factors to a healthy lifestyle that people don't really realize that often. As a student, it is important to get enough sleep and wash your hands constantly. These two things contribute so much to a student's healthy lifestyle. Sleep deprivation can cause your brain to be less active throughout the day, cause headaches, and weight gain. Try to get to bed during the week by a certain time and your overall health will improve. Also, we all know that college students are always in close contact with other college students. Therefore, wash your hands before every meal, wash your hands after you use the restroom, wash your hands after class, and be cautious when touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
A healthy lifestyle is very maintainable as a college student. Nobody has to suffer through the "freshman 15" in their first year of college. As long as you are cautious of your daily choices, you'll be able to feel good and live healthily.