Realistic Resolutions For The Busy College Student
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Health and Wellness

Realistic Resolutions For The Busy College Student

A few small changes that can make a big difference.

Realistic Resolutions For The Busy College Student

The start of a new year prompts people to feel like they should be making some sort of life changing decision. Everyone wants to make a great change for the better, but time and effort always impedes these desires. This is especially true when it comes to the busy schedules of college students. Instead of searching for a drastic change, it’s more realistic to make several simple changes that will altogether have a great impact.

Limit fast food, and avoid eating late at night.

Keeping up with a whole new diet plan seems nearly impossible for most people, let alone students who are buried in schoolwork. The small change of limiting fast food is a great start, though. We all know how terrible it is, so consider how easy it would be only let yourself eat it once a week. Find healthier, similarly priced alternatives—they are out there.

Studies show that when food is consumed late at night, its calories are more likely to be stored by the body as fat rather than burning, which causes people to gain weight. The time of day isn’t necessarily the cause of the weight gain, though; it’s actually because a late night meal will most likely exceed the healthy daily calorie dose. The worst things to consume late at night are cereal, Mexican food, Asian food, cheeseburgers, fries, chocolate, and soda. Unless it is a protein shake, make a goal for 2016 is to stop indulging later on after dinner.

Get the right amount of sleep.

There can be two extremes in college: too much sleep and not enough, and both are detrimental to physical and mental health. The National Sleep Foundation says that people ages 18 to 25 should sleep from 7-9 hours per night. To sleep better, they say to stick to a specific schedule, practice a relaxing bedtime ritual, sleep in the ideal temperature and lighting, avoid caffeine, and turn off electronics before bed. Even though sleep sometimes seems hard to come by, make it a priority to get the right amount in 2016. You will feel better and be more productive because of it.

Consistently schedule each day.

As cliché as it seems to say it’s important to write everything down, it carries a lot of weight. Having everything that needs to get accomplished during the day right in front of you is a powerful motivator, and checking things off throughout the day is a great feeling. In the end, more tasks will get accomplished faster, less things will be forgotten, and stress levels will ultimately decline.

Make time to exercise.

It generally does not feel like there is time to exercise during the semester. It sounds uninspiring, but a goal for 2016 should be to get in at least some exercise each week. Whether it is an intramural league or hopping on the treadmill every Friday after class, it’s fairly easy to at least do something.

The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity at least five days a week to start achieving overall cardiovascular health. This is quite easily obtainable if one finds the motivation to pencil it in each week. Daily exercise also reduces stress and improves sleep, so why not try to make it a habit this year?

Make time to be alone, and find a hobby

A vast majority of students’ time is spent either in class or at home with roommates, which makes finding alone time so much more important. Alone time lets the brain relax and recover. Spending time away from everyone will also end up strengthening relationships with the people you spend the most time with.

If you don’t already have one, a great goal for 2016 is to make time each week to engage in a hobby that’s unrelated to regular obligations. It’s important to take a break from schoolwork to do something enjoyable, so you can return to the grind feeling more inspired. Studies have shown that engaging in an enjoyable activity during down time (other than sitting and mindlessly watching television, of course) is associated with lower blood pressure, lower BMI, and lower depression.

As over-scheduled and overwhelmed as college students can be, there might not be an opportunity to make any monumental changes. However, making a few small changes can still have great benefits, and ultimately lead to a healthier and happier school year.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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