Stay Healthy This School Year
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Health and Wellness

Stay Healthy This School Year

Conquer the flu season and freshman fifteen all in one year!

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Stay Healthy This School Year
Healthy Living Center

Classes, friends, homework, clubs, meal plans, meetings, and responsibilities. College is both an adventurous time and a stressful one! Between juggling school and life things are bound to get crazy these next few months. Whether you're moving in for your very first year or counting down the days until graduation, all college students experience similar ups and downs. What's the best way to stay on top of it all? Stay healthy. It may not seem important, but try incorporating these ideas into your daily life this school year, and you might just find yourself happier and healthier.

1. Get Some Sleep!

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The easiest way to ensure you'll get enough sleep is to get yourself on a schedule. College students should strive for eight hours of sleep per night. But, what about the nights before tests and large projects are due? Suddenly eight hours sounds like a luxury. Well, chances are you already know the dates of all of those things. Work ahead. Get yourself in the mindset that when 11:00pm rolls around you will be rolling into bed. Maybe that means planning your studying better or just stopping where you are and picking it up in the morning. On the flip side, you also want to be getting up at the same time every morning. Your body will adjust to the time, and you'll find yourself waking refreshed. You might even get something done before class!

2. Drink Water

This one tends to be forgotten a lot. Doctors say people should drink eight glasses of water per day. That may sound like a lot, but do the math. Eight glasses is 64oz. Your favorite reusable water bottle holds probably anywhere from 16-24oz. So, you need to drink 3-4 water bottles per day. Now that sounds doable. You need all that water to keep you hydrated and help flush yucky toxins out of your body. Looking for a way to spice up your dull water? Try some of these yummy detox ideas to give your water some flavor and added nutrition!

3. Find Ways to Manage Your Stress

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Newflash, this is college, so things will get stressful. Shocking, I know. But, when it all becomes too much find yourself an outlet. Whether you exercise, listen to music, or just have a space to be alone, you need to let that stress out. Taking just ten minutes to get out of your current environment will help you to recharge and refocus on the issues at hand.

4. Try to Avoid Eating at Night

I'm looking at you, on-campus, open-late, grease filled grill. While it's a myth that you shouldn't eat two hours before bed, late night eating can have effects on you. For starters, you may be more likely to over eat. This could be because your snacks become more indulgent or you simply eat too much. The other big effect could be on your breakfast the next morning. Breakfast (as we all know) is the most important meal of the day. Skipping this meal can cause you to be unfocused or grouchy throughout the morning. But, if you wake up full, who's going to want breakfast? Bottom line on this one is that if you are going to eat at night, watch your choices. Keep them healthy. Keep them in control.

5. Control Your Alcohol Consumption

So, addressing the white elephant in the room, this is college. Yes, there are parties. However, it is completely your choice whether you choose to drink or not. Remember that. But, if you do decide to drink, there are a few things to keep in mind. Excessive drinking can lead to drunk driving arrests or unsafe sex. Too much partying can also cause you to miss classes and fall behind. Binge drinking is also a big issue. Plus, one night of heavy drinking can can have serious effects on athletic training. This is all stuff we know. It has been drilled into our heads since we started high school let alone college. However, what they forget to mention is the calories in alcohol. That beer you had last weekend? It's probably around 150 calories. Doesn't sound too bad, but how many did you have? The glass of wine was probably around 120. Mixed drinks can range from 150-500 calories! So for the weight conscious college student, be aware not only of how much you're drinking, but what you're drinking as well. Be smart about your choices. Make sure you have a friend with you to help keep each other in check. Always drink responsibly.

6. Eat Healthy

For many schools, a meal plan ensures an all-you-can-eat buffet for every meal. You must learn to embrace the inner adult telling you to eat vegetables, and ignore that inner six-year-old insisting that french fries are vegetables. Learning to control what you eat is a freedom not many people realize they have until they are on their own. Don't want to gain the freshman fifteen now do we? Hit up that sandwich and salad bar often! Try to put as many colors on your plate as possible, and I'm not counting the rainbow sprinkles on your ice cream. Check out the My Plate site for ideas on what to eat, and how much to eat. As for the all-you-can-eat part, do you really need that second plate? Keep your number of trips in check. Always stop when you are full.

7. Exercise

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I know this one's obvious, right? While it may sound simple to attend your on-campus gym once a day and stay active, it's much easier said then done. My advice? Find yourself a workout buddy. Someone who can help keep you in check and motivate you to hit the gym after a day full of classes and studying. Plus everything is better with a friend. You two can explore the many options available to keep you active and healthy. Who knows? Maybe you'll join that intramural team or discover a love for something you've never heard of before! Personally, I've discovered racquetball to be fun with friends.

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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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