t can be challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle as a student — with exams, assignments and extracurricular activities, you may be inclined to give priority to your studies as opposed to your health. However, with a few simple changes in your diet, sleep and exercise habits, it will become easier to lead a healthy lifestyle that promotes the well-being of both your physical and mental health. Here are some of our top health and wellness tips for college students:
Many students struggle to maintain a healthy diet because of their busy school and work schedules. Despite this, you must make it a habit to eat nutritious and balanced meals. In order to achieve this, ensure that you do not skip breakfast — the most important meal of the day — because you would be breaking a fast to kick-start your metabolism. If you are running late or do not have the time to sit down and have a meal, grab a granola bar on your way out of the house to eat on the way to school or work. Be sure that you drink six to eight cups of water per day to stay hydrated. Although eating healthy meals is important, set aside a day every two weeks to indulge and enjoy the food that you love. You can still pursue a healthy lifestyle while eating the comfort food you love in moderation or on an occasional basis.
Ah, sleep, a guilty pleasure that students never seem to get enough of. In all seriousness, with all the assignments and exams it may be hard for you to get a good night’s sleep. It is estimated that most people require at least seven to nine hours of sleep a night to feel fully energized and rested. It may be nearly impossible to aim to get that much sleep every night, but at least ensure that you are getting a good night’s rest whenever you can. A lack of sleep can hinder your ability to concentrate and can make you feel grumpy. As for students who seem to have a hard time falling asleep, it is recommended that you try to eliminate alcohol, nicotine or caffeine consumption, limit naps, practice stress reduction methods, and prevent late night eating or drinking to create a daily “bedtime routine.”
Several college or university campuses have a fitness center for students — use this to your advantage and squeeze in a workout whenever you can. Another option is to schedule an hour every three days a week to do some easy at home exercises to stay in shape. Regardless of which option you choose, ensure that you stretch before and after your workout to avoid any injuries. Other lifestyle changes, such as walking to your classes instead of taking the elevator, or riding your bike to school instead of driving, can also be a form of exercise.
It won’t matter how well you excel academically if you fail to live fully. Your health and wellness make a big part of who you are and how you move forward. It impacts your mental and physical performance. Despite how difficult it may seem sometimes to exercise, sleep well and eat healthy on top of a full workload, it can help shape your attitude, strengthen your stamina and believe it or not, make it easier for you to manage multiple tasks, projects, part-time or full-time work and other extracurricular activities.
Still feeling stressed from school? Check out our four self-massage techniques that can help you with that.