Healthy Road to College Living
Guest Blogger: Harper Mac
College is the time many young people get their first taste of independence, and while this is certainly an important step in your life, it can have some grave repercussions if you don’t handle it the right way. With your focus split between your studies and your social life, it can be easy to lose focus on your health. Youth may cover up some of the ill-effects of a poor lifestyle, but not taking care of yourself will eventually catch up to you. There is no one secret to keeping yourself healthy during college, but there are a few things you can do to help keep you on a healthy road as you make your way in the world.
Between classes, homework, and a robust social life, the one thing most college students sacrifice the most seems to be sleep. While the occasional overnight cram session may not be too debilitating, the failure to normally get between seven and eight hours of sleep can lead to some severe complications. Without sleep, your body won’t be able to withstand viruses and diseases, and you may as well begin to experience mood disorders, anxiety, or depression. Take time on most nights to ensure you’ll get a decent amount of sleep, and the rest of your college experience will be that much better.
For the studious, most days will be spent moving between your classes, the library and your desk. This pattern is seriously lacking in any form of exercise, and over time can cause no end of physical and mental problems. You don’t need to become a student-athlete to stay healthy; you just need to take a few minutes, four or five times a week, to exercise. Light to moderate exercise on a regular basis, with specific goals, will help keep your body and mind functioning normally throughout your college experience.
All the exercise and sleep in the world aren’t going to do you much good if you don’t fuel your body in the right way. First, breakfast is the most important meal of the day and even if you don’t feel hungry after a good night’s sleep, you need some kind of nourishment in the morning to feel your best all day long. Then, concentrate on getting several servings of fruits and vegetables each day. The vitamins and nutrients locked in these foods are an essential factor of your overall health and you will notice a difference in your energy levels after moving to a high-vegetable diet.
The shift from high-school to college can be difficult because your daily schedule gets completely messed up. You may find that some days you don’t need to be up until noon, while other days, you need to get going at the crack of dawn. To prevent this kind of hectic schedule from messing with your health, you should establish, and stick to, a daily pattern. By rising at the same time each day and resting at the same time each night, you make it much easier to embrace other healthy choices like eating right and sleeping enough.
College can be stressful enough on its own, so why make things more difficult than they have to be? By making a few positive lifestyle choices you can keep your body healthy and ready to take on everything the college experience can throw at you.
About the Author
Lindsey Harper Mac is a writer and editor living in Indianapolis. She writes on behalf of Colorado Technical University.