How to Stay Healthy in College

Students often neglect their health and fitness while trying to balance different obligations. With studying, going to classes, taking exams and socializing, they often don’t find enough time to take care of their physical and emotional health. Well-being and good health are the number one priority students should focus on, so that they would be able to withstand the stress these efforts might cause. These are some of tips they should follow to stay healthy:

Diet

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Choose a healthy diet. Your diet should be based on essential nutrients and needs to include various types of foods. You should often change meals you eat, thus ensuring the intake of protein, carbs, fats, vitamins and minerals.

Control the amount of food. Don’t overeat, but try to eat several smaller meals each day. Also, avoid eating when you are under stress. You shouldn’t skip breakfast as it will give you much needed energy for the day.

Choose healthy snacks. Exclude unhealthy foods from your diet, or at least reduce them. Instead of a bag of chips or cakes, eat fruit, vegetables, smoothies, and make your own healthy snacks. Junk food should be excluded as well as processed foods.

Watch what you drink. You should limit drinking alcohol. It will dehydrate your body and make you hangover. You wouldn’t be able to function properly and concentrate either. Try increasing water intake. As for sodas and caffeinated beverages, you should be careful how much of these you are drinking. They contain a lot of sugar and other additives. You will consume plenty of calories with no nutritional value.

Exercise

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Exercise regularly. Choose any type of exercise you like most. You can go to the gym, do yoga, walk, drive a bike, dance or play a sport. This will not only alleviate stress, but make you feel and look good.

Walk instead of taking a bus. Whenever you can, walk instead of taking a cab or a bus. This will have tremendous benefits to your health.

Avoid sitting for longer periods of time. If you are focused on studying, you might lose sense of time and how long you’ve been sitting. Try stretching every half an hour or even more often.

Watch your posture. Often, when reading or working on a computer, you might forget to keep a proper posture. This might cause neck pain, headaches, indigestion and more.

Sleep

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Get quality sleep. You will know how much you need to sleep each night. Not everyone needs the same amount of sleep. What’s important is to get at least five hours of quality sleep.

Avoid staying up all night. This will occasionally be necessary for a college student, whether it is studying or partying all night. However, if this becomes a habit, it will have plenty of detrimental effects on your health.

Don’t study in bed. This refers to reading, studying, working on a computer, or browsing social media on your phone. Don’t do any of these things in bed. When you go to sleep, turn off everything because lights from these devices will keep you awake and alert.

Make a sleeping routing. Try to go to bed at the same time every night. Avoid coffee and sugar before sleeping. Keep your room dark and quiet with a lot of fresh air. Take a nap during the day if you need to, but keep it short.

Sexual Health

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Be responsible. This implies having safe sex. Always use protection but also get regular check-ups. Get informed about STDs and react if you have any symptoms.

Talk to your sexual partner. If you have any concerns, you should talk to your partner. Ask questions you think are important and don’t do anything you think would make you uncomfortable.

Get vaccinated. Nowadays, HPV doesn’t have to be an issue. It’s is serious though. This virus causes the cancer of cervix. Get vaccinated to avoid this.

Illness

Prevent illness. You should regularly wash hands, and take care when using public restrooms and showers, especially if shared with a lot of people. When showering, don’t go barefoot due to possible infections.

Keep a distance from ill people. Don’t go very close to a friend with flu. Cover your mouth and nose if someone coughs near you. Do the same when you are ill. Be careful in public transportation as many people are in a closed space and viruses are easy to spread.

When you get sick, avoid going to classes. If you aren’t getting better in a few days, visit a doctor. Drink warm fluids and soups. Take vitamins and minerals to strengthen your immunity.

Consider taking a flu vaccine. This will prevent you from getting a seasonal virus that many people catch and pass on to others.

Stress

Be organized. If you organize your activities, you will avoid getting stressed out. Just maintain your routine according to your plan and it will be much easier for you to balance everything. Try to manage time effectively. Choose how many hours you will study each day and stick to that. Don’t overexert yourself.

Go out, take a nap, and get a break. If you feel that you just cannot concentrate, and you aren’t effectively learning anything, just get a break. During the break, do whatever you feel like at that moment. Go for a walk, take a nap, watch a movie or exercise. Afterwards, you’ll be better able to efficiently study and memorize.

Have a hobby. Do anything that makes you feel good and relaxed. You can join some interesting clubs at your college, or do something by yourself.

Socialize. Keep in touch with your friends or roommates. Make plans to hang out and talk or go do something fun. It is college after all — you need some fun in your life.

Mental Health

Don’t be ashamed. If you feel anxious, overwhelmed or depressed — don’t be ashamed to reach out to your friends, family and doctor. Don’t feel afraid to do so, because you are not alone in it — many students go through it.

Things will change. This phase of your life will be full of challenges and changes. You’ll be learning how to be independent, without your family around. You’ll be making new friends. It might take time to adapt and become comfortable in a new environment.

Try to strengthen your self-esteem. Avoid feeling self-conscious by deliberately getting out of your comfort zone. Reach out to others, socialize and be involved in different activities that will make you feel good about yourself.

Be positive and motivated. This is sometimes hard to do especially if you fail. Failure will make you feel bad, but it’s part of life so try to get over it as quickly as possible and be persistent.