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Staying Healthy while Living on Campus

Published on October 7, 2015 12:00 AM EST

College is an exciting time for youngsters and, for most,the first chance to try independent living, which is so powerful! But in the words of Uncle Ben, ‘With great power, comes great responsibility.’

Yes, studying, attending classes and doing your assignments on time count as responsibility, but staying healthy has to be on top of that list. It’s easy to take your health for granted, after all, you are young and the vitality that comes with this age is unbeatable.

Studies have found a direct connection between health and academic success, so it becomes imperative that you find your own best ways to remain healthy the whole while living on campus and, continue to do so, even thereafter.

Most people tend to gain some weight during the first year of college. You can easily put the blame on unhealthy snacking and overall eating takeout-everyday-kind-of habits, binge drinking, late-night hangouts, erratic sleep patterns and the least amount of exercise.

Such unpredictable behavior can take a toll on your body and make you feel stressed, drained and even depressed. Ultimately, it can wreak havoc on your immune system and make you prone to unwanted illnesses like flu, colds and others that are found breeding throughout your campus.

Yeah, it’s easy to develop these wild eating and sleeping patterns; after all, you are having a lot of fun! Who’s to stop you?!

Let’s take a look at each area where you can improvise to maintain your health. And if you haven’t already, see how you can implement these suggestions to undo any unhealthy patterns prevailing in your current campus lifestyle:


Schedule it


The whole time you were growing up, it was your parents or other caregivers that established your schedules and kept your life in a set routine. Well, there is much power to living in an orderly fashion.

Therefore, having a predictable time to eat and sleepand to possibly poop,will enable your body to predict when the next meal is expected, rest and will thereby, regulate everything within our body a proper manner.

The way you keep your room will reflect your state of mind actually. They say a tidy room is a tidy mind. So start with keeping all your things in order – your books, clothes, student ID, everything in their designated area.


Eat right


You need to care where your food comes from and what goes inside your body. Those takeout’s, pizzas, sodas and cheese burgers on the fly are not doing your body any good.

You need all those vitamins and minerals from real food. Popping supplements as a substitute just won’t cut it. And fiber, to help your body eliminate every day, yes, pooping every day is the healthy norm.

If you must, then drink soda in moderationanddrink waterwhen you’re thirsty. Snack on granola bars and fresh fruits/ cut vegetables like baby carrots, instead of reaching for that mistrusted vending machine in the hallway. And yeah, potato chips don’t count as vegetables!

Have you seen the documentary ‘Super-Size Me’ yet? Anyway, having an overall balanced diet will keep your weight in check and will keep you from feeling stressed and depressed, to say the least.


Sleep right


Getting some sleep here and there, in the mornings and snoozing in your class in the afternoons will disturb your natural rhythm and willmake you so irritable. Yeah, being grouchy won’thelp anybody, neither, especially yourown body.

Having regulated sleep – at least 8 to 9 hours – ata stretch, can reap you a ton of benefits for both your body and your mind.This is the time your body actually spends repairing and renewing cells essential for healthy living. You will be well-rested, alert during your classes, and you will have a clear head to successfully work on your homework, upcoming term papers and other activities.

Sipping on tea/coffee, especially after 5pm can turn up all those caffeine levels in your body that make it very hard for you to fall asleep at night time.


Avoid Stressing


College time, as exciting as it is meant to be can also become stressful. The stress is not just for academic purposes, but meeting new people, building and failing new relationships and the whole pressure of making it through college is very, very stressful indeed.

Stress can play havoc on your body, making it vulnerable to illnesses. So look at these situations as opportunities to learn, manage and grow.

Sometimes all you need is someone to listen to your problems, feel free to turn to a close friend, or your counselor if you feel like talking about your frustrations or anything else that is stressing you.


Exercise Daily


Your mind is constantly working with the academics at hand, but to maintain your health you need to care about your body, too. Most colleges have programs and activities that are designed to help youngsters stay active physically.

It’s up to you to choose which program suits your abilities (or try something new!) and then simply join them. Plan it well into your schedule, so you get your body moving, plus, you get to meet and make new friends!

If there are no activities that appeal to you, then you can still keep moving by refusing to take the campus bus and walking to class or stores instead. A quick stroll, swimming, or a run like this is all you need every day to keep fit. Yes, 15-20 minutes of physical activity is all you need.

Park farther away than usual, and walk! Go sit on the last table in the cafeteria, take the stairs. No matter what type of exercise you choose, remember to stay hydrated and take enough rest thereafter.

You can design your own life now and you can do it by staying healthy all the way. So on a final note, remember that too much of anything is bad. Nevertheless, the need of the hour is to nip these unhealthy patterns in the bud and stop them from turning into unwanted habits.

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