Staying healthy in college can be tough. Between the social events and the hectic class and work schedules, it is very easy to find yourself drained and exhausted. It then becomes even easier to adapt a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle because of the emotional and physical demands of college.
However, there are ways to become the healthiest college student you can be.
Here are some of the best tips for staying healthy and fit in college:
Get Proper Sleep
In terms of gym time, many college students miss workouts because they are too tired from their day. Research shows that getting 8-9 hours of sleep at night is most beneficial for your health. These hours will provide you with the perfect amount of energy and alertness to get you through your day.
Never underestimate the importance of sleep. Nevertheless, each person is different so it is important to know what amount of sleep serves you best.
You should aim for 8-9 hours of sleep every night. You should wake up an hour before class and have a big breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and will help you to learn and perform better in class.
By doing these simple tasks, your day will be beginning properly.
One thing should be made clear: Although research has shown that coffee can actually be beneficial to your health, you should never rely on it in the morning to compensate for lack of sleep. Your body will develop a physical addiction to the caffeine and you will feel that you cannot get through your day without it. Obviously there are days when you really might need that extra caffeine jolt, but try to keep it to a minimum. Remember, moderation is key!
Eat Every 2-3 Hours and Have a Big Breakfast
Throughout your day, make sure you are eating every 2-3 hours and consuming water frequently. This does not mean eating a big meal every 2-3 hours. Instead, eat smaller snacks like an apple, crackers, protein shake, etc. in class or between classes. It will give you continuous nutrients and energy throughout your day and help increase your metabolism. These smaller meals will be digested into your body better rather than a large amount of food going in at once. Breakfast, lunch and dinner should be reserved for your biggest meals.
Drink Your Water
In terms of water consumption, you should invest in a small half-gallon jug and carry it around with you. If you drink 1-2 of these a day, you will be hydrated. Considering many college students drink alcohol, which can cause severe dehydration, you should always have water by your side, even on days that you do not consume alcohol. Most importantly, water is an essential nutrient that your body needs regardless.
Maintain a Regular Gym Schedule
Moreover, depending on your class schedule, you should find a set time to go the gym at least 3-4 times a week. You should target days when you have the least amount of classes or when a lifting partner is available.
Never underestimate the importance of having a training partner; it will undoubtedly motivate you to go to the gym and train harder. There will be days that your lifting partner will scold you when you are too “lazy” and/or “tired” to go to the gym and you will thank him/her for making you workout.
You should also consider going to the gym in between classes. Many students have a 1-2 hour break in between classes. If you have more than an hour and a half break, then you should either go to the gym or to the library. Many students will find themselves being a couch potato in between class. You can be a couch potato all night long! Get your schoolwork and gym time out of the way between classes. You should reserve your daytime to do work and your nighttime for fun. Keep the two separated; try it out and see how you like it. After classes you can spend more time hanging out and less time being burdened with tasks.
Walk Everywhere You Can
Most importantly, students fail to realize the importance of walking in college. Think about how much walking you do in college. You walk to and from class, gym, library, restaurants, bars, clubs, etc. Many students decide to drive to class and other places where you could easily walk. You should walk to as many destinations as possible because it will enhance your overall health and physique. You could easily walk up to 3 or more miles a day without realizing it!
Remember, “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”