Tips to Stay Healthy in College

Here's how to stay healthy in college.

Flickr User: Fit Approach

Most college students are young and relatively healthy. However, the all you can eat cafeterias and large pizza specials can ruin even the fittest body. Take advantage of the easy things you can do to stay healthy in college! Let’s start with the obvious.

Go to the gym

One of the most important ways to stay healthy in college is exercise. Most colleges build the fees of their amazing rec and fitness centers into “tuition and fees” so take advantage of it! Big schools especially usually have incredible centers that have pools, saunas, endless cardio machines, fitness class offerings, weight rooms, and much more. Doing activities that improve your cardiovascular functions and builds muscle mass is extremely good for your health. It keeps your body healthy and functioning properly. Many students say that exercising is a form of stress relief for them and makes them more mentally alert. You may feel more fatigued the first week of working out, but give it time and soon you will see amazing benefits.

Walk everywhere

This tip will improve your health and your bank account. If you aren’t spending money on a car payment, maintenance, parking, and gas, you will probably have a lot more cash. Of course, there will be instances where you can’t walk somewhere, but there are plenty of alternatives like public busses, Uber, taxis, zip car, car rentals, and friends. Most college campuses are designed to be walker-friendly. In fact, you will probably see hordes of students walking everywhere to class, campus jobs, student organization meetings, to the rec, library, and more. If walking really isn’t your thing, get a bike! You will still get the health benefits, but can go farther, faster.

Be mindful in the dining hall

The dining hall can be a beautiful, wonderful thing. Endless soft serve ice cream, french fries every day, tons of cheese pizza, and fried food galore. That will be great until you realize you don’t fit into your clothes anymore and your budget cannot make room for a new wardrobe. Be mindful in the dining hall. Just because you can have seconds, thirds, and fourths, doesn’t mean you should.

Eat as how you regularly would if you were at home or making your own food. Also, consider healthier options for most of the week. Maybe you will say Friday night dinner will be your splurge where you can indulge in all the options aforementioned, but stick to clean eating most of the week. Many dining halls will have salad bars, grilled meats and fish, and fresh fruits and vegetables. These are all better options to keep your health in check than loading up on fried chicken, french fries, and pie.

Take the stairs

Depending on your school, this may or may not be the only option. If you have the luxury of elevators, choose to forgo them and take the stairs. It’s a simple swap but will benefit you when you’re making that choice day after day. 

Drink Water

Drinking water can have amazing benefits! It helps your body function properly and is overall excellent for your health. Sometimes people confuse hunger and thirst, leading to eating when they don’t need to. You should drink water throughout the day, but also be sure to drink a glass right before a meal. This can help fill you up and prevent you from overeating. If you’re the type who hates to leave food because it feels wasteful, ask the restaurant to box it up and now you got two meals for the price of one.

Take time for yourself

Stress can wreak havoc on your body. It can lead to a lack of sleep, weight gain, fatigue, and irritability. In college, you will certainly have stressful moments. There won’t always be a way to avoid the situation, but it is important to know how to manage it. Find an activity that relaxes you and be sure to make time for it. Whether it be breathing exercises, yoga, painting, reading, or whatever relaxes, don’t think of this as an indulgence but as a necessary part to your overall well-being.

You’re off to college and we wish you the best! You don’t have to listen to the negative people who say the freshman 15 is unavoidable. Take care of yourself and you will be happier, healthier, and get better grades.