Five Health Tips For College Students

Stressed. Hungry. Tired. Penniless. Yes, this is the plight of the typical college student and adopting a healthy lifestyle isn’t a priority. Remember, as you are sharpening your mind for the future, don’t leave your body behind. A healthy diet and exercise can help you perfom better as a student and improve your overall quality of life.

1. Don’t Skip Meals. How far does your car go without gas? Not very far, huh? While missing meals is easy when you must meet the demands of a jam-packed schedule, it can lead to less than desirable results. Missing a meal, like breakfast, can result in overeating, leading to weight gain. Eating well-balanced meals, will give you the energy you need to meet the demands of the day.

2. Stock Healthy Snacks. Does your favorite Chinese takeout really need anymore of your money? Of course not! Keep your dorm room full of healthy options, so your late night snacking won’t leave you with regrets. Easy snack options include fresh or dried fruits, unbuttered popcorn, baby carrots, and whole grain cereals.

3. Stay Hydrated. You passed the BIG test with flying colors! You’re so excited you want to shed tears of joy, but wait, you can’t! As you go through your day, be sure to drink plenty water. Drinking water will help you avoid high sugar/high calorie drinks like soda, some juices and even your favorite frozen espresso beverage. Purchase bottles of water and carry them with you or purchase a reusable water bottle (Go GREEN!) and refill it throughout the day.

4. Walk It Out. Annoyed with algebra? Frustrated with physics? Leave those text books behind for about an hour and walk the track or even the campus grove. Exercise isn’t just about weight loss and maintenance, it also helps regulate stress levels. Participate in physical activity for 30 minutes at least three times a week by joining an intramural team, riding your bike to class or visiting campus exercise facilities.

5. Get Plenty Rest. Your history professor’s lecture is boring and you can’t help but nod off and you wake to the same lecture in a different class section! Honestly, it’s hard to avoid the occasional all-nighter, but developing irregular sleep patterns, can lead to weight gain and overall poor health. A full night’s rest affords you the energy you need to tackle the day ahead.

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Second year doctoral student, E. Clare Stewart attends the Institute of Public Health at Florida A&M University. Her research interests include health inequities, fatherhood, collegiate health and minority family systems. She received her master of science in public health from Meharry Medical College School of Graduate Studies and Research and a bachelor of arts in biology from Fisk University.