College students often have a lot on their plates, figuratively and many times literally. With most students balancing a full course load, a part time job and extra curricular activities, it’s not surprising that they take comfort by overindulging at the cafeteria.
But there are ways to buck the trend and ensure that you don’t leave college with a diploma and 9 to 13 extra pounds. Here are 5 sure-fire ways to keep healthy and fit even as a busy student.
1. Get Moving – One of the best ways to keep off weight and maintain a clearer brain for studying is to exercise. Almost every college or university has a recreation center that is available free to enrolled students. Take advantage of it. Don’t have time to visit the rec center? No problem. Instead try to incorporate exercise into your daily commute to class by walking or biking. If you’re really strapped for time, make a workout part of your class schedule and take an exercise class for credit.
2. Get enough sleep – Saying goodbye to those all-night study sessions is one of the best ways that you will be able to not only maintain a healthy weight throughout college, but also do better in school. While the average college student only gets about 6 hours of sleep per night, experts recommend that as much as 7-10 hours of sleep are needed to be at full capacity. Lack of sleep has been tied to a lower GPA, poor academic performance and increased weight gain.
3. Watch what you eat – Students who start college might be amazed at the availability of food they can find, especially if they are surviving off of dorm food. It’s so abundant that it is easy to find yourself eating when you’re not even hungry. It’s also easy to find a plethora of junk food at your disposal. When choosing your meals, be sure to include a hefty portion of fruits, vegetables and non-processed food. Also be aware of your portion size. If you go out with a friend, 9 times out of 10 you can split a meal and still more than satiate your hunger.
4. Watch what you drink – Just like you need to watch what you eat, watching what you drink is extremely important. Be especially careful when it comes to fancy coffee drinks that are loaded with empty calories. The same goes for sodas and alcoholic beverages. Instead drink lots of water.
5. Don’t Stress – Stress can be detrimental to your health. Among the chaos of school, be sure to give yourself breaks every now and then to unplug from your devices. Whether you like to get out in nature, take a yoga class or meditate, giving your brain a rest from the rigors of school will make you more healthy overall.
Author: Kristy Hessman guest blogs at yoursash.com, a leading provider of graduation stoles and sashes.