Staying Healthy in College

Staying Healthy in College
Staying Healthy in College
It’s all too easy to let yourself go without really trying to in college. As soon as you walk out of your morning classes, there’s an on-campus convenience store nearby temping you with promises of donuts and sugary frozen coffee drinks. The fried options often look much tastier than the healthy options in the dining halls. And after a long day of classes, sometimes the last thing you want to do is hit the gym. So how do you stay healthy in college?

First of all, realize that you can no longer treat your body like the garbage disposal it was back in high school. As time goes on and you begin building habits you will carry with you into adulthood, you must realize you cannot continue to eat whatever you want without suffering the consequences in your weight, your energy level or even worse, your heart.

The best thing you can do is balance out the things you eat appropriately. For every day you choose something rich or fattening from your favorite dining hall, choose something healthy for the next four days, such as salads loaded with a large variety of vegetables and light dressing, grilled chicken and fish, and fresh fruit for dessert. For every day you drink a soda with your lunch, drink water for the next four meals. This way you are still getting a few of your old favorite unhealthy foods while phasing in foods that are much better for you.

When eating off campus, don’t fall into the trap of eating absolute junk from fast food restaurants just because it’s cheaper. Remember that you get what you pay for. The double cheeseburger may be cheaper than the grilled chicken salad, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for your body. Ramen noodles may come 10 for a dollar, but that doesn’t make it the right choice for your body.

As for exercise, it is far better to find a friend or two who will make the commitment to exercise in some way with you than to try to go it on your own. One or more accountability partners will help rally up your resolve to work out during the week. When choosing your physical education classes, don’t settle for a non-strenuous activity like bowling or pool. Choose a heavy aerobics or weight lifting class that will be a true challenge for your body.

Finally, make every effort to stay active. Whether you joining an intramural sports team, go on regular walks or runs with friends, or bike to class rather than taking the bus, get out and get your blood moving. Your body will definitely thank you.

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