5 Easy Things To Do Each Day To Stay Healthy in College

Studying outside Gleeson

Fall semester is upon us!  In order for you to enjoy it and be successful, you definitely need to stay on top of your health.  But not to worry—no major lifestyle changes required.  There are five easy things that you can do each day to keep yourself on track.  The following tips are simple, but can really make a positive difference to your overall well-being.

1. Drink water
Many college students turn to coffee for early classes, sodas for mealtime beverages, and energy drinks for staying up late to finish assignments.  But there’s a different drink that can really help you plow through the day: water!  Simply drinking water consistently can increase your energy levels and help you stay healthy.  Start hydrating first thing in the morning.  It’s recommended that you drink a glass of water about a half hour before breakfast.  It will aid digestion and give you a great start to the day.  Fill up a water bottle and bring it with you when you go out.  Water carries nutrients through your bloodstream, flushes bacteria from your body, dilutes toxins, aids circulation, and more.  Drinking water can just make you feel a whole lot better if you haven’t been drinking your eight glasses a day lately.  So drink up!

2. Maintain a sleep schedule
The best way to feel awake during the day is to get enough sleep at night.  Try not to scoff; it is possible.  Try to get into a routine as the fall semester gets going.  If you can manage your time properly, you should be able to squeeze in enough time for a decent night’s sleep.  One major way of staying well-rested is to be consistent with your sleep schedule.  Many students before you have mastered the art of balancing classes, assignments, studying, work, and socializing.  If one day you sleep until noon, you can still feel crummy despite the fact that you’ve gotten eight hours of sleep.  Being somewhat consistent with your sleep schedule is really helpful in keeping you feeling your best.

3. Eat what your body needs
The foods you eat don’t just affect your weight; they affect your overall health.  In order to get all the nutrients that your body needs to be healthy, you need to have a proper diet.  This can be tricky when you have easy access to desserts at your school’s dining hall, or when the cheapest place to get food near your off-campus apartment is a fast food chain.  But you know the rules: eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and limit fried food and sugary snacks.  Allow yourself to indulge from time-to-time, but really make a conscious effort to eat healthy while at college.  Think about the food choices you’re about to make, and think, does my body need this?  If you end up giving your body the nutrients from food that it does need, you’re doing a huge thing for your health.

4. Get moving
Exercising is important to maintain your overall health.  And luckily, you don’t need to be an athlete or gym rat to get exercise on a regular basis.  Find out what works best for you.  You can check out your school’s gym, find out if there are fitness classes being offered nearby, or join a noncompetitive sport.  The possibilities for exercise are pretty endless.  Even doing simple things like walking to a store, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator to get to class can help you get some exercise time in.  Exercising is great for your health, and is also an excellent stress-reliever!

5. Go outside
Spending at least a half hour outside daily is beneficial to both your physical and mental health.  Being in close quarters with your peers in classrooms, dining halls, and dorms makes it easy for germs to spread.  Going outside for a while will give you a chance to get a nice breath of fresh air.   Think about doing your homework outside on the campus green or at a park instead of in your room, bring your lunch outside to enjoy with your friends, or play some Frisbee.  Still need to get your daily exercise in?  Kill two birds with one stone by taking a long walk outside.  The change of scenery, fresh air, and vitamin D from the sun will definitely do your body some good.