Keeping healthy in college

I’m sure you have heard of the “Freshman 15.” It is very common to gain weight when you first go to college because you are off on your own, you get overwhelmed with school work, and your mom and dad are not cooking for you anymore.

It is just so easy when you are studying to snack on that bag of chips and drink that late night Polar Pop to keep you awake. These things may seem small at first, but they eventually add up by the end of the semester.

I am not a healthy nut or a gym junkie, but I do try to find small things that I can do to try and keep myself healthy. Here are some tips to help you do the same:

This is what passion fruit looks like. It is the best fruit and my favorite thing for breakfast.
This is what passion fruit looks like. It is the best fruit and my favorite thing for breakfast.

Diet: To me, this is the second most important tip. Extra weight usually comes from a person not eating correctly or eating too much. I’m not one of the people who only eat kale and granola. I do like my sweets (Holla for Dove Dark Chocolate). I just try to be smart about it.

I eat breakfast every day. I also eat a LARGE breakfast with heaps of protein and dairy. Then I progressively eat smaller meals as the day goes on. I try and use an 80/20 rule. 80 percent of my meal are generally healthy foods and 20 percent are foods that are indulgent.

Also, if I am craving something sweet, I will let myself have it. When I have denied myself for too long, I learned that eventually I will crack and then eat a ton of sweets all at once. A small amounts of sweets every now and again is OK. A large amount all at once, is not.

Every workout counts: I completely understand the feeling of not having time to go to Horner (Hanover’s awesome fitness facility) and workout because you have a paper due the next day. My personal slow days at Hanover are Tuesdays, Thursdays and the weekend. I try to get at least an hour workout in on these days.

However, plans like this do not always work out. I usually end up trying to get around 150 minutes of exercise a week or three separate 10 minutes workouts a day. I commonly end up doing some Yoga in the morning to wake myself up, then a short body weight exercise sometime at midday, and if I am lucky and have time, I will go to Horner and run for 10-15 minutes.

Every workout counts; no matter how small. My favorite place to look for workout ideas is Pinterest. I have entire board dedicated to it, and health and fitness is one of my favorite categories to surf through.

Some insight to how much sugar is in these things
Some insight to how much sugar is in these things

Limit your caffeine: This is probably the hardest tip for me. I love coffee. Coffee runs in my veins. However, limiting the the intake of coffee or pop can really help your health. The three to four Polar Pops a week add up; there is a mind-blowing amount of sugar in those things!

Manage your dorm snacks: I try to keep only certain things in my room so I don’t end up snacking on very unhealthy things. I will keep a large amount of fruit in my fridge, heaps of popcorn, pretzels, and only baked Cheetos or potato chips.

These are not all healthy, but they are certainly better than most of the snacks you could eat. A good rule is to also stop eating after 8:30 p.m. Most of the things you eat at that time will end up turning into fat so your body can use it for energy later.

Sleep: This is the most important thing! Your body NEEDS sleep. At least five hours. People say that they would be fine without sleep, but physiologically, you are not.

An average sleep schedule will help you monumentally. This is honestly the thing I strive for most, especially if I have a test coming up. Your brain and body work so much better if you are recharged. This is the main thing I focus on to keep healthy.

 

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