Healthy lifestyle tips for healthy bodies and healthy minds
As a college student, it can be difficult to find the time or motivation to eat healthy, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and practice good hygiene. But this is especially important during your college career — these habits will help you combat chronic health conditions such as obesity and diabetes. The University of Chicago has some healthy lifestyle tips to help you stay healthy.
For this reason, it is important that you make yourself a priority by developing good healthy lifestyle habits. It doesn’t have to be complicated; below are 10 practical tips to make healthy living easier:
Healthy Lifestyle Tip #1: Make sleep a priority
The average college student sleeps less than seven hours per night during the week, then an average of nine hours on the weekend. This is not enough for healthy function of both your mind and body. For healthy thinking, memory recall, problem solving, mood regulation (e.g., depression), and performance, aim for at least eight to ten hours of sleep per night on a regular basis. As far as your body goes, sleep helps regulate blood sugar levels, which keeps them more stable all day long; it also gives your muscles time to recover after strenuous exercise so you can do it without getting hurt. Aim for at least seven hours per night.
Healthy Lifestyle Tip #2: Make healthy food choices
Colleges usually have healthy dining plans in place, but many off-campus college students still eat processed or fast foods on a regular basis. Three healthy diet tips are to eat lots of fruits and vegetables; choose whole grains over white bread, pasta, and rice; and include healthy proteins like legumes (beans) into your diet every day .
Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full , don’t feel guilty about having “bad” foods sometimes , and most importantly — drink your water ! Thirst can be mistaken for hunger; so before reaching for extra snacks, try drinking eight of water first. You might not feel hungry anymore !
Healthy Lifestyle Tip #3: Stay healthy on campus
Colleges are filled with germ-infested surfaces, cold and flu viruses that float around, unprotected professors who may or may not wash their hands after using the bathroom, and healthy people who aren’t fully healthy because of the environment they live in. College students have a higher risk for developing respiratory infections because of being exposed to so many germs.
Clean your computer’s keyboard every week with disinfectant wipes , clean your cell phone weekly as well , avoid touching public door knobs/surfaces as much as possible, cover your nose/mouth when coughing or sneezing , always use hand sanitizer after washing hands, stay healthy with healthy foods , and drink your water !
Remember healthy lifestyle tips are not one-size-fits-all; they don’t work for everyone — find what will work for YOU. This is important to keep healthy in college (and beyond).
Healthy Lifestyle Tip #4: Drink plenty of water (at least 2 litres per day)
As a student, your daily routine can become hectic with little time for yourself; take the opportunity when you’re feeling thirsty to drink some water! Being properly hydrated is very important; our bodies are made up of 70% water, so it’s vital for our health.
Healthy Lifestyle Tip #5: Exercise outside
Not only does being in nature have mental benefits, exercising outside makes it easy to take regular breaks – on warmer days you can just stop for a quick swim or on colder days you may want to explore the trails around campus.
Healthy Lifestyle Tip #6: If you don’t have time to workout the traditional way, try out some high intensity interval training (HIIT)
HIIT is a type of workout that has been proven to be just as good, if not better than traditional workouts in much less time! It incorporates short intense bursts of exercise followed by recovery periods which are designed to maximise your overall effort. For example, try doing one minute of squats followed by 3 minutes of jogging or running in place; repeat this 10 times and you’ve got yourself an effective leg workout!
Healthy Lifestyle Tip #7: Drink green tea (and other herbal teas)
Drinking green tea has multiple benefits; not only is it a delicious beverage, but the antioxidants in green tea may also help with weight loss and improve brain function! Other benefits include: stress relief, healthy skin and long term heart health. Herbal teas such as ginger, chamomile or lemon balm are inexpensive options which provide numerous health
Healthy Lifestyle Tip #8: Reduce your dependence on coffee by incorporating matcha into your daily routine
Coffee contains caffeine, so if you find yourself reliant on coffee to get through the day consider swapping for this health promoting green tea. You can drink matcha in many different ways, including hot or iced and blended in to smoothies!
Healthy Lifestyle Tip #9: Take up yoga
Yoga is a great way to work out your whole body while being mindful of your breathing and letting go of stress at the same time- two things which are often hard to achieve simultaneously! There are lots of free classes offered by student associations so check out what’s available on campus or do some research online to find one near you.
Notes: The first step to making healthy living a habit is to start small so that it’s more likely to stick. Gradually build up new habits over time rather than trying to change everything overnight which will hopefully prevent burnout.
Remember, being healthy doesn’t have to come with you having some strict guideline on what you can and cannot eat – just consider adding lots of plant based foods into your diet for optimal health!