Health Tips for College StudentsBy David Thompson, UniversityHerald Reporter
College and university students are in a unique stage of life. They are young adults who are figuring out what the rest of their lives are going to look like, all in the unique setting of a college campus. The atmosphere can often be stressful, with irregular scheduling for classes, social lives to maintain, and future prospects to consider. Something that often gets overlooked by college students is their personal wellness.
Health is a critical component of an individual's life. It can affect your quality of life as well as the activities you can engage in. While it can be easy to forget about personal health amid the stresses and concerns of college life, you must find a way to prioritize your well-being.
You might have to think a little creatively to adopt a healthy lifestyle while attending college or university. Here are a handful of health tips that can ensure that your health remains a priority during your pursuit of education.
Seek Help for Mental Health Struggles
Society understands mental health so much more than it has in the past. Younger generations today are feeling the effects of this crisis very intensely, and nowhere is that more evident than on college campuses. The pressure to get good grades, choose the right degree, find a well-paying job, and figure out the rest of your life, all while navigating social complexities, leads to a ton of stress and adverse mental health effects. The important thing to understand is that you don't have to face this alone. Many campuses offer college counselors who specialize in working with students at this stage of life. If college counseling is unavailable, other resources can help, including therapy groups, government institutions, and online tools. When you feel overwhelmed by the weight of college life, please consider seeking help rather than pushing through and ignoring the problem.
Buy or Rent a Bike
Moving around campus is a huge aspect of being a college student. You have to get to classes in different buildings, dining halls, dorms, and into town for supplies. You could bring a car to campus and pay for a parking pass and gas, rely on a friend's vehicle, or take buses to where you need to go. A healthier option would be to get a bike for yourself. Biking is a healthy activity that improves cardiovascular wellness. It can also get you places faster than walking, so you don't have to leave as early to get to class. Many campuses allow students to rent bikes if they don't have their own, so that is always an option that you could choose. There are plenty of benefits to riding a bike on campus, and physical health is perhaps the most important.
Be Diet Conscious
There is a reason there is such a thing as the freshman 15. With access to a lot of food with your meal plan, it can be tempting to go a little wild with your freedom of diet choices. Even though you are young and may not be too concerned about your diet, it is something that you should start caring about sooner rather than later. When in the dining hall, try to look for options that are on the healthier side. See if there is a salad bar or wrap station that will give you better nutrition than cheeseburgers or other tempting options. Balance your diet with fruits, vegetables, meats, grains, and dairy. You can further support a healthy diet with supplements like omega-3 fatty acid tablets. Supplements provide additional nutrients to support optimal health and come in convenient forms to consume. Take care of your diet while on campus to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Drink a Lot of Water
As college students, you are probably on the move quite a bit. You have to head across campus for an early morning class, then walk back to the dorm after. Later, you'll head to the dining hall, then back across campus for the next class. Maybe you visit a friend in another building in the evening or go into town. That is a lot of movement. Staying hydrated is key when you do a lot of walking, (or biking), from place to place. Buy a large water bottle and challenge yourself to drink two or three refills each day. Your cells need water to maintain structure and function. Blood needs water to help transport nutrients throughout the body. Drink a lot of water to keep up with your busy schedule and active movements.
Don't Neglect Your Health
Campus life can be busy between classes, meals, extracurriculars, homework, studying, and social engagements. It's very easy to move healthy habits to the bottom of your priority list when so much needs to get done. But your wellness is important. Leading a healthier lifestyle can improve brain function and give you more energy for other areas of your life, like being a college student. Even if it requires small steps, make sure that health remains a focus during your years in education so that you can make the most of this time and prepare for a bright future after graduation.