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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Healthy Living as a Student

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Student life is a unique mixture of excitement and stress.

Finding a healthy balance is often difficult when faced with so many demands for your time. As a student you are responsible for your emotional, social, spiritual, and physical needs as well as your schooling and perhaps a job. Even when you are short on time and energy there are still some simple ways you can keep up on your health.

The first and probably hardest part of student health is sleep. It is extremely difficult to get a set amount of sleep each night, but it is worth it. Generally 7.5 hours a night is recommended but it is up to you and should be based on your body’s individual requirements. Some people will naturally need more than the recommended amount to fully function while others can do with less. Sleeping is really an investment. It is good for your mind. You will be more alert in classes and have more fun with your friends. Sleep is also good for your body. When you don’t get enough sleep your immune system is weakened and you become more susceptible to every random cold and illness floating in the air. Getting enough sleep doesn’t just happen, it requires careful planning and prioritizing. Make sleep a priority in your life so your time awake is optimized.

Another way to improve your student health is to pay attention during grocery shopping. This is sometimes challenging because it is tempting to do grocery shopping in a semi-dazed state— grabbing at whatever looks cheap and somewhat appetizing. This is bad news for your body! If you have extra money you should splurge on healthy choice foods and fresh fruits and vegetables. However, you can still make some healthy purchases on a budget. Firstly, don’t waste your money on things with absolutely no nutritional value! You may be concerned about missing your daily sugar fix but sugar is in almost everything now so don’t even worry about it. Of course you need snack foods but there are healthy options. Frozen fruits and vegetables are some of the best kept health secrets.

Frozen fruits and vegetables are cheaper than fresh and last longer. Frozen berries are a perfect sweet treat that actually have nutrition and taste good. Granola bars can also be a good snack option. Look for granola with grains and vitamins for best; you can also check the back of the package to see which brand has more fat and calories and avoid those. Switch over to whole grain bread and skim or 1% milk. Choose a good cereal that still tastes good but that has less sugar and more vitamins. These small changes can make a huge difference and they won’t cost much more than the less healthy kinds. Protein is something you don’t always get enough of as a student because meat is expensive. Consider getting whey protein to add to your meals. This is a cheaper and easy way to get in your protein. Protein helps you feel full longer, so it is the perfect addition to a meal especially on a busy day when you won’t have much time to eat. Though it may cost some money, the powder lasts a long time and will save you money because you will not be consuming as much food. Also while you are at the grocery store think about getting a multivitamin. It is one way to get all your vitamins in even if you are living off of tasteless noodles.

Add a gym class to your schedule. Some of the toughest problems when trying to fit exercise in with schooling are finding the time and finding the motivation. By planning a class into your schedule you are solving both of these problems—you will have a set time and place and it will be for credit. Exercising is a great way to deal with left over stress and frustrations and you will be getting in shape at the same time.

Be smart about your choices in school. Taking care of these things can have a huge impact on your health and even your GPA!

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