September 11th, 2008 Jamie
You’ve heard of the freshman fifteen-that pesky extra 15lbs that lots of students put on in the first year of college-but there are way more health issues than that for college students. Here’s how to keep yourself fit, even with limited time, space, and funds.
The Freshman 15 is Not a Goal-or a Curse
Translation? You still have to eat right, even if Mom isn’t hovering over your dinner plate. As I’ve mentioned before, a pint of Ben & Jerry’s every night isn’t the key to good health.
So what should you be eating? The simple answer is to shoot for moderation in all things. Try to eat the right amount of servings for each food group (remember the food pyramid from 5th grade?), but don’t go overboard with one (too much of a good thing-even too many veggies or too much meat can be too much for your body!)
Even if you do end up putting on (or dropping) a little weight accidentally, don’t feel like you’re doomed! Switching to a healthier diet and adding some exercise can help you wear away those pounds.
For more info, check out these college eating resources:
- College Eating and Fitness 101: A Guide for College Students
- 10 Healthy Eating Tips for the Busy College Student
- Healthy Dining Hall Eating
Exercise (Even in a Small Space)
Most college campuses offer free use of their gym and sports facilities to students, so you should definitely take advantage of all the great stuff there. But if you find yourself feeling to sluggish to go outdoors (or there’s just too much snow to bother jogging), here are a list of dorm room workouts you can do in that 8×8 floor space you call home:
- SparkPeople’s Dorm Room Workout
- The Lazy Man’s Dorm Workout at Student Fitness
- Minna Lessig’s Dorm Room Workout
- North by Northwestern’s Dorm Workout
- Abs Pilates for Beginners at Student Fitness
Want to know the easiest way to get exercise without noticing? Walk to class instead of taking a shuttle. It really makes a difference.
Prevent Brain Drain
The pressure and competition of college courses, coupled with homesickness and increased personal responsibilities can be hard on you-it wears you down, tires you out, and sometimes overwhelms you. To help keep your mental and emotional health strong, I recommend that you:
- Eat well & exercise (see above)
- Get enough sleep
- Learn how to relax & fall asleep when you’re stressed
- Stay away from depressants like alcohol, especially if you’re already feeling down
- Make use of free counseling services on campus (academic and psychological)
- Attend support groups (many campuses have them for free!)
- Strike a balance between work and play
- Make at least a rough schedule and stick to it
- Keep within your budget
- Know when to quit
Entry Filed under: health