Taking Steps Towards a Healthier You
We’ve all been there.
We want to socialize around food, stay in bed just a “little” longer. It’s hard to stay fit — or even semi-healthy on a campus full of fried foods, fun friends, and a downtown full of bars. I have been seeking the best ways to keep up on my health for the past three years I’ve been here. I went from eating everything in sight, sleeping too much, and not being active here at Fredonia to working out five days a week, napping when I can, and eating in moderation.
Here’s 13 tips for 2013 to help keep you on track:
ONE: Always have a reusable water bottle on-hand.
This is one of the easiest ways to beat dehydration (which is sometimes confused with hunger). Use the re-fill stations around campus to fill up whenever you’re low! I use a Brita bottle (about $11 at Walmart) which also has a filter in it that gets rid of the chlorine odor and taste, it’s also BPA free!
Walk, run, jump, kick. Do something instead of laying on your couch, or dorm bed. There is an Aerobic Center (in Hemingway) on campus you can check out any week day! They offer classes ranging from body sculpting to intense kickboxing. I’ve attended the body-sculpting and the Zumba — both fun ways to switch up your regular routine at the gym! There are also a few machines in the building if you don’t like people watching you at the gym (because hardly anyone uses them).
THREE: Don’t “do lunch” every day.
Even meeting at Willy C or Crannies can expand your waistline when you do it with friends every day. Go to the store, pick up all the things you need for lunches for a week, and pack your lunch the night before — eliminating stress in the morning. If you do end up going to a dining hall — try to make healthy choices, or balance your plate (lots of veggies).
FOUR: When you do do lunch, Cranston has a nice, convenient system to help you chose wisely.
It is called Eat Like A Scholar. The dining hall uses traffic light images to show the best choices: green for the best, and red for the worst.
FIVE: Don’t fight your stress with junk food.
FIGHT THE VENDING MACHINES. Go to Cranston and take some fruit when you leave. You pay enough for that meal plan, right? I used to bring baggies and put apples and bananas in it and take it home for later. Why go to the store for fruit? Have an apple with peanut butter in your dorm for a snack instead of grabbing a bag of addictive Doritos.
SIX: Be the DD.
Volunteer to be the designated driver for your friends. Take them to Sunny’s or Old Main and have fun, without drinking. It’s not horrible to drink once in a while (I say choose Friday or Saturday, not Thursday, Friday, and Saturday). There are so many calories in just one drink, without us even thinking twice.
SEVEN: Always keep snacks with you. ALWAYS. Bring nuts, protein shakes, dry cereal, fruit, or granola bars in the small pockets of your bag while you’re not in your dorm room, in case you get hungry.
EIGHT: Take a multivitamin.
Multivitamins can be kind of expensive as a college kid, but they are worth it while going to school, and some days not getting all of the vitamins you need. I take one-a-day Women’s. Look here to help you figure out how to choose yours!
Sleep for a good amount of time every single night. We need about 7 to 8 hours as college students. Make sleeping a priority. Don’t stay up every night until 3AM. Get your work done early and be in bed by midnight.. leaving 7-8 hours of sleep at least.
Yes, I said nap. Take a nap whenever you can. They do amazing things for us, especially as college students. Just make sure not to nap too close to bedtime or for too long, and a nap will do your body good. I take 20-35 minute naps when I come home from school before I eat and do homework, it’s the perfect energy boost I need to get through the rest of the day.
ELEVEN: Try to ween yourself off of coffee/caffeinated drinks.
I used to love coffee. I thought it was the only reason I was awake during my day. Fact is, an apple almost does the same thing for us, and is healthier. I know that with coffee, I had more sugar and creamer than the black stuff…so try to grab apple and milk instead! It got rid of many calories for me. Skip the cafe mocha at Starbucks and get an unsweetened tea or other decaffeinated drinks. The employees at our Starbucks are always willing to help, just ask!
TWELVE: Wash your hands.
I know this sounds silly and ridiculous to put on here, but I have realized as an adult that many people do not do this as a habit. Wash your hands as much as possible. According to a study, only 5% of people wash their hands correctly. Be that 5%. Sing your ABC’s twice, whatever you have to do, scrub those hands! Don’t catch that nasty flu everyone has. There are also many sanitizing stations around campus to keep your paws clean in between washes.
THIRTEEN: Join an intramural team.
We have so many intramural teams on campus: from
soccer to quidditch. It’s a great way to relieve stress during the week, without the stress of being on a “real team”. You may also meet new people on campus that are like you!
Overall, even if incorporate one, two, or three of these tips into your daily life, you will likely see changes in your health and happiness. I know that even after starting to nap daily, I felt more energized and happy. If you’re worried about your health, get off the couch, facebook, twitter and instagram and go for a walk, run, or jog. Maybe you can be someone that others look-up to in the future, like I hope to be.