We’ve all heard of the “freshman 15” – those fateful extra pounds that students tack on once they get to college. For a lot of students, the 15 doesn’t end after their first year. Even if you don’t gain weight, it is easy to lose track of a healthy life-style as an over- programmed student. But there are a variety of ways, especially at Jewell, for students to find a healthy balance.
First and foremost, the problem that we all face is our eating habits. It’s something that affects athletes and non-athletes alike. The struggle with finances, time and will-power can all be detrimental to a college student’s diet. Before you can fix your problems, you first have to find out what your problems are.
If you are someone who has every minute of every day planned and often forget meals or can’t find time to swing by the caf, meal-prep and setting reminders on your phone to eat are good options. This will help you make sure that when 10 p.m. rolls around you’ve ingested more than just three 20oz Cardinal Grinds.
If you live off of coffee and have it with every meal, try going for a slimmer option every once in a while. Substituting regular milk with almond, soy or coconut milk are great ways to cut down on some extra fat intake. Also making sure that you’re consuming caffeine at times of the day when you can still have a healthy sleep schedule is important –- with the exception of the occasional all-nighter.
Eating in the caf can be a struggle when it seems like everything is fried, greasy and covered in cheese.
When it comes to eating habits, limit the number of times you’re eating out. It goes without saying that while it may be the best option for time and effort, it isn’t the best option when it’s done constantly. Moderation is key, and your stomach – and wallet – will thank you in the long run.
Another common problem is exercise. If you’re a student athlete you probably don’t have to worry about squeezing that into your schedule. But if you aren’t, and are crunched for time like we all are, there are easier ways than spending time at the gym.
Of course the facilities in Mathes and the Mabee center are open to all students. If you have time to go get a strenuous workout, go for it. Once a week is better than never. If you only have a certain amount of free-time and want to catch up on a TV show, try watching it while you walk on the treadmill. Chances are you’ll get a lot accomplished without feeling like you’re wasting time.
And, of course, rest. Making sure you sleep for long enough, but also that your sleeping times are consistent throughout the week is a must.
Overall, the best way to stay healthy in college is to take care of yourself. Find the ways that work for you, then use them! A healthy body and mind go hand in hand, and you especially need a healthy mind when you’re here at Jewell.