Health tips for college students

Kaitlin Moye is a Sophomore studying Management Information Systems at Columbus State University. She is actively involved in the Honors College and is a middle school youth leader at First Presbyterian Church. When she’s not busy with schoolwork, Kaitlin enjoys watching the Atlanta Falcons, playing with her two adopted basset hounds, and reading.

When I began my first year of college, I was determined to avoid the “Freshman 15” that plagues so many college students. Here are a few tips for how to still fit into your skinny jeans after freshman year!

1.) Eat small meals throughout the day
It’s okay to skip breakfast in order to gain a few extra minutes of sleep before your 8AM class, right? No way! Sleep might be important, but so is nutrition. If nothing else, grab a granola bar or a piece of fruit on your way to class. Eat small meals throughout the day rather than large portions. Snacking on healthy foods every few hours is much better for your metabolism and will keep your energy up!

2.) 30 minutes of exercise a day is all it takes
People try to make exercise seem like such a drain, both to your wallet and your time. It doesn’t have to be that way, though! In fact, all you really need is 30 minutes of exercise a day. It doesn’t have to be strenuous. You could go jogging at the park, walking on a treadmill, or even get a group of friends together to take a fitness class at your student recreation center. Exercise can be fun if you pick activities you enjoy and incorporate your friends.

3.) Consistency is key
Diets usually don’t work for people because they are too difficult to stick with. Instead of limiting yourself, enjoy all of the things you love in moderation! Try to eat healthy as often as possible, but indulge yourself once a week. It will motivate you and keep you from feeling deprived! Also, exercising every day will become a habit. Your body will burn more calories when you are sitting down or sleeping because of the exercise you do during the day. The energy and endorphins your body creates after exercising are awesome and worth the sweat!

4.) Make it a lifestyle
The easiest way to stay healthy in college is by making it a lifestyle. If you make a conscious effort to form healthy habits, it will be much easier for you to maintain a healthy weight. For example, instead of taking the bus to class and riding on elevators, you can burn a few extra calories by walking. When you make a sandwich, use whole wheat bread instead of white. At Starbucks, try a “skinny” version of your favorite drink. There are so many easy swaps you can make in your daily life that become part of your lifestyle and contribute to your overall health.

5.) Make time for sleep
College students are extremely busy, and more often than not sleep falls to the bottom of the to-do list. Procrastination and big exams call for many sleepless nights and cups of your caffeine of choice. While it is important to do well in school, sleep is vital. Not only does getting enough sleep provide you with the energy you need to tackle the day, but it also helps you stay alert in class. In addition, you are more likely to get sick if you are sleep-deprived; therefore, it is even more important to get sleep during those hectic weeks!

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