My Top 5 Tips for Healthy Living In College

Let me preface this post by saying I am not a scientist/nutritionist/personal trainer/etc. I am just a college student with some advice based on my (very limited) experience. My goal with this post it to give some easy and helpful tips on how to adopt new healthy habits (or continue you old ones!) in the chaotic and stressful environment of a college campus. Below I have listed my top 5 tips on how to be your healthiest and happiest 🙂 Enjoy!

1. Set up a sleep schedule

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When I first arrived at college this fall, my sleep schedule was all over the place. During orientation week, our schedule had us going non-stop from 9am to 11pm or later most days, and I was not getting the sleep I needed or was used to getting.
This definitely did not make the transition any easier, and I was left feeling exhausted and unable to perform my best for the first week or so of school. Once I got into a better routine, I made sleep a priority. One thing that will help you get into a routine is to try and go to bed and wake up around the same time. Even though you’ll probably want to sleep in on the weekends or if you have a late class, it is better for you to still get up when you usually do so that you don’t mess up your sleep cycle. The other tip I have is to make your room about sleep. If you eat, study, and hang out with friends in your room, your brain will associate it withbeing awake, and going to sleep will be even harder. Find different places around campus that you love to study and meet friends, so that when you come back to your room at night, your body and brain know that it’s time for bed. Better sleep will lead to a better ability to focus on schoolwork and spend time with friends or doing things you love!

2. Stock up on healthy food/snacks

Studying, doing club sports, and walking around campus all day makes a college student very hungry. So, it is really important to always have healthy snacks and food on hand. Although it is 100% possible to find healthy options on campus, they’re not always the most convenient. I recommend getting a mini fridge for your dorm room so that if you’re in a pinch or low on cash, you have a healthy meal on hand and don’t have to settle for the nearest fast food joint on campus. Some examples of things I like to keep on hand in the fridge are Greek/Siggi’s yogurts, non-dairy milk, egg whites, kombucha, raw veggies (carrots are my fave!), and hummus. I also keep La Croix in the fridge to mix it up from plain water.
For on-the-go options, I like Larabars, Kindbars, and rice cakes, which you can top with nut butter or hummus for a quick and easy snack.
One of my favorite dorm breakfast is egg white oatmeal, which you can make with easy-to-store ingredients right in your dorm room with just a bowl and microwave!
Here is how I make this super easy dorm breakfast:

{Recipe} Combine 1/3 cup oats, 2/3 cup water or milk, 1/2 mashed banana, cinnamon, and salt. Microwave for 1:30 and then stir. Add in a couple splashes of liquid egg whites and microwave in :30 increments, stirring in between, until your oatmeal reaches the desired consistency. Top with fruit, nut butter, maple syrup, granola, or whatever your heart desires!

3. Exercise a little bit every day

Just like moving to college messed up my sleep cycle, it also affected my working out schedule. Staying up late and having so much to do during the day made it easy to feel unmotivated and skip my workout. But, skipping workouts ended up making me feel less like myself. I made a point to get at least 30 minutes of exercise everyday and felt so much better. An easy way to stay active is to join a club sport. There are so many options from running to rock climbing to tennis to basketball, and it’s not only a fun way to stay in shape, but also to make new friends. I’ve loved being a part of club running since I can socialize and workout all in one fell swoop, and knowing my friends will be at practice makes me want to go. Also, as I’ve mentioned before, Kayla Itsine’s guide is amazing for college students because the circuits only take 30 minutes but leave you feeling sweaty and sore, and they require very little equipment. With a circuit like this available to you, there really is no excuse for skipping you workout!

4. Drink tons of water!
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I always have two things with me – my Yeti mug and my Hydro Flask water bottle. The Yeti is for caffeine (a college student must-have), and the Hydro Flask is to offset said caffeine. I try to limit caffeinated drinks to once a day and then spend the rest of the day loading up on water so that I don’t get dehydrated. Drinking water instead of juice or soda will make you feel so much more energized and less groggy, which will lead to greater productivity and higher performance in school, not to mention you’ll feel so energized that you’ll want to workout – what a great cycle!

5. Do at least one thing a day that brings you joy

I cannot stress enough how important doing the things you love is to your overall health! In college, it is way too easy to focus on school and little else. While this might boost your GPA a little bit, ultimately it will leave you feeling bogged-down and unhappy. Whether it’s taking a hot shower at the end of the day, watching your favorite show on Netflix, or going on a walk, doing little things like this every day can help you refocus and stay motivated. If you make it a point to do this everyday, you’ll experience mindfulness and gratefulness amidst all the stress and chaos. So remind yourself every once in a while to but down the books, light a candle, and just BREATHE. 🙂

 

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