Student Health: Nourish Your Body & Mind At University
Staying fit and healthy in university is not really a priority for most students. For most, it is their first time living away from home, free of any restrictions, and with complete independence – you can eat, drink, and do whatever you want! However, neglecting your health and well-being can have a detrimental effect not only on your body physically, but can also impact your mental performance, too. With the independence of university also comes some responsibility to be able to look after yourself properly. Student health is something that gets very little attention at university, but this is the time where your health truly starts to transfer into your own hands, and it becomes your responsibility to take care of yourself.
How can you use a student lifestyle to promote health and well-being?
1. Set up a well-balanced routine
University life can be extremely unstructured. A far cry from the set routine of school, your mealtimes can be very askew, and you can even maybe go a few days without leaving the house if you don’t have any classes to attend. It is up to you to establish your own routine, and give your life a semblance of structure. Even a small amount of order in your life will do wonders for your well-being and your health in general! Try and create a weekly schedule so you get all of your general housework done, as well as fitting in shopping and work. This way, you won’t suddenly find yourself without any clean clothes – which is an important element in the structure to build for student health.
2. Find fitness activities you enjoy
Universities are very diverse places, with an incredible amount to offer. In addition to gyms and other sports facilities, there are also many teams to join, new sports to try, and different activities to allow you to do something new. An important element of student health is fitness. You can incorporate exercise into your normal day to day life very easily. Why not try cycling to campus? Most universities have ample places where you can leave your bike, and it will save you a lot of money on transport, too! If you live close by, walking to campus instead of hopping on a bus or driving will have a positive impact on your health for very little effort.
3. Don’t forget to get enough rest
Getting enough sleep is no laughing matter. Sleep is absolutely vital for a healthy, functioning body and mind – it’s the phase of renewal for the entire body. If we don’t have enough sleep, we can’t function properly, we can’t absorb information, and we’re grumpy, too! Sleep deprivation also lessens our ability to fight off viruses, which means we’re far more likely to be susceptible to getting a nasty cold. While pulling an all-nighter is sometimes inevitable, try not to make it a too-common occurrence!
4. Shun the junk food
As the old saying goes, you are what you eat. While university seems to invite a never-ending stream of fast food and takeaways, keeping your body properly nourished should be at the top of your agenda. Include at least five fruits and vegetables into your day, keep fizzy, sugary drinks to a minimum, and drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. If you don’t eat breakfast, then you need to start doing so! Eating first thing in the morning wakes up your metabolism and gives your hungry body the energy it needs for the day. Have something with plenty of protein, such as eggs and wholegrain toast, to give your body the kick start it needs in the morning, otherwise you’ll find yourself feeling ravenous by mid-morning.
5. Don’t sweat the small stuff
Finally, learning to manage the stresses of life in university is very important for your student health. The lifestyle of exams and essays can be extremely taxing on your mind, and so it is imperative that you not only nourish your body, but also nourish your mind. Take regular breaks from working, try and attend meditation classes, do little bits of what makes you feel good, rather than throwing yourself into working all the time. Try to not procrastinate and leave all your deadlines until the very last minute, as this will only serve to heighten your stress levels. Learning to balance the different aspects of university life can be difficult, but with a little practice, can be done.
Going to university is one of the most pivotal moments in anyone’s life. The newfound freedom and independence can be liberating, but to really make the most of it, you need to make sure you’re looking after yourself too!