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May 31 2017
by Isabella Rose Prieto

10 Simple Tips to Stay Healthy as A College Student

By Isabella Rose Prieto - May 31 2017
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It can be tough to balance being a diligent student and being physically and mentally healthy. Overloads of schoolwork tend to impede our other priorities. Here are several tips that range from easily made healthy snacks to tricks on how to best utilize breaks in a way that will nourish the mind, body and soul. Including these simple tips into my everyday lifestyle has truly helped me look, and more importantly feel, my best as a student. 

1. Go for a walk/run during your study break.

With loads upon loads of studying and writing, it is extremely easy to put exercise on the back burner. Creating the habit of getting outside and moving your body during your study breaks is an excellent way to get your health on track. Study for a few hours in your comfiest workout clothes, then slip on your sneakers and go for a 20-30 minute walk or jog. This will immediately make you feel more productive and stimulate endorphin production. Your mind will be clearer and you will feel much more capable of completing your work, I promise!

2. Make a quick and easy snack that will fuel your mind and won't hurt your belly.

Studying burns a lot of mental energy. You'll find that after a few hours (or minutes) of studying, you'll start to feel hungry. At that point, it's crucial you make the correct snack choice! Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole wheat bread or carrots with hummus are nutritious choices that taste amazing. It's much better to snack on these easily made snacks than grabbing that oily bag of chips. Often, you will already have these ingredients at home! Making one of these snacks can act as a quick five-minute break from studying 

3. Don't leave your course work until late at night: Sleep is necessary to be happy and healthy.

This one may not be as easy to accomplish with all the work that students sometimes tend to have. Your brain will thank you when you stop procrastinating and get the work done as soon as possible. The best way to get enough sleep while still completing your work is to complete it right after class! If that isn't possible, try to begin scheduling in times to complete work that are most convenient for you.

4. Keep a bottle of water next to you as you work.

Water is essential to good health and well-being. It gets our bodies working properly. With water by your side, you'll stay hydrated and efficient enough to complete your tasks. If you find it hard to up your water intake, add a few slices of lemon, a few berries or any other fruit. This provides extra flavor and lots of beneficial antioxidants. Always keep a reusable water bottle with you so that you are constantly reminded to drink up!

5. Always wash your hands.

Students are always in and out of classrooms where other people have previously been. You've definitely sat at a desk where hundreds of other students have sat. Therefore, it is crucial that you scrub-a-dub-dub your hands whenever you can.

6. Don't skip meals!

Being overworked students, we sometimes get sidetracked by all of our work. Waking up early for class or to complete an assignment, we often forget to eat breakfast. In order to make sure that doesn't happen, keep some protein bars or granola bars on hand. My favorite thing to do is to keep a bar in my school bag. This ensures that if I completely forget to eat in the morning, I have something to eat.

7. Surround yourself with like-minded people who want the best for you! 

Sometimes its hard to begin a healthy lifestyle because your friends or family are stuck in unhealthy habits. It's hard to escape eating fast food and being a couch potato when you live with people who include those habits into their daily lives. Look for friends who strive to be healthier, or even try to include your current friends and family into your health goals. 

8. Skip the added sweeteners!

As students, we tend to drink coffee in abundance. I have plenty of friends who have at least a cup each morning! If you're adding brown sugar, refined sugar or even artificial sweeteners, you are definitely not making a healthy choice. Skip the sweetener and add a little almond milk. You will enjoy the natural flavors of the coffee and probably won't drink an excessive amount!

9. Don't feel guilty about prioritizing other things!

Being a student does not always need to come first on the list of priorities. Yes, education is extremely and important and should be cherished, but it's not always healthy to skip family time to study for a test you have in two days. Sometimes it's healthier for the soul to put the books away and go to lunch with friends, watch some television with the family or read a book. Setting the schoolwork aside for a few hours may even be beneficial and will help you reset your mind!

10. It's OK to indulge!

If you include these tips into your daily routine, it's OK to treat yourself every once in a while. Obviously, don't overdo it, but it's OK to eat out or have an ice cream or piece of pizza once a week! It's also healthy for your mind and soul to allow yourself that bit of freedom. Don't restrict yourself! Everything is fine in moderation. 

I always thought that truly being healthy as a busy student was difficult and required too much effort. After implementing a variety of these tips into my daily lifestyle, I learned that being healthy can be simple and does not have to include rigorous exercise and strict dieting!

Lead Image Credit: 20th Century Fox

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Isabella Rose Prieto - New York University

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