Health Tips for Students from Pioneer Pacific College14 August 2014
As a student, it’s safe to say you’re busy, right? Running from work to class to the library or coffee shop, days are long, nights are short and your health can end up being pushed aside, replaced by energy drinks and cold pizza. Unfortunately, too many busy students let their health slip as they try to balance an ever looming schedule. So, what can a busy college student do to stay on top of their health while not sacrificing free time that always seems to go first?
We’ve all heard it before, eat right. It may seem redundant or pesky but it’s true. The food you eat fuels your body and mind, so students, it’s important to put the right stuff in! Processed foods can contain large amounts of sugar and carbs. It’s fast energy, but when it runs out, you’ll hit the dreaded 2 pm slump. Instead, opt for whole foods like fruits and veggies. Keep a stash of raw almonds and some string cheese in your backpack for afternoon snacks and be sure to never skip a meal outright. Throwing off your blood sugar is just going to make you irritable, groggy and less motivated to finish your term paper or group project. Know what comes next? No skipping breakfast. Did you know, breakfast jump starts your metabolism for the entire day? That’s right! So, finding the breakfast that fuels you most effectively is key. From greek yogurt and natural granola to eggs and a banana, protein in the morning will help to keep you full longer and fuel your brain too!
Finding your optimal amount of sleep and striving toward it every night can be hard. Assignments and studying can stretch late into the evening and classes or work can have you up early. In a previous blog, we touched on the topic of time management including free time. Planning ahead can also help you to avoid the late night cram sessions that interrupt your sleep schedule and can throw you off for days. Of course, some nights it may be unavoidable but making a concerted effort to get consistent sleep will help you to feel refreshed, cognitively present and ready to take on the world!
Another seemingly common sense health practice is exercise. For students this can be tough to justify when grades, work and other obligations take precedent. Instead of booking 2 hours at the gym a day, be realistic. Do you have a 30 min break between classes? Why not walk the campus? Fresh air and movement can help perk up your body and mind for the next class. Do you live on or near campus? Bike to class instead of driving; it’s economical and good for you. Feeling like a good cardio day is in order? Bring your textbook and read it while you’re on the bike, treadmill or elliptical. There will be days when making it to the gym isn’t an option but if you build in opportunities for physical fitness into your day, you’re likely going to feel better. Still not convinced? Find a buddy! Have someone else holding you accountable can be just the ticket to get you motivated on the tough days!
Stress management is also a contributing factor to poor health. Especially for students juggling a number of other obligations, stress can take over and cause you to feel physically ill, emotionally drained and just exhausted. Finding ways to prevent and relieve stress is important. Whether you opt for planning ahead to avoid cramming stress or you turn to meditation or yoga to release those negative feelings, stress should be managed, not ignored or repressed.
For many college students, health falls low on the list of priorities. Unfortunately, grades, work and social seem to always trump that. But how can you enjoy the other parts if you’re feeling overwhelmed, under the weather or just plain ill? Taking care of your health is part of a successful college experience, career and life. Plus, the habits formed in college can translate into other aspects of life, meaning a healthier and happier you for years to come.
At Pioneer Pacific, we’re committed to providing not only top notch education but also helping our students achieve success outside of the classroom. Do you have tips and trick for staying healthy in college? Share them with us and the rest of the Pioneer Pacific College community!