Making it through your freshman year of college without gaining the dreaded “freshman 15” is quite a feat these days. Unfortunately, poor diet and nutrition habits, coupled with stress and lack of sleep, can lead to weight gain very quickly and result in even more poor eating and lifestyle habits. We’re passionate about helping students stay healthy and optimizing their health and performance so they can do great in college. Here are 9 great health and wellness tips to keep you mind and body going in a positive direction.
1. Eat breakfast. Start your day off right with a good meal when you get up. Whether you’re rolling out of bed at noon or up at the crack of dawn for class, make sure you start your day with a balanced, healthy meal.
2. Don’t skip meals. With so much to do, it’s easy to forgo eating to run off to class or the library. Don’t skip meals. Set up foods you can eat on the run so you’ll have the energy to keep going.
3. Play a sport. One way to get yourself motivated to exercise is to make it a game by playing a sport. Join an intramural team or play recreational sports through your school to get active and have fun at the same time.
4. Stick to a schedule. With different classes and work hours each day, it can be hard to stick to a schedule, but keeping sleep times similar from day to day can greatly improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep.
5. Wear flip flops in the shower. Dorm bathrooms are generally cleaned daily, but can become dirty quickly with so many students sharing them. Always make sure to wear sandals in the shower to avoid getting viruses and bacteria that can cause warts and athlete’s foot.
6. Understand you can’t do everything. While you might want to go to class, work, play a sport, and participate in clubs and social activities, the reality is that sooner or later you’re going to get run down by trying to do so much. Focus on doing the things you truly love and forget about the rest.
7. Relax with hobbies. Whether you like to paint or to destroy aliens with your friends in video games, making time for the things you love is an important part of keeping yourself from getting too stressed out.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many people feel embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help with their depression but this is unnecessary as it’s a common and treatable problem that you don’t have to deal with alone. Tap into campus resources to find help or tell a friend how you’re feeling.
9. Quit smoking. No matter how much you may love the sweet thrill of a nicotine rush, the reality is that smoking just isn’t good for you or anyone around you. Quit as soon as you can to save your lungs, heart, teeth and years of your life.
(Source: Health Services at Rutgers)