Staying Active

What college students can do to better their welfare, attitude and overall life

The average college student who works, on top of their studies, is less likely to have time to socialize, go out and exercise, get regular sleep, and lead a more robust and balanced life, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a result of these time management issues, many college students don’t have the time to make themselves a well-balanced breakfast or make their lunch ahead of time. This guide will look at ways to combat some of the issues that plague today’s working student.

Balanced Meals

Students can go to their campus cafeteria and ask for a nice breakfast platter but are still functioning off of four to five hours of sleep. Summer will be here soon. We know you want to get fit but you have to start by eating properly first.

Barnes et al., conducted an experiment where they took a look at 264 incoming college students, between the ages of 18 and 20. This was done so they can distinguish the kind of eating habits that students can develop as they begin their college career. They also took a look at any form of parenting style they were raised with. The experiment concluded with only 44 percent of students practicing the same habits since before starting college. Parenting style didn’t have much effect on college students compared to parenting a toddler.

It’s important to do your research and figure out, then distinguish, what kind of foods you can eat to help you reach your goals for toning up and getting help. Your plate should be mostly fruits and vegetables, according to Harvard’s School of Public Health. Avoiding fried food, too many carbs, and processed sugars are also linked to better health. A research study was conducted for the Memory and Aging Project. The project was conducted by Rush University that helps them to better understand the relation between the leafy greens we should eat and the hope to prevent aging problems such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Less red meat should also be a staple in anybody’s nutrition. It’s fair to not completely cut out beef, but try minimizing consumption. The death rate increases due to people eating more than two servings of red meat a day, according to a study done by Harvard Medical School. They studied one-hundred and twenty-one thousand men and women for twenty-four years. The results showed that 12 percent of men who eat 2 servings of unprocessed meat a day, and 13 percent of women who eat 2 servings of unprocessed meat a day are more likely to suffer from high cholesterol or too much sodium.

Moderate red meat consumption is crucial for good health, but one way to avoid all those problems is to adopt the Mediterranean Diet. The diet focuses on reducing the consumption of red meats and eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains and cooking all your food with healthy fats like canola oil and olive oil.

Consider meal prepping the day, night, or week before. It will save you time and a considerable amount of money. A big, important last tip would be to begin every morning with a nice healthy balanced breakfast and give yourself time to prepare and enjoy.

Get Out and Exercise

Exercise is perhaps the most dreaded part of keeping a healthy lifestyle. However, everybody should make it a priority. The average college student gains 10 pounds during college, according to Chicago Tribune. The percentage of students in the study who became overweight or obese at some point during college rose from 23 percent to 41 percent, an increase of 78 percent, according to that same report.

Exercise has been proven to relieve stress and improve mood, as well as boost brain cell development. It improves memory and improves concentration and focus both in the gym and in class. “Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious,” according to Mayo Clinic. It will also boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem according to the same article.

A simple 45 minute to an hour run or jog is sufficient enough to get someone into the habit and rhythm of exercise. Cardio is a necessary staple in everybody’s workout because it’s what can help you with reaching your goal, but you shouldn’t completely cut out weight. If the weights work more for you, keep it up. But if not, there are always many other ways, like doing intramural sports, participating on the swim team or playing for your local club or league tournaments.

As students of Glendale Community College, we are fortunate enough to have facilities that can help us get started on our fitness journey. We have an indoor basketball court, track field, soccer field/football field, and a weight room, as well as a fitness area where there are treadmills and ellipticals for student use. Of course, you must be registered in a class for access, but it’s a very easy one unit class. Sometimes walking can do much for an individual as well. The American Heart Association recommends an average person get 10,000 steps in a day

Catch Some Z’s

Finally, the last thing that every college student habitually avoids: sleep. A good nights rest is what will determine whether or not we will make it through physics or forget to get off at the right bus stop.“Lack of sleep is associated with both physical and emotional health risks,” according to the University of Georgia. To name some of these risks: a lowered immune system, stress overload, lower grades and grade point averages, depression, anxiety, and more.

On average, “most adults need somewhere between 6-10 hours of sleep per night,” according to the University Health Center at Georgia University. Students will find themselves sleeping in for 2-5 hours more on weekends, and although you are getting an ideal amount of sleep during weekends, it just means that you aren’t receiving enough sleep throughout the week. To fix that, try aiming for 7-8 hours of sleep on school nights as recommended.

Meditation yoga, 30 minutes before going to bed is one way to promote better sleep.  “Over 55% of people who did yoga found that it helped them get better sleep. Over 85% said yoga helped reduce stress,” according to a national survey done by Harvard Medical School.  You can also try documenting your sleeping hours or make a sleeping schedule.

Nutrition, good sanitation, exercise, focus, and a good night’s sleep will make you an overall healthier person. It is normal for college students to forget the importance of all these things because they are no longer in high school where everything is done ahead of time for them. The more you forget about the 3 top important things for a healthier lifestyle, the more unorganized and unhealthy you’ll feel.