Wellness Tips for College Students

Many college students feel they can't find the time to keep up on their personal health and wellness until an illness or mental health crisis stops them in their tracks. And it's no wonder. The academic rigor and active community and social engagement is sure to keep students busy. Here are some tips to keep in mind as you journey through your college education:

EXERCISE

Fitting exercise into a busy schedule isn't always the easiest thing, but take stock of some of these tips to help you get on track to fitness.

1. Ride your bike. Instead of driving across campus try biking instead. It will give you a few minutes of exercise that you normally wouldn't get.

2. Play a sport. One way to get yourself motivated to exercise is to make it a game by playing a sport. You'll get active and have fun at the same time.

3. Use safety equipment. No matter what sport you're playing, make sure you always use the proper safety equipment. It will keep you from getting hurt, which will allow you to stay active more consistently.

4. Head to the gym. HealthActions is here for YOU! If you haven't already, stop by and start working out.

5. Take advantage of group fitness. HealthActions offers several group fitness classes such as boot camp style classes, Zumba and even CrossFit251, to help you get fit. Misery loves company, right?!

6. Walk to class. If biking isn't an option for you, don't automatically jump in the car and drive to class or to your residence hall. ASCC is a very small campus. If you walk to where you need to go, you'll stretch your legs, burn some calories, and relax before the next item on your busy schedule.

7. Incorporate different kinds of exercise in your routine. When you work out, don't just stick to one kind of workout. Incorporate strength training, cardio, and stretching exercises into your routine to make it well-rounded.

8. Make it fun. You're probably not going to work out if you are bored with your routine or find going to the gym torture. Find a way to make it fun for yourself and you'll be much more likely to keep it up.

9. Bring a friend. With someone else relying on you to shows up, you'll be much more likely to make the effort to work out. Plus, working out with a friend can be a great way to make working out more fun.

10. Take advantage of open spaces. Enjoy the open spaces on campus are yours to use. Walk around or play Frisbee. Being active in these spaces is also a great way to meet new people. DIET AND NUTRITION Follow these tips to help keep your body fueled and ready to meet the demands of your college experience.

11. Learn proper portion size. To avoid eating too much of even the healthiest foods, keep track of how much you're eating. For most people, meat servings should be about the size of a deck of cards and other servings vary by the type of food.

12. Vary your meals. Changing up your diet from day to day is an important part of good nutrition so take advantage of the variety of selections available to you.

13. 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, make sure you start your day with a balanced, healthy meal.

14. Keep healthy snacks around. It's easy to eat healthy if you keep the Cheetos at bay and stock up your room with fruits and other healthy snacks. You'll be more likely to reach for these than junk food if you keep them nearby or in your backpack.

15. Drink moderately. While college students are known for their partying, you can still have a good time without consuming all the calories that come with binging on beer, plus you'll avoid the hangovers and other negative side effects. Drink in moderation and you can have a good time without hurting your health.

16. Don't fight stress by eating. It can be tempting to reach for a bag of chips or some cookies when you're stressed out about an impending exam. Eating won't help your stress go away, so avoid filling up on snacks. Try working out or taking a break instead.

17. Drink water. Drinking enough water can help boost your concentration as well as keep you from overeating. Make sure to keep hydrated as you go through your day by bringing water withyou.

18. Limit sugary and caffeinated beverages. Beverages may not fill you up, but they sure can add the calories and have a detrimental effect on your overall health. You don't have to completely give up soda and coffee, but you should scale back in order to keep yourself in tip top shape.

19. Try to eat fruits and veggies. Even if fruits and vegetables don't comprise some of your favorite foods, try to incorporate at least a few of them into your diet each day.

20. Limit junk food. Junk food is fast and easy and many students end up eating a lot of it while they're on the run to class or to work. While a little fast food now and then won't really hurt you, make sure it doesn't become a habit. And if you have to stop for something quick, make healthier choices such as grilled chicken or salads.

21. Make it convenient to eat right. Don't make it hard for yourself to eat right. Buy healthy foods and stock your mini-fridge and room with them to ensure they're the first things at hand when you get hungry.

22. 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 keepgoing.

23. Indulge every once in a while. A little treat now and then is a great way to reward yourself for eating a healthy diet. Give yourself a break and indulge in a food you love but can't eat all the time.

STRESS

Students can get run down with so much going on. These tips can help you beat the stress.

24. Create a routine. If you get yourself in the habit of studying, working out, and sleeping at certain hours, it will be easier to fit in all the things you need to do in a day without feeling too stressed out.

25. Put limits on work hours. You can't work all the time-fun and relaxation have to be part of your routine as well. Limit the times when you will work to give yourself time to sleep and rest up so you won't get sick.

26. Give yourself a break. If you've been working steadily for hours, give your eyes and mind achance for a rest by taking a break. You can come back feeling more refreshed and ready to go. 2

7. Be realistic. Sometimes there's just no way you're going to get done everything you'd like to in one day. Be realistic about your goals and understand that you can only do so much.

28. 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 therest.

29. Get help. If you're feeling overwhelmed, reach out and ask for help from professors and friends. They may be able to give you more time or help you to complete projects and studying more quickly.

30. Cut back if needed. Sometimes students overwhelm themselves with everything they have going on. If you're feeling like you've got too much on your plate, cut back work hours, drop a class or cut out some extracurricular activities to make your schedule more manageable.

31. Relax with hobbies. Whether you like to paint or 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.

32. Give yourself plenty of time. It's easy to put off starting on a big project or studying for a test until the last minute. You'll be much less stressed out, however, and will likely do better if you give yourself more time to work on it.

33. Spend time with friends. There are few things that can cheer you up like being around the people you like most. Eat dinner with friends or just hang out and watch TV or take a walk to get away from the stress of homework.

34. Don't let yourself get run down. With so much to do, it's easy to get run down. If you feel yourself getting stretched too thin, take a step back and evaluate your schedule and work load to determine what's really important.

35. Learn time management skills. Time management skills will make everything from getting assignments done to managing work a lot easier. Visit the Academic Success Center for personalized time management tips. You deserve to get all you can out of every hour of theday.

Sleep

College students aren't exactly known for their “early to bed, early to rise” attitudes, but getting sleep is an integral part of staying healthy. Check out these tips to help you make sure you're resting enough.

36. Take a nap. If you have the time during the day, a short nap can do wonders for your energy levels. Just make sure not to nap too close to bedtime or for too long, and a nap will do your body good. 37. Don't do work in bed. Working in bed can make getting to sleep harder. Keep your work space separate from your sleep space to keep insomnia at bay.

38. Get a full night's rest whenever possible. While the amount of sleep each person needs varies, most people need 7-9 hours to feel fully rested. While this may not be possible every night, try to sleep a full night whenever you get the chance.

39. Stick to a schedule. With different classes and work hours every 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.

40. Understand that lack of sleep can have a big impact. Lack of sleep doesn't just make you cranky. It can also reduce your ability to concentrate and to excel in class, so try to get as much sleep as you need.

41. Discuss bedtimes with roommates. When sharing a room with someone it can be hard to go to bed when you need to and not get woken up when you don't want to. Try to work with your roomies to make sure each of you get the sleep you need.

42. Avoid all-nighters. While you may feel like you need to study all night to do well you might be doing yourself a disservice. Not getting enough sleep can impair your ability to do well, regardless of how much you've studied, so make sure you get at least a little sleep before your big test.

43. Create a bedtime routine. If you have trouble falling asleep at night you can help yourself by creating a routine that will let your mind and body know that bedtime is approaching and that it should get into sleep mode. After a few weeks of practice this should help you fall asleep when you need to.

44. Avoid caffeine, eating and drinking right before bed. All of these activities can throw off your body's internal clock, so try to limit meals, alcohol and caffeine consumption to a few hours before bed.

45. Keep your room dark and quiet. While college campuses are hardly either, try to keep your room as dark, quiet and cool as possible. This will help tell your body that it's time for bed and help you get and stay asleep.