For many people, college is the first taste of real freedom.
All day-to-day decisions that were often made by parents are now up to the child.
There is no guardian to stand around and hold them accountable.
One of these major choices is eating well and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Without parents telling us to eat our greens, will we actually eat them? Probably not.
But a healthy lifestyle is key to doing well in school and maintaining an overall positive well-being. Staying healthy in college is no easy feat. But it doesn’t have to be impossible. Here are some tips.
The 80/20 rule is a common strategy used by people who want to create a sustainable healthy lifestyle. In this rule, the goal is to eat healthy 80% of the time and indulge 20% of the time. This proves to be a sustainable strategy because while it does advocate for healthy eating, it still allows for fun foods.
When it comes to choosing healthy foods in college, there are a few options. Filling up on vegetables is an excellent way to feel full, get in your greens, and consume the necessary vitamins and fiber. Most schools offer a salad bar in the cafeteria.
Another option to incorporate healthy eating is by prepping healthy snacks. These can include fruits, vegetables, and even homemade granola bars.
There are plenty of online resources that can guide you through tasty and healthy snacks. These are perfect for on-the-go or lazy eating.
This tip is particularly helpful if you live on a college campus. Most college campuses in America are very walkable.
The buildings, dorms, and cafeterias tend to all sit within walking distance away from each other. Walking from building to building is an easy way to incorporate movement into your routine without needing to go to the gym.
Walking is one of the best ways to get exercise. It is easy on the joints and muscles. Most fitness resources say 10,000 steps per day is a good goal for healthy moving. Walking around campus is an excellent way to achieve this.
Another option is to bike around campus. This is another way to get your body moving without having to walk.
Overall, the goal is to just incorporate at least 30 minutes of activity into your daily routine. Whether that is walking or biking on campus, or any other methods of movement, just moving is enough.
For all the over 21 college students, alcohol can have a drastic effect on overall health. While drinking alcohol, in general, is not necessarily bad, excessive drinking on weekends can add up.
This is often because the drink choices tend to be high in calories. Both beer and sugary drinks can pack a big caloric punch.
An option for reducing the sugar intake in drinking is to opt for smarter drink choices. This can include lighter beers, low sugar seltzers, or more conscious cocktails.
Simple switches like diet soda mixers instead of full-sugar mixers can help save some grams of sugar. Additionally, simple day-to-day, nonalcoholic swaps can go a long way.
If your typical coffee order is packed with sugar, try slowly getting it less and less sweet. Or if you’re a big soda drinker, opt for lower-sugar options.
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Drinks are an excellent spot to start reducing excess sugar and calories. Nowadays, the “zero” or diet versions of drinks are just as good as the original.
Staying healthy in college is not simply about looks. Having an overall healthy lifestyle can help your mind function better, it can help stabilize emotions, and can even ease anxiety.
Making healthy decisions in college may not be the easiest task, but with some planning, it is certainly possible. Indulging every once in a while with friends is a perfectly fine option and with flexible eating habits, it is very possible. Ultimately, just focusing on nourishing and fueling our bodies and minds is the end goal.
Image Credit: tricks for staying healthy in college by twenty20.com
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