Staying healthy can be a challenge at uni as partying and visiting your local kebab shop becomes part of your daily routine and self-control becomes a distant memory. The schedule of the average student can cause havoc on your diet, sleep pattern and exercise regime so it’s important to know how to stay healthy!
1. Join a gymI found the best way to stay healthy at uni was to exercise frequently. Although it may sound expensive, many universities have on campus gym’s that are a fraction of the price of generic gyms and they usually offer a 9 month or 12 month gym membership with a high discount. I found that committing to a contract forced me to go to the gym a lot more than I would if it was ‘optional’ and it gave me a structured fitness routine that I stuck to each week. If you find self discipline difficult, join the same gym as a friend and go together or sign up to fitness classes that your friends go to, to encourage yourself to go more.
2. Take your bike to uniIf you’re tight for cash as the semester begins, a great alternative to a gym membership is to take your bike to uni. This saves the cost of buying a bus pass in your new city and also helps to keep you active.
3. Sleep wellAs boring as it sounds, sleeping well is essential to staying healthy. Lack of sleep from going out partying every night of the week began to have an impact on my energy levels and weaken my immune system causing me to get ill more frequently. Remember, it's important to go out and enjoy yourself, but ensure you're making time for yourself and having enough rest. We’re not saying you have to be in bed with a hot water bottle at 8pm, just a little more sleep might help you keep your eyes open a little longer in those 9am lectures. I suggest having a film night in with flatmates in between nights out for a bit of rest and relaxation.
4. Plan your mealsWhilst partying, attending lectures and meeting deadlines, I found it really difficult to plan a regular meal schedule and stick to it. It was often a lot easier to grab something on the go, however this meant I was swapping salads and sandwiches for chips from the uni canteen and becoming more unhealthy. Try prepping food on a Sunday for the week, this helped me save money as I planned each meal and didn’t need to buy extras and it also made me eat healthier. Not going to lie, I am a huge pizza fan, but try to avoid ordering takeaway at 3am as studies have shown late night eating can cause unhealthy weight gain. Why not try making a stir fry that you can knock up in the time it takes you to walk to the takeaway and back?!
5. Monitor stress levelsIt’s easy for students to get run down as stress levels increase and deadlines approach. I found putting limits on my working hours and giving myself regular breaks helped me to control my stress. It’s impossible to work all of the time, sitting in the library staring at the same wall wearing the same clothes for 24 hours is completely counter productive. Relaxation must become a part of your university routine and you’ll find you will go back to your work feeling refreshed and ready to go if you take a little bit of time out.
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