College students have a lot going against them when it comes to staying healthy. There’s the stress of coursework and packed schedules. And there’s that new-found independence, which can take some unhealthy forms.
Between going to class, studying for exams, making big decisions and maintaining relationships, college students can quickly abandon critical things such as physical health and fitness.
Challenges Of Staying Fit On Campus
- The biggest challenge for students is trying to make their health a priority in the midst of a busy academic and social schedule.
- Competing priorities tend to create a big challenge for college students when it comes to staying fit. Students tell us that between classes, studying, socializing and extra-curricular commitments they are overbooked.
- Being bound to campus dining services by meal plans or convenience, students encounter all kinds of obstacles to balanced eating. Poor variety of fruits and veggies, the high cost of fresh food in comparison to processed snacks make it even more difficult to make good choices.
Tips For Staying Fit On Campus
1. Stock your mini-fridge like a boss. If you have access to a fridge in your dorm room or a communal one on your floor, keep it stocked with staples like hummus and carrots, low-fat cheese, vegetable sticks, and whole-grain wraps.
2. Keep sugary and processed food out of your dorm room. That way, you won’t be inclined to clear your candy stores when you get super stressed.
3. Set a fitness goal and stick to it. A lot of students think that they don’t have time to exercise, but in fact, they don’t have time not to exercise considering its potent effects on the brain.
4. Walk everywhere. Yeah, there’s shuttle service between your dorm and your farthest class, but a 20-minute walk to campus and 20-minute walk home is 40 minutes of exercise.
5. Wear your workout clothes to class. This way, you can go straight to the gym after class without packing a bag.
6. Get a fitness tracker you love. Paying for books and bedspreads and the college itself is enough to leave you strapped for cash. But people who pay attention to how much they walk often end up competing against themselves and going all out to reach their daily goals.
7. Plan your class schedule around your ideal workout routine. If you prefer to work out in the morning, opt for classes that start late enough for you to work out on your way to class.
8. Have a workout buddy. There are many benefits to working out with others. Having a workout buddy or small group that plans to meet at the gym on certain days will help you to stay on track. If you have the accountability as well as someone banking on you being at the gym, you are far more likely to actually get there and get the work done. Find someone with similar workout goals and interests and start planning to go together.
9. Watching Your Diet. Try to pack your lunch choosing healthy foods to eliminate the fast food stops and be certain to carry around a water bottle to drink as much water as you can throughout the day for proper hydration.
Building a healthy relationship with exercise for personal wellness is important for every individual, especially college students. In a dynamic world filled with stress, newfound independence, and negative media-induced body image ideals, it is important for students to build healthy habits now to jumpstart a lifetime of wellness.
Getting good grades, focusing in class and balancing a busy schedule may be easier if you maintain a healthy lifestyle. By making small changes in your diet and activity level, you can reap big benefits for your overall health.