A Student’s Guide to Staying Healthy
Caught between the stress of University work, lack of sleep from endless night’s out and that greasy feeling that only comes from eating too many take aways, staying healthy at University can seem to many like the completely impossible.
However, it genuinely is much easier than it seems. It only takes a few simple steps to maintain your health as a student and stay clear of the ever-famous freshers’ fifteen (the rumoured fifteen pounds that way too many students manage to pile on in their first year of Uni).
So follow this student guide to staying healthy and you’ll end up feeling happier, fitter and maybe even slimmer… atleast until Christmas anyways.
1. You are what you eat
As a student it’s so easy to prioritize eating cheaply over eating healthy as a lot of organic foods and fresh fruit and vegetables can be very expensive. The solution is easy: frozen veg, it’s super cheap, healthy and will last so much longer, ideal for a student.
Every student loves a good old take-away and that’s okay, we’re definitely not going to stop you from having your after-club kebab but just make sure it’s in moderation. If you’re going out every evening then your midnight munchies and late night snacking habits might have to be put on hold.
For those fitness conscious students, there’s serious truth to the saying “abs are made in the kitchen”. 80% (or more) of fitness progress is determined by your source of energy, what you’re putting into your stomach, so make sure it’s all good! Lean meat such as chicken and turkey are extremely cheap, extremely healthy and a great source of protein.
2. Drink like a fish
… that means water! The average adult male is 60% water and for a reason. Your body needs to be properly hydrated in order to function properly, especially your muscles, it also has a significant effect on having healthy and clear skin, so drinking lots of water is essential to everyone. As a busy student (probably with a hangover) this is even more important. A good tip would be to purchase some berocca or hydration tablets to have every now and again, carry a water bottle around with you and try to avoid fizzy drinks. Remember in order to stay healthy… stay hydrated.
3. When life hands you lemons, crack open the gin
Cutting out the bad things in your life is a sure way to remain healthy but alcohol definitely does not have to be one of those bad things, especially for a student. Being aware of what you are drinking, quantity and quality, can make all the difference to your health so watch out for fatty beers and sugary VKs and cocktails. On the other side, Gin or vodka are the two spirits with the least amount of calories and mixed with soda or low-cal tonic then you’re onto a winner. And did we hear someone say that a glass of red wine a day is actually good for you…?
4. Check your steps
There’s a reason why the iPhone comes with the health app automatically installed, you have no choice in the fact that apple is counting your steps per day for you, so why not make the most of it and make sure you’re doing enough… check your steps. You might find that you’re not even close to reaching the daily steps expected of a young and fit student. Maybe you should start walking to campus instead of getting the bus, maybe you should take the stairs not the lift, maybe you should actually use the gym for working out instead of people watching (although it is fab for that). For those without an iphone, step counting apps can be downloaded on all smart phones or you can purchase fit-bits or for those less technical there’s the old clip on step counter. Checking your steps is also hilarious after a night out – it’s crazy how many steps you’ll do two-stepping in the club between 1 and 2am… just saying.
5. Count sheep
Getting a decent amount of sleep (supposedly 8 hours a night) can be hard for a student, especially with late nights and 9am lectures, however it is extremely essential. Sleep not only reduces your tiredness but also protects your mental health and can help you avoid stress, anxiety and mood swings. The brain needs rest in order to function to the best of its abilities and so in order to ensure the best grades, make sure that you get the best sleep you can. Sleep deprivation can also be known to cause weight gain and reduce fitness levels… so basically, make the most of the nights you’re not out and count as many sheep as you possibly can because you want all the sleep you can get!
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