Tips for a healthy college experience

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Tips for a healthy college experience

Staying healthy with Roby Knight and Tehya Campbell.

Staying healthy with Roby Knight and Tehya Campbell.

Makenzie Peterson

Staying healthy with Roby Knight and Tehya Campbell.

Makenzie Peterson

Makenzie Peterson

Staying healthy with Roby Knight and Tehya Campbell.

Makenize Peterson, Staff Writer

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Staying healthy in college is important, not only for your own success, but for those around you too. It’s easy for students to forget themselves with the stress of school and work surrounding them. Below are some tips to keep in mind when the stress of the world starts weighing on your shoulders.

Clean Your Living Space Often

Having a cluttered living space can be stressful, and cleaning it gives people a sense of calm and accomplishment. Cleaning can also increase productivity, says pendragonhomes.com. Less mess means less stress. “Once having a clean bedroom was engrained into my routine,” says Senior Nicole Wilson “My life has been less stressful.” Keeping your living space clean also helps you stay organized, which is essential in college.

Get 8 Hours of Sleep Every Night.

Sometimes, deadlines pile up and students forego sleep in favor of getting assignments done. While it’s true getting your work done is important, sleep is also important. Recent studies have shown that the lack of sleep causes significant changes in the body. According to healthline.com, these changes increase the risk of serious health concerns such as obesity, disease, and early death. When you sleep, the body has mechanisms that decrease risk for adverse health conditions, manage your hunger levels, maintain your immune system, and retain memory.

Exercise & Keep Active

In college, the workload can sometimes be too much, and at the end of the day, sleep seems like a better option than exercise. While sleep is important, so is exercise. Physical activity can improve health while reducing risk of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Exercising triggers the brain to release dopamine, a “happy hormone,” which will overall improve your quality of life. According to huffpost.com, exercise could be as simple as walking to class.

Eat Whole Food Meals & Snacks

Most college students face a new environment when it comes to meal preparation, planning, and eating. Most of us know that eating healthy is good, and eating fast food is bad. However, tight schedules have students running to fast food, or not eating at all. Remember to set aside some time to make a healthy meal for yourself instead of grabbing those chips that just look so good. According to nshss.org, sleep, exercise, diet, and nutrition will dictate cognitive performance, physical wellbeing, and overall immunity.

Have a Party Strategy

Parties are what everyone looks forward to in college. The time to go out, hang with friends, and just forget about that deadline that’s coming up. While it is good to just let loose and have fun,  have a plan before you go out. Try not to go alone, set a personal time limit so you can still get enough sleep and be productive the next day, and just be aware of your surroundings. As nshss.org says “The impact of staying out late in itself can have negative repercussions on sleep, immunity, mental clarity, and overall energy.”

Stay Hydrated/avoid caffeine and sugary drinks

Drinking the recommended amount of water is very important to our health. According to familydoctor.org, water helps us regulate body temperature, prevent infections, delivers nutrients to cells, keep joints lubricated, and our organs functioning properly. Besides the health issues, being hydrated also improves sleep quality, cognition, and mood. It is recommended that women drink roughly eleven cups of water a day, and men drink sixteen. Drinking caffeinated or sugary drinks does not help with hydration, so try to avoid them.

Wash your hands

Washing our hands is the first and most important step we can take to avoid getting sick. We come into contact with multiple objects throughout the day, and our hands are our largest mechanism for interaction. It is so easy for diseases to spread simply because people do not wash their hands. According to cdc.gov, simply opening a door then rubbing your eye can allow a disease to spread to you.

Relax (but not too much)

According to huffpost.com, new research shows that some stress can be beneficial for us. However, too much stress can be detrimental. Long term emotional stress can weaken the immune system and cause high blood pressure, fatigue, depression, anxiety, and heart disease. Too much epinephrine can damage your heart, change the arteries, and change how cells are able to regenerate.

Wear sunscreen and avoid tanning

No amount of tanning is good for you. Tanning doesn’t just come with the risk of burning, which can cause skin cancer, but because your body doesn’t even begin to tan until dangerous UV rays have punctured the skin and started altering or destroying DNA. That DNA altering alone greatly increases the risk of skin cancer. “Sunscreen is important no matter the temperature outside. If the sun is out, there is a possibility your skin will burn.” says Tehya Campbell. According to livescience.com, it’s at the very start of the tanning process that skin cells die from sun damage, so all tanning (other than fake skin color) is dangerous.

 

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