Tips for a healthy college lifestyle

By Laura Gutierrez

Healthy living in Yuma is very hard to maintain. The food in most restaurants here can be greasy. Sad to say, it can lead people to poor nutrition and resulting health issues. You can change that by adjusting certain behaviors and by managing what goes in your body and what doesn't. For many people, though, that's easier said than done, but you can begin to build a stronger lifestyle by following these five tips:

1) Learn how to eat healthy. Going to school, working eight hours, maintaining a social life and having kids is a tough job. But regularly eating greasy pizza and fries after a long day is definitely not going to help you be healthy. You can still have pizza and fries, but every once in a while you might enjoy a scrumptious meal from the campus Eatery or dine out with your family. This could easily be a tasty steak accompanied by steaming veggies and a loaded baked potato as a side dish.
2) Exercise as much as you can. Many people who attend college think gym class is sufficient when it comes to keeping them healthy, but in reality that's not true. Try aerobics, hiking, running, walking, for example. Exercise gives you much more energy than any energy drink. Besides having that little boost of energy, there's a boost in confidence. Working out also helps remove stress by sweating out the day's worries. Less stress equals a healthier life. Don't make exercise a chore, make it a lifestyle!
3) Get enough sleep. Most of us know that getting a good night's sleep is important, but too few of us actually make those eight hours between the sheets a priority. Especially going to school, we've forgotten what being really, truly rested feels like. If you plan out your day ahead of time, you will have a better chance to complete homework, study for a test and still sneak in time for a quick nap. Make sure to get those few hours of sleep to feel energized and focused in school the next day.
4) Drink lots of water! Water helps keep your brain sharp and eliminates toxins in your body. Learn to use water as a replacement to cut back on coffee consumption. The biggest benefit of water is keeping you hydrated. Bring a water bottle to your class, whether it's morning or afternoon. Whenever you feel your eyes are shutting down, always remember drinking water will trigger your adrenaline and boost blood flow to your brain.
5) Avoid bad habits. Tobacco, drug use and alcohol can have long-term negative effects on your health. Instead create clean habits -- such as the ones above -- to avoid packing on pounds. Make sure to never skip breakfast, stay motivated with social obligations and basically avoid anything that will make you feel uneasy and awful.

Once you start making some of these tips a habit, I guarantee you'll feel much healthier. The real first step in starting all this is truly believing in yourself. Being healthy has the best impact on our bodies, and so it should play an important role in our daily activities. Above all, it certainly takes commitment and support from your family and friends.

(Photo by Pam Black)

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