April 10, 2014

The college life doesn't exactly lend itself to a healthy life, unfortunately. I'm not just talking eating right and exercising, but also sleeping, social health, and well.. your immune system can be compromised. Actually, it will be compromised. Life happens. However after almost completing a year of college and living in a communal space (that may or may not be cleaned all the times it's supposed to be) I believe I'm equipped to lend you some help in this department. Here are five helpful tips that you can carry with you to combat all of these future problems, and to keep your immune system or any other part of your life from being compromised. 

1. A little breakfast perspective...
Breakfast is way more important than you think. Even if you have an 8 AM class and you don't have time to have a good breakfast, just grab a granola bar or a banana/apple and take it to class with you. I'm begging you, and you'll thank yourself. Studies most certainly have shown that people that skip breakfast lose less weight and even gain weight compared to those who skip out on the granola. I know there are those that say, "I'm too nauseous to even eat that early," however its recommended to eat at least an hour within waking up. Wait until you get to class, maybe you won't be so sick then. Well, it depends on the class. if it was Microbiology, I might hurl, too. 

If you like to start off your day with a little exercise, the girls of Tone It Up recommend having a banana and maybe some coffee before you exercise. You have to have something in your stomach to 1. keep you going and 2. burn calories, not muscle.

If you do have time to have a big breakfast, here are some things I recommend: 

"Catching up" on sleep may leave you behind...
It's college, there are some times where we either have to pull an all-nighter, or are out late with our friends and we magically remember we have an 8 AM class at 3 AM. After those nights, usually the next day is filled with  a deep slumber from 9 PM to 9AM. That twelve hours of sleep may sound wonderful, but most people feel groggy after sleeping that long. This is because it is more healthful for our bodies to have a set sleep schedule, than sleep longer nights. If you can get to bed by midnight during the week, that's great. Set an alarm for the earliest you wake up, and wake up at that time every day, but if you can sleep in sleep in after that alarm. Even if you just go to the bathroom at that time. Maintaining a regular sleep cycle keeps both your circadian rhythm and your under eye circles happy.

picture from
I use my Up by Jawbone not only ot track my steps but my sleep. This is usually what my night of sleep looks like. I am for 7.5 hours of sleep, and usually get between that and 8.5.

Keep your stuff clean, keep your body clean
College can be a breeding ground for germs, it's not secret. 50 girls or boys sharing one bathroom, not including guests of others can be a recipe for disaster. Think of how many people sat on that toilet seat before you? And you best hope those counters are cleaned thoroughly. Not to make you paranoid or anything! Unless it's too late, oops. Just remember to keep your area tidy, well swept and disinfected if you can. Sleep and eat your vegetables to keep your immune system strong. In a communal living space, you'll need a strong immune system. 

Coffee's great, but don't over-do it

I know, I'm sorry to break these news to you. As an avid coffee love, addict, junkie, or whatever you call it, I feel you. Coffee and tea are great to get your metabolism started and start off your day. However, don't rely on it. It's better for you body for you to stay in and work on that project then come back and do an all-nights, or trickle your work on it so you don't do it all at once all-nighter style. Then, you're depending on your caffeine to get you through. Coffee is trusty, but it's more of a mood booster for me now. If you're up to two large coffee's a day, maybe trade that other coffee for an extra hour of sleep.

Refresh your body, refresh your mind
We all find our inspiration in different ways, but when I go for a walk and smell the fresh air, I instantly get inspired by the outdoors. I know, that sounds as cliche as roses are red but it works! Binge-watching on Netflix is a great thing to do and one of my favorite pastimes, but in order to keep a healthy mind and body we need to get some fresh air. Also, I've found that having a MINIMUM of 15 minutes of alone time every day is very beneficial. If we're constantly around people, we start to almost turn into them. We don't want to be anyone else besides ourselves! As an only child I prefer doing things alone, and almost get bothered when people ask if I can come. I'm appalled when people beg people to go places with them. Take some alone time with the flowers and cute dogs that walk by. You might make a new furry friend while freeing your mind.

I hope these easy tips helped. College can be a time when literally everything is flying at you at once and you can forget about the little things like eating and sleeping. Stay healthy!

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