With all that you have going on in school, staying healthy at university is one of those things that could easily fall through the cracks. But a single bout with the flu could potentially cost you an entire semester. Think about it – just a few weeks of being out of commission may be all it will take for you to give up an entire semester.
It would seem that staying healthy should be a bigger priority than it is. There are simple steps you can take that can make staying healthy an easier task to manage.
Get Your Flu Shot And Dress Warm
With the winter months approaching fast, getting a flu shot may not be a bad idea. Even though you’re young, and not susceptible to the flu, it’s one of those categories that fits neatly under the saying an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. One shot and your good for the whole season.
Also, take care to dress warm. Just a few minutes exposure to an icy cold wind could land you flat on your back with an illness, especially if you are already weak and tired.
Get Enough Sleep, Especially In The Winter MonthsAs the university student, you’re well acquainted with the practice of “burning the candle at both ends”. You’re running here and there, and juggling multiple activities at the same time. But that kind of treadmill existence is easier on your body during the warm months of the year than it is during the winter.
Related: How to Eat Healthy in College
Getting a little extra sleep is the best insurance against illness. It may also be one of the best ways to head off the drowsiness that comes with shorter days of winter.
Go Easy On The Junk Food
Junk food is so easy to eat when you’re student. It’s quick, it’s cheap, and you get it almost anywhere. But it’s also a fact that junk food is not good for your health. One of the biggest reasons why you may want to curb your consumption of it now is that you are establishing lifestyle patterns that will follow you for the rest of your life. If junk food is part of that pattern, you may not be able to wean yourself off of it in the years ahead. That can contribute to obesity, heart issues, and a host of other health problems.
You don’t have to abandon junk food altogether, but cutting back here and there can make a major difference. You can start cooking at home for healthier snacks and meals. Or, if you are not really gifted in the kitchen, simply order a meal kit and start learning slowly.
…And The Beer Too
Drinking beer is a favorite pastime with a lot of students. But heavy alcohol consumption isn’t good for your health. It doesn’t mean you have to stop drinking cold turkey, but like all other things – you want to do it in moderation. Again, just as with junk food, not only is alcohol not good for you, but it can also become a nasty habit that can take a toll later in life.
Work Moderate Exercise Into Your Schedule
Is not always practical for a student to get into a routine of vigorous physical exercise, such as long-distance jogging or working out regularly at the gym. But exercise is one of the cornerstones of good health, so you’ll need to build some sort of routine into your lifestyle.
You don’t necessarily have to do anything radical. Simply adding more walking to your day can have tremendous health benefits. Try walking to one or two classes each day, rather than take the shuttle bus. And stairs have better health benefits and taking the elevator.
Related: Saving Money At The Gym
One of the biggest benefits of increased exercise – even if only in moderate amounts – is that it has important mental and emotional benefits. A brisk walk can help to clear your head when you’re under stress, and maintain better emotional balance. There’s a close connection between mind and body, and a better functioning body leads to a better functioning mind, which also translates to a healthier body.
Make Time To Relax And Unwind
Stress is at the root of so many health issues. But it’s easy to be overwhelmed by a heavy course schedule, and the other activities that are required in order to live on your own. It can often seem as if every hour of every day is taken up by something. That’s a recipe for stress, especially during exams.
Be intentional about making time to relax and unwind. It can mean giving yourself at least a half an hour to an hour of quiet time each day, or some socializing time that you can be with friends and take your head out of more serious concerns. That time can enable you to recharge your battery so that you will face your challenges and stresses with a clear head. And that can help you to avoid illnesses too.
When you stop to realize that staying healthy has two important benefits – avoiding illness and creating good habits for the rest of your life – it should make the effort a bigger priority. You don’t have to obsess on it, but you can make changes that will produce positive results without seriously interfering with your regular routine.