Between taking classes, studying, and trying to maintain a social life, it is challenging for college students to maintain extensive health care routines, like diets and exercise. The good news is you don’t have to make drastic changes to your daily activities to live a healthier life. In fact, by adopting small, simple changes to your day, over time you will notice changes in your physical and mental health. These five tips could be the first step.
Brush your teeth before bed
We eat so much food during the day and it tends to stay in our teeth unless we wash it away. Getting a good clean is something that can’t wait for our visit to the dentist every six months. The build-up of food on our teeth can lead to plaque and if it’s not taken care of, it can lead to gum disease, and that’s not fun at all. As college students, we just want to go straight to bed after a long day of classes, work and other extracurricular activities. So brushing before bed easily slips our minds.
TIP: Set a reminder on your phone to remember to brush your teeth before bed. Try to pick a time that you normally find yourself hitting the sack and if you find that one night you are staying up later than usual, set the alarm forward 30 minutes to an hour so that you make sure you don’t forget.
Drink water when you wake up in the morning
*Beep* *Beep* *Beep* That is the sound of your alarm going off, and you’re probably rolling in bed trying to fight the fact that you need to start your day. Before you hop out of bed, drink some water to wake yourself up. You may even realize that you’re actually really thirsty and end up finishing a whole bottle or cup of water.
TIP: Leave a bottle of water by your bed before you go to sleep so that when you wake up, you can reach your arm out and grab it.
Stretch in the morning
Eight hours of sleep is the ideal amount of sleep per night, but in college, we’re happy if we get four hours. Whether you’re getting four or eight hours of sleep, your body is in the same position for a long time. Stretching in the morning wakes up the body and if done consistently, it can lead to greater flexibility and balance.
TIP: Try taking small steps. Reach down to your toes in the morning, roll your head in a circle or even reach your arms to the sky.
Eat more fruit
We all have sweet cravings every now and then. It can be when we are studying, watching television or even talking to a friend. With the access we have to candies, sodas and juices on campus, it’s super easy to choose one of those options. Fruit contains sugar that can attack our cravings and the best part is that it contains natural sugars.
TIP: Have a banana, orange or apple on you while you’re on the go. This way, when you crave that peanut butter cup, you can go in your bag and grab your yummy piece of fruit.
It is not a secret that college is an exciting experience, but it can also be stressful at times. It feels like there is always a class to be in or an assignment due. One way to relax is through meditation. Meditation can help reduce one’s stress, improve concentration in classes and overall make you feel happy.
TIP: Try taking advantage of the resources on campus. The Student Recreation Center has yoga classes that have components of mediation and the Drop-In Center has Mindfulness Meditation weekly. Can’t fit that in your schedule? Try taking five minutes to sit still and breathe. This will help relax the body and is a form of meditation.