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A Healthy Girl’s Guide to College

College and a healthy lifestyle are not usually seen in the same sentence. The dreaded “freshman fifteen” is a rite of passage for some because, let’s face it, fries are better than salad; while others struggle to not look like zombies after sleepless nights spent cramming for exams. Staying healthy in college might be difficult, but not as hard as you think.

Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated throughout the day provides a variety of benefits, such as clear skin and less fatigue. It’s generally said that everyone should drink at least eight glasses of water per day. Personally, I try to drink three large bottles of water throughout the day but do what feels right for your body. Try using a cute, reusable water bottle or cup to motivate you.

Go to sleep at the same time every night. Sleep is important, yet somehow it’s often overlooked. Getting a full eight hours of sleep in college might be unrealistic, but going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day will give your body the time it needs to recuperate. Use a sleep calculator, which can be found online or even on your smartphone’s app store, and input your desired wake up time to find out what time you should be falling asleep.

Eat a healthy breakfast and plan your meals. Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day, so make time in your morning to eat something that isn’t a processed granola bar. While it can be difficult to set aside time and money to prepare a week’s worth of healthy meals, you can start small and work your way toward it. Making healthy snack choices is also a great place to start. Check out this article from earlier in the week by Gabriela Velasco that offers ideas for healthy snacks.

Find a workout routine and stick to it. Whether you decide to hit the gym or do yoga in your dorm, working out regularly benefits both your physical and mental health. YouTube is a great place to find workouts that you can do at home, with or without equipment. FIU also offers fitness classes, which can be found on the PantherFit App. Taking just ten minutes to exert some energy helps wake you up in the morning or gives you a chance to refocus after a long day.

Create a morning and night routine. Having a morning and night routine lets you de-stress and gives you time to focus on yourself. Wake up fifteen minutes earlier to include five minutes of stretching or allow yourself extra time to apply your makeup. At night give yourself time to set your outfit out for the next day or relax by reading a book. Have quiet time before and after super busy school days and do not compromise on your routine.

Turn off electronics before bed. Along with creating a consistent night routine, try a social media detox to allow time away from your phone and laptop screens at the end of the day. Set aside time in the evening to turn off electronics and journal or do a face mask. Technology screens strain your eyes at night and by giving yourself time to chill out you could potentially fall asleep faster. By forming the habit of turning off all electronics before bed, you can reduce your dependence on them and devote your time to something else.

Schedule “me time”. For some reason we consistently say yes to others but ignore our own needs. Grab your planner and schedule some time for yourself each week. Take a break from homework and go for a walk, light a candle and take a bath or take a night off to scroll through Pinterest. Check out another post from this week written by Anabel Denis about practicing self-care for more ideas.

There is no time like the present to form new habits that benefit your physical and mental well-being. Establishing healthy habits in college might seem difficult at times but in the long run they will improve your overall health and happiness. Do yourself a favor, your body will thank you.

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