Staying Healthy on Campus

Moving back to campus and away from mom’s home cooked meals means two things: fast food and boxed macaroni and cheese. It’s hard keeping your body healthy and happy when balancing school, friends, work and other clubs/activities simultaneously. There are a variety of small changes one can make in their daily routine in order to boost energy, save calories and feel like a rock star.

When it comes to trying to organize a busy college students’ schedule, it’s all about preparation. Know when your first class is so you can give yourself plenty of rest the night before to be mentally focused. If time allows, walk to class instead of taking the bus. Apart from getting your extra steps in, it’s a brief 10-15 minutes of alone time to listen to music and motivate yourself to kick start a great day. Bring a water bottle to class. Getting a coffee in the morning can be a fun treat every now and then, but water is key to staying hydrated, avoiding headaches and cleansing your body of toxins, especially early in the morning. If you have back-to-back classes, pack some snacks, such as nuts or fruit, in order to avoid grabbing fast food or something from a vending machine for lunch.

For students looking to raise their metabolism and heart rate for a good workout, head over to the ARC on Peabody for a variety of recreational activities. From treadmills and ellipticals to zumba classes and rock climbing, there’s an activity for everyone. For those trying to amp up their daily workout routine, experiment with pre-workout powder right before your workout and/or protein powder directly after working out to increase your daily protein intake and turn body fat into muscle. You can find both of these powders at Wal-Mart in fairly large containers for around $14.99 depending on the brand you choose. I just purchased a cookies n’ cream protein powder by Body Fortress and absolutely love making protein shakes with the powder, ice, a banana and almond butter blended until smooth.

Many dieticians say that in order to lose weight or simply maintain a healthy lifestyle, it’s 80% what you eat and 20% exercise. With this being said, fueling your body with the nutrients it needs for every meal is crucial when aiming to stay healthy on campus. Cooking a meal with lean meat and vegetables is much more satisfying physically and mentally than consuming a package of ramen for example. Not everyone is blessed with amazing cooking skills, but I know everyone is capable of replicating a Pinterest recipe or Tasty video from Facebook. If anyone is looking for an extra challenge, Whole30 is a great diet (similar to the Paleo diet) that my family and I did over the summer. For 30 days, we cut out dairy, grains, sugars and legumes from our daily intake and we’ve all changed our eating habits permanently because of it! Besides shedding a few extra pounds, this diet trains your body to love certain foods while making small steps each day towards a healthier lifestyle. Whether choosing to walk instead of bus or grilling chicken instead of popping in a frozen pizza, each small step will guide you on your journey to a healthier happier you.