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10 Ways to stay Healthy during Finals Week

A week full of empty red bull cans, mindless eating, skyrocketing stress levels and infinite hours of information cramming sound familiar? Oh yes, finals week is here and this strenuous week can take a major toll on your body. If you hope to stay sane during this week, here are a few tips to keep yourself healthy.
 

Exercise
– In other words, move that body! When stressed, our evolutionary response is fight or flight. During finals week your body is building this response, but that built up energy has nowhere to go. Barbara A Brehem, Associate Professor of Exercise at Smith College, said, “Exercise helps work through the fight-or-flight response your body has been gearing up for.” It aids in reducing blood pressure and stress response hormones. In addition exercise increase endorphins, which can block pain, decrease appetite, reduce tension/anxiety and create a ‘runners high’, explain Exercise Psychologist, Grey Landry. Basically, exercising can help you eat properly, make you feel better (we’re all crazy during finals week), and calm you down so you can better focus on schoolwork.
 
Breath– This tip is not included by many health professionals, but Ithaca College stress management professor, Kris Miller, said it’s the most important. “Your breath is your best friend,” said Miller. This is because breathing is something that everyone can do.  It’s easily controllable, and deep breathing can reduce stress. Miller suggests taking deep slow breathes for 10-minute periods and breathing through the belly rather than the chest.
 

Make a plan
– Procrastination is hitting students hard right now. But making a plan can relieve some tension. Write down what needs to get done, when to do it, and follow through!
 
Save and store everything– There is nothing worse than losing everything because of a computer freeze. Do not let that happen to you; make sure to save all important files to another storage file.
 

Sleep
– If there is one thing every college student needs, its more sleep. A well-rested body can function much better throughout the day. If you suffer from insomnia, the National Institutes of Health suggests taking a hot bath before bed to decrease body temperature and relax.
 
Take ‘me’ time– You need to relax! Do something that makes you happy!
 

Get nutritious food in that belly
– It’s so tempting to snack on potato chips, pizza, and cookies during finals week, but junk food will only make you feel sluggish, while nutritious foods can increase physical, mental, and emotional stamina according to University of Georgia Health Center.
 
Meditate– Research shows that calming the body and quieting the mind can have many physical and mental benefits. Ithaca meditation teacher, Diane Hecht, explained it could help “detach from the mind’s chatter,” and help relax.
 

Drink water
– Our bodies need water to function properly. Secretary of Department of Health at Cornell University, Kathleen Sebelius said to drink water instead of sugary drinks because it will sustain you longer.
 
Get those vitamins!– Vitamins are needed for the body to function properly. Try taking a multi-vitamin everyday and make sure to get lots of vitamin C to support the immune system.
 

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