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How to Start the Semester with Healthy Habits

If there’s ever a time to start healthy habits, it’s now–at the beginning of the semester when you’re not yet overwhelmed. However, it’s not going to be easy. But if I can do it, you can do it, so let’s get this party started.

It all starts with doing your homework.

What do I mean when I say that? No, not making sure you get your econ done so you can work out; although, that is key too. I mean, don’t trust everything you see on TV (I’m looking at you Subway and your superfood avocado b.s.).

Diets, workout regimens and vitamin supplements are far from universal. They are often suited better to different ages, body types, dietary restrictions, and health goals. For example, the South Beach Diet eliminates all sugars and carbs, regardless of their origin, for a big chunk of the diet. If you’re a person that has any plan to work out at all, this won’t be the right diet for you, you need sugars, and you definitely need carbs to work out. You should find (or build, for that matter) a diet that is right for you, not just use one that gets pushed on you by commercials.

Check out these great resources for healthy food choices

The same goes for workouts. It’s easy to just pick up a dumbbell and do some flies or curls, but do you really know what muscle you’re trying to tone with that? If you do, gold star for you. If not, do your homework, read the charts at the rec, or go online and find out which workouts accomplish the things you’re looking to do. 

If you’re a runner, get to know Miami’s nature trails. They’re gorgeous. Its usually shaded from the hot sun, there aren’t creepy guys flexing and sweating on themselves, and it’s better than the treadmill for an hour.

After you do your homework, you need to have both discipline and dedication.

You need those qualities to ensure success after adopting a health plan.  You’re going to have to make time to be healthy, so be willing to do that. Healthy habits are just that: habits, which translates to routine. 

A couple more things before I let you get started… 

You can have a vice. Vices keep us sane in times of struggle. But something to consider: if your vice is ice cream, consider switching ice cream to something like Ben and Jerry’s frozen Greek yogurt. It’s still indulgent and satisfying, but it’s not as bad as that ice cream you’re craving.

If your vice is caffeine, you need to limit that. Caffeine is never a need, it’s a powerful want. You can get the same energy from good sleep and a well balanced breakfast. It’s simply about regulating your metabolism, and visiting the above sites can help. I recommend Women’s Health‘s list of healthy foods as a resource for building a diet that’s right for you.

The last and most crucial part of healthy habits: have enthusiasm. You have to want to do this. If you don’t care enough to eat the right things or research exercise, all is lost. You have to make time to be healthy. You only get one body for the rest of your life, why not make it the healthiest body as you possibly can?

Josh is a graduate student pursuing his Master's degree in History. He has Bachelors degrees in both History and Creative Writing.
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