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Besides getting good grades, staying healthy in college is probably the second hardest lifestyle choice to maintain. Temptation is everywhere with delicious French fries, greasy pizza and of course, soft and freshly baked cookies. Especially when walking through the dining hall, we often find ourselves gravitating towards the food options that are not-so-great for our body. During those hectic days of running around and getting to class, here are a few simple ways to stay healthy.

1. Choose healthier snacks while at the dining hall

When grabbing a quick snack in between classes, if your choices are between Greek yogurt and a candy bar, choose the yogurt. In this case, the yogurt has protein in it, which keeps you feeling full longer. There are several nutrients in the yogurt as well, including calcium and vitamin B-12. When choosing between an unhealthy snack and a healthier one, it’s always a good idea to choose the healthier one. These small changes can benefit you in the long run by fueling your body with healthier calories.

2. Exercise at least three times a week, if not more

Exercising is one of the best ways to relieve stress and maintain your weight. When you have long gaps between classes, take some time out to go to the gym, even if it’s just for 30 minutes. The feeling after a solid workout is a great start to the day as well as a good break during the day. With this habit, your overall mental and physical health will improve.

3. Drink water instead of fountain drinks

Water is the one of the best sources for natural energy. Though it contains no calories, a sufficient water intake helps your cells maintain homeostasis and a healthy balance. On the other hand, most soda contains a high amount of high fructose corn syrup, which is not good for the body. By substituting these sugary drinks with water, you are not only providing yourself with much needed immediate hydration but are taking care of your future wellbeing as well.

4. Avoid late night snacks

Living in a dorm surrounded by a surplus of food is a constant source of temptation. It's easy to cave into temptation and have cookies or a granola bar at 10:30 pm. However, this is not a good habit to acquire. The consumption of food late at night won’t allow the body to completely burn off the energy from the day, which could cause some unwanted weight gain.

5. Surround yourself with healthy individuals

Besides adopting healthier food and drink choices, it's also important to surround yourself with people who practice healthy habits as well. If you are surrounded by people who are constantly eating fried food and not taking proper care of themselves, then you might adopt those unhealthy habits. Surrounding yourself with positive energy and good people allows for a healthy mindset, thus translating into healthy habits being implemented in your daily life.

Staying healthy in college doesn't have to be difficult - these small changes can definitely help you maintain a healthier lifestyle!

Sacred Heart University 2020 Health Science, Global Health Major Nutrition, Exercise & Wellness
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