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Staying Healthy In College

With classes starting to get into full swing and our first exams fast approaching, we often forget about the little things that keep ourselves happy and healthy. It’s not until we catch the nasty cold going around, cannot button our favorite pair of jeans, or find a little rash somewhere unexpected that we actually realize how easily we could’ve prevented ourselves from falling into bad habits. Here are seven ways to keep us girls ahead of the game in diet and exercise, stress and study habits, and sexual activity.

Staying Fit:
1) Proper Portion Size – Though Hodgdon, Carmichael, and Dewick offer a huge variety in delectable treats its important to remember how to proportion your meal and not over eat. Having a balance of carbohydrates, protein, greens, and fat is important for both having the energy to last throughout the day and prevent bloating/weight gain.
2) Drink Lots of Water – Having a reusable water bottle is a good idea to keep well hydrated. Every building has a water fountain where you can quickly fill up before class. It is recommended to drink about 2-3 liters a day, but with all the parties and activities going on it might be better to drink about four instead.
3) Keep Healthy Snacks Around – While some of us head to Tisch Library to finish our work others choose to stay in the quiet of our dorm rooms. Having junk food such as chips, cookies, crackers, and candy around while were studying can lead to unhealthy snacking and craving. Instead trick-turn for fruits, yogurt, and protein bars to stalk your fridge.
4) Take Vitamins – It’s easy for us to not get the nutrition we need from our daily meals so don’t hesitate to supplement this with some multi-vitamins. These can give you the extra vitamin, A, C, D, E, folic acid, niacin and zinc you need to make it through the day.
5) Walk to Davis – The Joey is definitely the most convenient form of transportation for making it down to Davis Square to shop with friends. However, every now and again grab your girls and make the one mile walk instead. The sunny weather and cute window shops provide the perfect setting for this quick metabolism boost.
6) Find a Buddy – Even if you are more of the solo working out type, having a friend to go over with can motivate you to get out there. This way, on those days when you are completely on the fence about whether to make the effort, you now know that your buddy is relying on you to be there.
7) Twenty Minutes a Day – Some days during the week are a lot busier than others and you seem to be walking up and down Packard Ave. a lot more than usual. However, even just a twenty minute jog or abs workout in your room can make the difference and keep that weight off.[pagebreak]

Staying Relaxed/Organized:
1) Sleep – At our age, we need an average of 7-9 hours of sleep each night to feel energized for class. If you have time, try taking a short nap during the day to stay rested.
2) Plan For the Week – If you know which activities you have committed to later in the week you can plan other fun outings with your friends around them. Knowing what’s ahead can allow you to plan study and nap times as well. In each syllabus the homework and reading is laid out for the semester so it should be no trouble to find time for everything.
3) Time Between Classes – Maximizing the time you have in-between classes can be very useful. Say you have a class downhill but live uphill, instead of making the trek back to your room to study, head over to Tisch or Hotung Café to finish that Philosophy or IR reading.
4) Find a Quiet Space – Friends can make the best study partners but also the worst. While studying in a group can help you grasp new concepts it is also very easy to get off task and turn the topic to plans for the weekend. If you’re looking to stay focused and just finish your work, try finding a spot with not a lot of traffic.
5) Avoid All-Nighters – Though it is very tempting to pull one to study for an exam or to stay out at a party with that cute guy from your English class, make sure this does not become a habit. Sleep deprivation can lead to reduced brain function, fatigue, headaches, and illness.
6) Don’t Make Too Many Commitments – While it is very tempting to join as many clubs as possible, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. Over-committing yourself can lead to burn out and all of a sudden you may feel like you don’t want to do any of the activities which once sounded so exciting. Choose 2-4 which will keep your interest in a broad area of subjects and work with your schedule. If you decide one isn’t working out, just join a new one!
7) Give Yourself a Break – It’s okay to give yourself a break and let loose. Homework and studying overload can sometimes be very ineffective for learning so instead close your laptop, put down your pen and go grab something to eat or gossip with your girlfriends.[pagebreak]

Staying Clean:
1) Get Tested – This is the easiest way to make sure neither you or your partner have any STDs. Health Services at the end of Professors Row allows students drop in whenever convenient and offers completely confidential testing.
2) Be Open With Your Partner – Being open and honest is key when it comes to your sexual health. Ask when the last time your partner was tested and if he/she had any STDs or STIs. This way you can both be ensured that you will not contract anything unwanted.
3) Use Protection – Using condoms and other forms of contraception will not only prevent unwanted pregnancy but will also keep you clean. Unprotected sex, as most of us know, can lead to STDs and STIs, some of which are incurable.
4) What’s Not Normal – Every vagina is different, but there are some common things to watch out for which can indicate something is not right. While discharge is normal, if it changes color or has a certain odor, an infection may be present. Any itching can be either a sign of benign changes to the skin surface or skin infection, but all need treatment.
5) Over-the-Counter Vagina Health – AZO recently came out with two in urinary tract products which provide basic urinary tract health and maximum strength pain relief. AZO Urinary Pain Relief is a #1 Pharmacist Recommended product that targets the source of pain and relieves burning, itching, and urgency. AZO Urinary Tract Health allows us to forget the tart cranberry juice taste and extra calories while still receiving all natural probiotics and vitamin C.
6) Take Out Old Tampons – We all forget to change ours every once and awhile, but leaving a tampon in for more than six hours can lead to TSS (toxic syndrome) and disgusting build up. Changing pads is also a good idea to avoid irritation to the surrounding skin and will keep your vagina rash free.
7) Avoid Sprays and Scented Soaps – These products are designed to leave a bit of residue behind which can get caught in the crevices only to fester into an infection. This residue can also dry out and damage your vagina leaving you fairly uncomfortable for the short term.

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