If your latest goal is to avoid the Freshman 15, it’s important to focus on not only what you eat, but your overall health. UC Davis has one of the top leading programs in the country for fitness and nutrition, so as students, let’s become examples of health in the 21st century by utilizing the technology on our smartphones!
Changing your already-established dietary and exercise habits to something healthier may seem too time-consuming. But when school, life, and everything else is chaotic, how can you take charge of your health in feasible, affordable, easy ways? While there are no shortcuts to getting healthy, there are a lot of amazing free apps that can be your ultra-supportive virtual best friend.
Here are some tips to kick-start your healthy transformation, paired with my favorite free, easy to navigate apps for both iPhones and Androids.
Drinking Enough Water
Lots of students are unknowingly dehydrated throughout the day, which can decrease your) productivity and lead to chronic headaches, fatigue, and fainting. It’s a simple first step, but drinking enough water can help improve brain function, curb your appetite, clear your skin, improve hair strength, and boost your metabolism. In fact, some people confuse dehydration for hunger, so you might tend to overeat when in actuality you are dehydrated. By knowing how much water to drink, you could lose excess pounds from when you were eating unnecessarily. To monitor my water intake each day, I use the Water Your Body app, which is very easy to use and helps me get enough water for my body and size. Using a BPA-free reusable water bottle also helps me stay hydrated throughout the day. UC Davis has plenty of easily accessible water fountains and hydration stations on campus that are part of the movement against plastic bottles.
Eating healthy does NOT have to be expensive! You can actually save a lot of money by cooking at home. To keep it healthy, Davis has two farmers markets that provide local, organic produce for cheap prices. The one downtown occurs every Saturday from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. year round. There is even a farmers market on campus at the Silo every Wednesday from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Often it is cheaper to buy produce here than from most grocery stores. Cooking at home isn’t the only thing you can do to help your eating habits. The app, FatSecret, shows foods from over one thousand restaurants. If you prefer to eat out, this app can even help monitor your body mass index and daily calorie intake.
Working out is a healthy way to release hormones and endorphins, so if you are stressed, it can add a boost of energy and morale, helping you get through your workload. We all know it can be pretty hard to fit regular exercise into your busy schedule. The ARC is a great resource, open from 6 a.m. – 1 a.m. Monday through Friday. But if you aren’t comfortable working out in front of other people, don’t fret. The free app, PumpUp, will help you exercise from the comfort of your own home, apartment, or dorm. It lets you customize your workout by duration, activity, and intensity. , And on the days you’re too exhausted from school and work to bring yourself to the gym, PumpUp will send you motivational reminders to work out!