5 Simple Ways to Be Healthier in College

It’s no secret that many people fall behind on their healthy habits when they go off college. Even though dining halls have salad bars and plenty of healthy foods, there are also desserts, fries, pizza, and ice cream machines. That’s not even mentioning the treats that people keep in their dorm rooms, the vending machines, and the countless temptations of free food at random events. While there’s nothing wrong with indulging every once in a while, it’s important for college students find a good balance in their health lives. Here are 5 easy changes you can make to find this balance and stick to it!

1. Find a gym/health buddy.

It’s so much harder to stay healthy when you feel like you’re doing it alone. Find a friend with similar healthy goals to you and encourage each other and hold one another accountable! Go to workout classes together, try out nutritious food combinations, and make a pact to only eat desserts a certain number of times a week. It’s so much easier and more fun when you have a friend who also wants to be healthier encouraging you to make good choices for you body.

2. Keep healthier snacks in the dorm room.

There are many times when I want to stay in my room and just eat something small rather than going to the dining hall. Instead of stashing your room with fattening potato chips and candy, try to choose healthier options like fruits, veggies, granola bars, popcorn, oatmeal, and so on. That way, you won’t have temptations laying 5 feet away from your bed, and if you do get hungry or sick of dining hall food, you’ll have yummy and healthy options to eat. 

3. Choose water.

With all the different choices at the dining hall, it can be tempting to drink sugary soda or lemonade at every meal. However, sticking to water (or milk) is so much better for you. Wake Forest even has fountains of ice water with different fruits in it like lemons and oranges to make drinking water a more fun and tasty experience. Not only does water not contain the sugar and chemicals that soda does, it also helps your skin, boosts your immune system, and flushes out toxins.

4. Get creative at the salad bar.

Eating the same salad with boring toppings all the time will probably just make you hate salads and therefore fill up on other foods. My advice is to play around with different toppings to try and make variations that actually taste good. Look for inspiration on healthy Instagram accounts for salads or other bowls that you can make yourself at the salad bar if none of the pre-made options look appealing. Test out salads with foods that are currently in season. For example, in the Fall, try out salads with ingredients like pumpkin seeds, apples, broccoli, squash, and sweet potatoes.

5. Take advantage of your gym and open green spaces.

I would think that almost every college campus has a gym for students to use. Take advantage of what you or your family is paying for and use the gym! Even if the gym doesn’t sound like fun to you, there may be classes or machines that you’ve never tried. If the gym really isn’t your thing, use the green space of your campus to go for walks, runs, or just kick a soccer ball with a friend. Not only is exercise good for your physical health, it’s also a great way to de-stress when classes are getting overwhelming.

Overall, just try to find a healthy balance while you are at college. You probably aren’t going to be eating perfectly all the time or going to the gym everyday, and honestly, it’s okay. Don’t be hard on yourself. Just remember to take care of yourself and treat your body in a way that nourishes you and helps you become a healthier and happier version of yourself.