Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Student Wellness: Staying Fit as a University Student

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at York U chapter.

Starting university is an exciting journey filled with new experiences, academic challenges and newfound independence. However, it’s essential to prioritize your health and fitness during this phase of your life. In this article, we’ll explore 6 innovative strategies and unique approaches that helped me and may help you too as we work to stay fit and maintain a balanced lifestyle as university students.

1. incorporate physical activity

Regular exercise is vital for overall health. Even with a busy class schedule, find time for physical activity. You don’t need to spend hours at the gym. A simple daily walk, cycling, or engaging in a sports club can keep you active and boost your energy levels. To further enhance the integration of physical activity into your university life, consider teaming up with friends or peers. Forming exercise groups or participating in group fitness classes not only makes staying active more enjoyable but also adds an element of social interaction. Being part of a fitness group can help you stay motivated and accountable, turning exercise into a social and wellness-enhancing experience. Additionally, explore opportunities on campus to engage in recreational sports or activities that align with your interests, from intramural leagues to dance classes. By combining physical activity with social connections, you’ll create a wholesome and rewarding approach to staying fit while successfully navigating your academic responsibilities.

2. maintain a balanced diet

Resist the temptation to rely solely on convenience foods. Make an effort to include fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains in your diet. Opt for healthier on-campus dining choices, and if you cook for yourself, try meal prepping to save time and make nutritious eating easier. Furthermore, when striving for a balanced diet, consider the timing of your meals. Consistent meal schedules can have a positive impact on your metabolism and energy levels. Try to establish regular meal times and avoid skipping meals. Breakfast, often hailed as the most important meal of the day, kickstarts your metabolism and provides essential nutrients for brain function. Incorporating protein-rich breakfast options like yogurt, eggs, or a smoothie can keep you feeling full and focused throughout the morning. For lunch and dinner, aim for well-rounded meals that include a variety of food groups. This routine I find not only supports your overall wellness but also helps you maintain consistent energy levels and concentration, making it easier to excel academically while staying fit.

3. stay hydrated

Proper hydration is often overlooked. Carry a reusable water bottle and aim to drink enough water throughout the day. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and decreased concentration. In addition to keeping yourself well-hydrated, consider adding some variety to your beverages. Infuse your water with slices of lemon, cucumber, or fresh mint to make it more enticing. Herbal teas and natural fruit juices, when consumed in moderation, can also contribute to your hydration while adding flavor to your daily liquid intake. Staying hydrated with a range of beverages not only supports your physical well-being but also adds an element of pleasure to your routine, making it easier and more enjoyable to maintain proper hydration throughout the day. Remember, a well-hydrated body is a key ingredient in the recipe for success and wellness in your academic journey.

4. seek support

Don’t hesitate to reach out for support if you’re facing physical or mental health challenges. Most universities have health and counseling services available for students. Your well-being is a priority, and there is help if you need it. Remember that you’re not alone in your journey to maintain wellness while balancing academics. Your university is equipped with resources designed to support your physical and mental health. Beyond seeking professional help, consider creating a network of peer support. Connect with fellow students who share similar wellness goals or have faced comparable challenges. Sharing experiences, advice, and encouragement can be a valuable source of support. Additionally, joining campus clubs or organizations related to fitness, mindfulness, or mental health can provide a sense of community and make your wellness journey more enjoyable. Your well-being is a priority, and a strong support system can significantly enhance your ability to navigate the complexities of university life while staying fit and healthy.

5. manage your time

Effective time management can reduce stress and provide more opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating. Create a schedule that includes study time, exercise, and relaxation. Moreover, consider incorporating time management techniques that enhance your overall well-being. Implement the Pomodoro technique, which involves focused work for a set period, followed by a short break. These breaks are ideal for a quick stretch, a snack, or a moment of relaxation. Additionally, use time blocking to allocate specific hours for exercise, study, and downtime. This structured approach helps you not only stay on top of your academic commitments but also ensures that self-care, fitness, and relaxation have dedicated slots in your schedule. Ultimately, effective time management fosters a balanced and less stressful university experience, granting you the time and freedom to excel academically while staying fit and healthy.

6. build strong social connections

Building a social support network is crucial for your emotional well-being. Interact with peers, join clubs, and participate in extracurricular activities to stay connected and combat feelings of isolation. In addition to participating in clubs and extracurricular activities, consider the benefits of connecting with a mentor or advisor. Universities often offer mentorship programs where experienced students or faculty members can provide guidance on academic and personal matters. Having a mentor can be instrumental in your journey to staying fit and balanced, as they can offer tailored advice, help you set achievable goals, and hold you accountable. These relationships not only provide a valuable source of wisdom but also foster a sense of belonging, helping you combat feelings of isolation and ensuring you have a strong network of support as you navigate your academic pursuits and prioritize your wellness.

University life can be demanding, but it doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your fitness and well-being. By thinking creatively and incorporating unique strategies, you can strike a harmonious balance between your academic pursuits and your health. Remember, staying fit as a university student is not just about exercise; it’s a holistic approach that encompasses both physical and mental well-being!

Reminder: These are personal tips I find useful as a university student and they may or may not be suitable for everyone!

Janki Rabadiya is a junior editorwriter at the Her Campus at York University. She loves expressing her thoughts, opinions, and feelings through writing. In addition to her editorial pursuits, Janki is a dedicated third-year student majoring in kinesiology and health sciences, demonstrating her commitment to understanding the human body and promoting wellness. Janki's enthusiasm for education and innovation extends beyond her campus roles. As a part-time robotics coach for youngsters aged 7-14, she delves into the realm of STEM education, igniting the spark of curiosity and creativity in the young minds she mentors. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, drawing, and trying new food/coffee shops with her friends and family. She also loves trying new challenging work-outs and part taking in competitive sports such as volleyball and basketball.