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Lose the Freshman 15: Well-Rounded Health

It’s funny how things in my life always seem to overlap.
 
I spent my last morning as a University of Florida sophomore giving a group presentation to one of my classes on well-rounded health. Appropriate given my current weight loss journey, right?
 
And considering all of the things I’ve learned about health and fitness while on this journey, I felt fully equipped to give a presentation on such a subject matter.
 
So, what exactly does well-rounded health entail, you ask?
 
Well, let me walk you through my presentation (which was geared towards college-aged students), and hopefully you’ll learn a thing or two about well-rounded health!
 
My group and I split up our presentation into three key areas that we see as integral parts of maintaining a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle:
 
1. Exercise and Fitness: This area is pretty self-explanatory. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you need to get your body in motion.

Why should I exercise?
To lose weight, reduce stress, sleep better at night, boost your mood, give you more energy, strengthen your heart and lungs, reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your quality of life.
 
How much exercise should I get?
It is recommended that adults age 18 and up get 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity five or more days a week to be healthy. This can include cardio, stretching and weight strengthening.            Make sure that you’re stretching properly before and after working out, and you’re giving your body enough time to rest in between days of strenuous exercise.            
 
What kind of exercise should I do?
Anything! As I’ve said many times before, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, just as long as you’re getting your body in motion and burning some calories. Here are some ideas:

  • Swimming
  • Running
  • Biking/Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Walking
  • Weight Lifting
  • Performing Yoga/Pilates
  • Dancing           
  • Playing Sports
  • Doing Cardio Machines (Elliptical, Row, Stairmaster)

2.     Balanced Nutrition and Diet: Follow these tips below to guide your healthy eating. (Or, you could always just jump on board with SELF magazine’s Jumpstart Diet!) And a sidenote – my group and I brought in bananas and peanut butter for our class to eat during this portion of the presentation. We wanted to provide our audience with a healthy snacking alternative to candy and chips.

  • Make Time For Meals: Plan to eat three balanced meals a day, plus a snack. This should keep your metabolism active and give you energy to go all throughout the day.
  • Balance Your Meals: Eat meals that contain foods from at least three of the different food groups – grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy and healthy fats.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink water throughout the day even if you are not thirsty. Waiting until you are thirsty to drink means you are already partially dehydrated
  • Choose Appropriate Portions: Food portions are often more than one serving. Pay attention to serving size, and don’t eat for the sake of eating. When eating out, plan on taking a portion of your meal home or on splitting an entrée with a friend, as restaurants usually serve you more than one portion
  • Don’t Skip Meals: Especially breakfast! It’s the most important meal of the day and it’ll certainly get your metabolism going early in the morning. Wake up an extra 10 minutes earlier if you’re worried about having time, because you really shouldn’t skip eating breakfast.

3.     Proper Stress Management: Diet and exercise are essential to well-rounded health, but so too is managing stress.
 
As college students, we’ve got the odds against us – unpredictable schedules, not-so-stable living environments (in comparison to home), time-intensive coursework and classes and too many things to do with not enough time in the day.
 
So how exactly do you keep your stress-level under control while in college? Try out these tips we suggested to our audience!

  • Let Go: Don’t hold on to anger or grudges. Learn to let those annoyances go so you can focus on more positive things.
  • Meditate: Set aside a few minutes every day for quiet meditation.
  • Try Yoga Breathing: The deep, relaxing form of breathing used during yoga practice.
  • Read the News: Stay on top of current events and take your mind off of your life for a few minutes.
  • Slow Down: Slow down a little. Make time to relax in your day, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. 
  • Manage Your Emotions: Keep in touch with your emotions
  • Think Positively: You will feel empowered to make things happen and to appreciate what you’ve already accomplished.
  • Make Time to Sleep: Sleep is SO important to keeping your body healthy, so do your best to make time for at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night. 
  • Read a Book: Give yourself 10 or 15 minutes to read a book or magazine each day.
  • Smile: Smile and laugh often. It will make you a happier person. 
  • Be Thankful: Appreciate  every day of your life, whether it be through prayer or acknowledging the beauty of the sunset. Take a moment each day to appreciate that you’re alive. 

This may all sound like a lot of information, and it is. But by incorporating these simple, easy ideas into your everyday life, I think you’ll find yourself feeling better about yourself and your body in no time.
 
I know that life is crazy – trust me, I get it. My life is just as hectic as the next person’s. But there’s never too little time in the day to start taking care of yourself and your body – so make a promise to yourself this week to start working towards a healthier you.
 
It’ll be the best promise you ever made. I promise.

This is a sponsored feature. All opinions are 100% from Her Campus.

Sara Kaner was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California and first fell in love with journalism as a freshman in high school thanks to her wonderful Intro to Journalism teacher. A family move brought her to Fort Myers, Florida the summer after her freshman year of high school, but she continued to pursue an interest in journalism. She is in her second year at the University of Florida and is pursuing a dual degree in Public Relations and Psychology. She is heavily involved on the UF campus and dedicates most of her time to her various organizations and to her friends. She loves people, magazines, sports and social media, and she hopes to combine all three in her job someday. For now, she aspires to attend Law School and specialize in Media Law. She secretly aspires to be Chelsea Handler, but she's happy being herself for the moment, just as long as she can lose the freshman 15 this semester.
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