Staying Healthy in College

Aside from getting good grades, making new friends, fitting in and figuring out what major to pursue, one of the hardest aspects of college is staying healthy. The cliché "freshman fifteen" is a valid concern that all college students should address. When you’re dealing with a lot of changes in your life, like starting college, how do you lead a healthy lifestyle?

Staying healthy in college doesn’t have to be a struggle. By following a few easy guidelines, every new student can stay fit and trim. First, stay active. This may seem hard to do while you’re juggling friends, social events, attending classes and studying, too. But it’s easier than you think. Try taking advantage of your school’s fitness facilities. Most college and universities have gyms, recreation centers or running tracks that are open for use to their students. These places are great for finding expensive fitness equipment that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Also, consider joining a school sanctioned fitness club or intramural sports team. Runners labs and intramural soccer teams are very popular on college campuses and provide great cardiovascular workouts and friendship for its members.

The second important thing to consider when trying to stay healthy at school is to make healthy food choices. College and university dining rooms are notoriously filled with unhealthy food options, like sweets, fried foods and fast food. But to ward off any extra weight gain, choosing food that provides your body with energy, nutrients and vitamins is the way to go. Consider reaching for things like salads, glasses of water, sandwiches with low-fat mayo, pizza with tons of veggies, or grilled chicken and fruit instead of hamburgers, cookies, french fries or fried chicken strips. Also try stocking your dorm room with healthy food snacks like granola bars, pieces of fruits, water bottles and vegetables. Having healthy snacks available in your dorm will keep you from reaching for the bag of potato chips or candy when you’re studying or hanging out and getting hungry. While it’s okay to splurge every once in a while, making consistent healthy choices when it comes to your diet will help you maintain you weight.

When you go off to school for the first time and are bombarded with so many new and interesting faces and places, it can be easy to get side tracked when it comes to your health. But by staying active and eating right, you can be healthy and happy during the new phase of your life.

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