4 Easy Ways to Maintain Your Health in College

Image by Courtney, Flickr

Going away to college is one of the most exciting times in your life. You have sprouted wings and left the nest, and now you must learn all about independence. One thing that you should have mastered by now is how to eat right. It will be quite difficult to remain healthy with all those late-night study sessions and lack of mom buying the groceries. Nothing goes better with studying than junk food. However, you must stay in top shape to be able to tackle the college life. Here are some tips on how you can remain fit and keep up with all your studies too.

Eat A Well-Balanced Diet

It is difficult to eat a well-balanced diet in a dorm room. From making grilled cheese with an iron to microwave dinners, it can all be a bit unhealthy. You can take charge of your health, even in the most difficult situations. First, you need to make sure that you have healthy snack choices around you. It is just as easy to grab a bag of apples at the supermarket instead of a box of snack cakes. Also, make sure you do your shopping at the grocery store and not at the vending machines in your dorm. These vending machines are made for late night snacking and those who are in desperate need of junk food. Try to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your daily intake.

College students who don’t eat healthy foods are more apt to have focus issues, a loss of energy and an overall poor quality of life. The only way to prevent these things is through nutrition.

Get the Proper Amount of Exercise

Exercise may be the last thing on your mind. It is so easy to be caught up in the demands of college that you forget your overall health. Even if it is just doing jumping jacks and crunches before bed, it can be valuable to your health. Many people enjoy getting out and taking some sort of exercise class. This can allow you to make new friends, feel accountable to a group, and it lets you have fun too.

If you love stationary bikes and music, you might want to lose weight spinning. Spinning classes are all the rage these days. It is a fun way to listen to some tunes and exercise too. You can bring along a friend to chat while biking, which will help pass the time. You may not even feel like you are exercising. The best part is because it is so popular, you will probably find a studio right near your college.

Only 43 percent of students get the proper amount of exercise. You should be getting at least 20 minutes of workout time, three times per week. If you are not getting at least this amount, you could become overweight and have other health complications.

Get At Least 8 Hours of Sleep

Your college years are fun, but they are rough. There will be many nights where you’re cramming late at night for an exam. No matter how big the test, don’t skip out on necessary sleep. Rather than become sleep deprived, you need to give yourself a bedtime. Though you’re not a child anymore, you need to just turn the lights out. Remember, sleep is essential to the body’s ability to rejuvenate.

It is recommended to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Anything less can cause health problems that can be as minor as headache and as major as a reduction in your immune system. When your immune system is not functioning correctly, you will get sick. No college kid needs to fight sickness, especially while trying to cram their brains with newly acquired information.

Take Time for You

You know what they say about all work and no play. While there are many responsibilities that come with being in college, there also must be some time for recreation. Keep in mind, drinking alcohol can have sedative effects that can hinder studies. Find clubs, sororities, hobbies, and other things to do around your campus. Mingle with people of like interests. It is always good to have a strong network of friends to surround you.

Make sure to call home and stay in touch with your family too. Nothing can be more comforting than a conversation with mom or dad. While you are busy sprouting your independence, you want to still include the people at home. They may be going through “empty nest syndrome” from your recent departure, and a phone call could do both of you good.


College is hard. However, you can improve your experience by eating healthy, getting enough sleep and exercise, and having plenty of time for fun.

This article was contributed by guest author Mike.