College life is busy and hectic, jam-packed with classes, extracurriculars, and parties. Between all of this, it can become hard to find time for fitness. College life can be so busy that it can take a toll on your health. Extreme weight gain or weight loss is very common among college students. So it is important to take care of yourself and find time to stay healthy and fit. And here is exactly how you can do so-
Make healthy food choices in the canteen
Always try to make healthy food choices in your hostel mess or college canteen. Meals are often provided in a planned manner in hostel messes. But if you look closely, there will always be a healthier alternative available. Avoid oily foods, and go for lighter foods. Pile up on salads and oil-free foods, and steer clear of greasy or sweet foods. And make sure you don’t skip meals just because you don’t like mess food. You still need food to survive, so make sure to eat and keep your energy going.
Stock up on healthy snacks
Late night cravings are a frequent occurrence in hostels. And more often than not, these hunger pangs are responsible for all the unhealthy weight gain students suffer from. But you don’t need to sleep hungry. Stock up on healthy snacks to satisfy your daily hunger pangs while keeping within your caloric limit. Instead of chocolate and chips, snack on almonds, popcorn, or veggies with a low-calorie dip. Have some greek yogurt with fruit instead of bread and Nutella. Substitute your Doritos with sprouts, soft drinks with herbal tea and instant noodles with oatmeal. These substitutes will keep your hunger at bay and make you feel satisfied without compromising on your health.
Join a fitness club or a gym, or play a sport in your college. Most colleges offer free fitness classes for students, so avail the opportunity and use these facilities. Staying active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. If you don’t give your body exercise after those long hours of lectures and midnight snacking, you will pile on a lot of unwanted weight. You will also feel lethargic and not be able to keep up with your stressful day. Exercise doesn’t just burn calories, it also helps you de-stress. So make sure to engage in some kind of blood-pumping exercise every day.
Stay hydrated at all times
Water is the elixir of life, and of good health. And it is also very easy to forget to have an appropriate amount of water every day. Hunger signals and thirst signals are both similar to our brain, so we sometimes mistake thirst for hunger. We then don’t just end up being dehydrated, but also overeat. So make sure you are well-hydrated at all times. Carry a water bottle to class, and make sure you keep drinking from it. If you have trouble remembering, set reminders every hour to drink water. Set small goals, but make sure to drink at least 2 liters of water every day.
Learn how to cook
You may think of cooking as a waste of time, but it is actually not. In fact, if you know how to cook, it will make your life in college simpler. You can save money on ordering food from outside and also cook healthier meals. By cooking meals yourself, you know exactly what is going in your stomach, so you can control the number of calories in your food. Also, food from outside, especially street food, is often cooked very unhygienically. By cooking meals yourself, you also ensure that the meals are clean and wholesome. Cooking is a survival skill everyone should have. You don’t need to be a MasterChef, just learn enough so you can survive if stranded on an island with a modular kitchen.
Take care of personal hygiene
People often tend to neglect the hygiene aspect of good health. Ever heard of the quote, “Cleanliness is Godliness”? It is a universal truth, so stick to it. No one wants to be friends with a person who doesn’t shower regularly, or whose room stinks of unwashed laundry. Keep yourself and your surroundings clean, so that you don’t attract germs and negativity in your life. Personal hygiene is extremely important, even if you have way better things to do than taking a bath. Brush and floss your teeth every day and be sure to take a shower every day. Wear clean clothes, do your laundry on time, and keep your room clean. This will keep the doctor away more effectively than the healthiest apple in the world.
Say no to booze
There is no need to be ashamed of admitting to boozing in college. Most of us do it. And I am not asking you to give it up. It is your personal choice and I respect it. But alcohol is made of empty calories. Every gram of alcohol has 7 calories, and even a small 30 ml shot of booze amounts to 100 calories. Drinks like margaritas and daiquiris are even higher in calories because of added sugar and other things. Stick to light alcohols, and try drinking less, or less frequently. Booze is bad for you, and the hangovers are so not worth it. But since saying no in social situations is hard, just play safe with one drink. Substitute your cocktail with a small 30ml serving diluted with sparkling water or Diet Coke. It will save both your sanity and your waistline in the long run.
Get adequate sleep
Sleep is extremely important for the normal functioning of our body. And college students suffer the most from insomnia and unhealthy sleep habits. If you don’t give your body rest, your body will not be able to keep up with your stressful schedule. So make sure to get at least 7 hours of proper uninterrupted sleep every day. Set a sleep schedule for yourself that works. If you are a nocturnal person and has classes late in the afternoon, sleep till late in the morning. And if you have classes early in the morning, try getting your work done before its too late at night. Whatever you do, give priority to sleep. If you don’t, all your hard work will go to waste because your body won’t be able to cope.
College years are the best years of your life. They are also the years most crucial to your personal development. Introducing healthy habits in your lifestyle at this stage will lay the foundations of your personality later. Also, taking care of yourself when you are young will help you retain your strength in your old age. Keeping all these things in mind, don’t let bad health ruin your college life. Stay fir, stay healthy, and enjoy!