Many people, including college students, know about the importance of health maintenance and how bad habits can impact their overall well-being. Nevertheless, many students fail to take good care of their health, this in turn negatively impacts their studies and their lives.
I have to agree that it’s quite challenging to live a healthy life, i.e. maintain a balanced diet, sleep well and exercise frequently. However, there are a lot of effective and useful tips that you can follow to ensure you live as much healthily as you can, given the limited time you have. Read on to learn these useful tips.
1. Why do students often neglect to take care of their health
There are several reasons that could affect the lifestyle of a student and make him or her care less about their health.
Time is often a big and troublesome matter that can severely affect the healthy lifestyle of a student. Late nights and lack of sleep are unavoidable when students have a lot of unfinished assignments that are due in the near future. I’ve also seen some cases of students when they have to stay up late; they often consume a lot of caffeine and energy drinks as well as smoking. These all contribute to the degradation of their overall well-being shortly afterwards.
A life of a student can also get super busy with a lot of classes, homework, assignments and essays. Some students participate in extra-curriculum activities and work, hence having less spare time. Since they take part in a lot of activities, they often cut down some of the other important activities such as sleeping and exercising. When there are many things to worry about, health is often the last factor that a student cares about.
In addition, many students, although they have quite a lot of time to spare, they still practice bad time management. For example, a student can stay up all night and go to bed at 4 or 5 o’clock in the morning. He will then sleep throughout the day.
Another reason that makes students neglect their health is that they have to live on a tight budget, especially in term of eating. It means that they often choose eating cheap fast food instead of cooking at home and using organic ingredients in order to save time from cooking and expense on eating.
All of the reasons above all contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle that a student is currently having.
2. Why is it important for a student to care about their health
From all of the reasons mentioned above, it is understandable for a student to live in an unhealthy way and neglect to take care of their health. However, it is very important for a student to take care of his or her health. When they have a healthy lifestyle, both their mental health and physical health are in the best condition.
You will need a lot of physical strength to overcome a tight schedule and only living healthily can grant you that. In addition, when you have a healthy lifestyle, you tend to be more focused and relax, which in turn help you to memorize and evaluate things better. In the end, you will be quicker at learning and get a lot of good results for your studies.
The last factor that can persuade you to have a healthy lifestyle is that you can save a lot of money staying healthy. Medicines and hospital expenses are expensive and you don’t have to pay for them when you have a healthy lifestyle.
3. Useful healthy living tips
Here are some tips to help a student like you to stay healthy regardless of their limited time resource and a tight budget.
a. Maintain a Good Diet
As I mention above, many students struggle to maintain a good diet because they don’t have time to cook and also don’t have a lot of money to buy fresh ingredients. Nevertheless, there are still many ways you can do if you want to eat healthily.
First of all, you should control the amount of caffeinated and energy drinks you take into your body every day. Try to get rid of these drinks or lower them to the lowest amount as possible. It is worth noting that over the medium and long term, these drinks are able to keep you awake but you cannot focus well.
Second of all, try not to eat fast foods. You can have a cheat day while you can eat your favourite fast food. However, you shouldn’t eat it every day. I have seen so many students who have to stay at school all day and they decide to call for fast food delivery for lunch. Or they can choose unhealthy foods in the university’s food court. Preparing a sandwich in the morning as your lunch is a better choice for your health. If you don’t have time, you can cook more for dinner and use that dinner’s leftovers for your lunch the next day.
And while fast food is cheap, it could never be as cheap as the meal you cook for yourself. The key thing here is you should know how to shop smartly. You can always look for special deals such as buy 1 get 1 free. In addition, when you buy some ingredients, especially meats in bulk, you will receive a discount for it. Your local Woolworths, Coles or IGA are a great place for you to look for affordable ingredients which are fresh and locally produced. Plan what you are going to buy before you go shopping will help you avoid buying things that you wouldn’t need at all.
Another tip to help you save money and time on cooking is that you can plan your meals throughout a week. Then you can buy all of the ingredients in bulk; cook them before putting them into a smaller box and freezing them inside the freezer. You can then preheat these boxes later on. Most of the university campuses now provide microwaves for students to heat their food. So, it’s very convenient to heat your lunch.
In short, It is quite simple to have a good diet- eat a lot of vegetables and fruits, avoid sugar and caffeinated drinks and try to cook more at home.
b. Exercise frequently
Here comes another important activity that many of our students often neglect. When you have a lot of things to do such as studying and working all day, you might feel really tired to do anything else. Also when you are busy with your assignments, you may find no time to exercise.
It is worth noting that when I mention about exercising, it doesn’t have to be going to the gym, playing sports for many hours or running outside. You can just take some breaks during your study sessions to do some stretching exercises. Even some small exercises can help your mind to become more active and you to become more focused.
Changing your habit can also make you become more active. For example, if you often go to the school by bus, you can switch to walking instead. If your campus isn’t within your walking distance, you can just get off at the stop before your regular stop and walk from there to your uni. If you have to go upstairs, instead of using the elevator, you should use the stairs instead so that your legs can become more active.
It is also great if you can find longer time to go to the gym, run along the riverside or play a sport. Find one or 2 days when you have the most free time and add these activities to your free hours. However, having enough motivation to put down your work or stay away from your bed is not easy at all. In this case, you can call some of your friends to go exercising with you.
c. Sleep well and spare some time to relax
You should spend from 7 to 9 hours per day for sleeping.
It is also quite common to see a student who stays up all night and sleeps all day. Although he or she might sleep sufficiently, that person would still feel tired and you should avoid doing so.
Sometimes, it is quite ok for you to stay up late at night for once when you have an assignment due tomorrow or an upcoming exam. However, during term time, don’t make sleeping all day and staying up all night your habit. Your mind and your body don’t work at their best during the night time. In addition, many sleepless nights will make you become more and more stressed. You’ll become unfocused and less alert, making studying less efficient.
So you should plan the time you go to bed, preferably at 10 or 11 o’clock. Then you can plan other things around these times. Moreover, make sure you don’t let everything in the last minute by keeping a schedule of assignment deadlines and plan to do them before you have to hand them in at least 2 weeks in advance.
Besides setting aside enough time for sleeping, you should also allow a certain amount of time per day for relaxing. You can meet your friends, go out shopping or go picnic, your choices are endless. If you run short of time, simply taking a longer bath than usual can help you relax and refreshed.
d. Have A to Do List
Finally, you should make to do list and make a commitment to stick to it. You can make a weekly to do list and update daily.
First, you should list out what you have to do in a week, assignments or essays due or your working shifts. Remember to spare a lot of time for relaxing and sleeping as well.
When you list out everything that you have to do in a week, you should prioritize them into different categories: the tasks that you need to do first, the tasks you can do later and the tasks you can ask somebody else to do it for you.
Make sure that you know what are the most important to you. Sometimes, you need to trade off one thing for another. For example, when you have to study for your upcoming exam, you should trade off your social times with your friends in the pub for some hours of sleeping, which is more important to you and your health at that moment.
However, you should try your best to balance things and seek for help whenever you need it. For example, you can discuss with your boss when you have a lot of stuff at school to do to reduce your working hours. You can still work but with a more flexible shift. Also, you don’t have to totally cut down your social times before you have an exam. In fact, why not ask your friends to come to the library with you and have some chit chat with them in between your study sessions.
I know that maintaining a healthy lifestyle is difficult for not only students but also everyone. A student has a lot stressful times when their deadlines are coming, he or she might have a bad time management or he or she needs to live on a tight budget- all of these factors contribute to the unhealthy living.
Luckily, there are also a lot of tips such as having a healthy diet, exercising frequently and organising your schedule. I hope that this article would be able to provide you with some of the most effective and useful healthy living tips for you. When you are able to successfully apply these healthy living tips to your own lifestyle, you will realize how significantly your physical and mental health is improved. And with a good health, you would be able to make the most out of your time as a student, gaining a lot of good studying results and enjoying every moment of your student’s life.