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Staying Healthy

This week we'll discuss how to avoid your biggest fear -- the Freshman 15.

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Exercise

Rachel Hosie / Via Independent.co.uk

Fitting exercise into a busy college schedule can be difficult, but most college campuses make it easy for students to get exercise. The easiest way to get exercise is to walk to class. Depending on your class schedule, this could add anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour of exercise every day. A lot of colleges offer physical fitness classes and intramural sports programs, so take advantage of these for a fun way to get exercise. Also, most colleges offer free or reduced memberships to gyms. This is definitely a perk that ends after graduation, so take advantage of this now.

I like to exercise in the gym at my apartment or go to group fitness class in the gym located on campus. If want to splurge a little, I'll go to uptown and do Yoga on Tap. This is essentially drinking while doing yoga. However you choose to exercise, have fun with it!

Eat Right

Kelli Swensen / Via Sargent College

Eating a healthy diet can help boost students’ immune systems, help students to maintain a healthy weight and can improve their overall health. Sometimes it may seem difficult to eat healthy in college when your meal choices consist of the cafeteria or fast food restaurants, but there are easy ways to make adjustments in your eating habits. First, always eat breakfast. This may be difficult when you’re rushing out the door to get those early classes, but grabbing a protein bar or apple goes a long way in keeping you from overeating throughout the day. Also, never skip meals. Again, the typical day of college students is usually nothing but typical, but you can always find time to grab a healthy salad or sandwich from an eatery on campus. For those late-night cravings during all-nighters, try healthier alternatives to your favorite late-night foods. For example, get pizza with whole wheat crust, vegetable toppings instead of meat and low-fat cheese. Or turn to premade smoothies with oats and chia seeds. Snacking can also be a great way to keep your appetite in check throughout the day. Keep things like pre-cut fruit and veggies, nuts, pita bread and hummus or string cheese on hand so you aren’t tempted to buy and eat unhealthy snacks. Everyone is different -- try keeping a good balance of dairy, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and protein every day.

Get Enough Sleep

Via The Odyssey Online

Although you may be tempted to pull an all-nighter to study for an exam or stay out until two in the morning partying with friends, make sure you don’t make that a habit. Sleep deprivation can lead to fatigue, reduced brain function, headaches and weight loss/gain. College students need between seven and nine hours of sleep and getting this amount can improve overall health.

I've found that creating a routine helps. This forces your body to do something the same every week. Also, AVOID taking naps throughout the day. I know, it sucks. If you avoid napping, then you'll be prepared for bed at an earlier time and you'll most likely have a better sleep. Last, if you're like me and love coffee, avoid caffeine by getting decaf once it's getting later into the afternoon.

Relax

Via TV Guide

College students are usually extremely stressed with classes and exams, but relaxing and having down-time is essential to staying healthy. Stress can cause numerous problems and getting too run-down can adversely affect your health. The easiest way to relax is to create a routine and give yourself regular breaks. Also, make sure you make time to hang out with friends and de-stress.

My favorites are watching Netflix, napping, and going out to shop with my friends.

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