It’s no secret that the student lifestyle doesn’t have the healthiest of reputations. Whether it’s excessive amounts of booze, a lack of fresh food, an erratic sleeping schedule or minimal exercise, living like a student can start to have negative implications on your health. Whilst it’s important to make the most of your university days, there are some easy ways to maintain a healthier lifestyle. Being healthy doesn’t need to be difficult, expensive, or time consuming. In fact, these little changes can have a big impact on your physical and mental wellbeing whilst at uni. Here are eight top tips.
Waking up late and rushing out of the door without eating is a trap far too many students fall into. It essentially sets you up for a bad day. You’ll end up ravenously hungry a couple of hours later. Before you know it, you’ll be reaching for the quickest, most convenient thing to snack on, which is highly unlikely to be something healthy.
Skip A Round
A handy tip for keeping on top of excessive drinking is the alternating method. It’s extremely simple: for every alcoholic drink you have, the next one must be a soft drink. It’ll slow down your consumption, meaning you won’t end up too drunk and making regrettable decisions. It will also help you stay more hydrated, and lessen your hangover symptoms. Your future self will thank you!
Upping your water consumption is one of the best tips for all around health. Plus, it’s extremely easily accessible, and (importantly for students) free! Staying hydrated will help you avoid overeating and lessen cravings for sugary, fizzy drinks. Drinking water has also been shown to help improve concentration. Carrying a bottle with you is key.
If You Can, Walk
Gym memberships can seem an extravagance for those on a tight budget, but exercising is hugely important to the health of both your body and your brain. One great way to fit some around your busy schedule is to try to walk as much as you can. Getting off the bus a couple of stops early or taking the stairs instead of a lift are all small changes that will add up to make a difference.
Don’t Work In Bed
If you’re having trouble sleeping, it’s absolutely essential that you keep your bed as a separate space. Don’t hang out in there if you aren’t actively trying to sleep. Whether this means going to the library or just setting yourself up at the kitchen table, your brain needs to be able to switch off in order to sleep well.
One thing which all students have in common is a tendency towards getting stressed out. And you can’t be blamed: university is an incredibly taxing time, particularly when it comes to balancing studying, a social life, a part time job plus any extra-curricular activities. If you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed, try to talk to someone. Finding healthy coping mechanisms, like exercise, meditation or chatting with a friend is key to getting you through the more intense moments.
Do A Weekly Shop
Having a good selection of healthy food options stocked in the fridge is essential to eating well. If you get home and there’s nothing in the house, it’s all too easy to call for a takeaway. If you need a snack and the cupboards are bare, that’s when a trip to the corner shop for chocolate occurs. Doing a big shop once a week not only ensures that there will be a variety of healthy choices ready for you. Plus, as a bonus, it’ll make budgeting for food much easier.
If you are strapped for time or simply don’t like to cook, meal prepping will be a total saviour. You can make one batch of something healthy, split it into Tupperware containers, then eat for the rest of the week without having to cook or wash up. You can even make bigger batches and freeze half, saving your future self during exam season.