By: Hollis Conners ~Features Editor~
Media is obsessed with losing weight and attaining an “ideal body type.” However, in the quest for the perfect body, many overlook the idea of simply living a healthy lifestyle. The following suggestions are not intended to advise students to lose weight. They are simply suggestions one can use to not only help form healthier habits, but to feel good about health choices.
Invest in a Water Bottle
Not only will this help you save money by not buying bottles out of the vending machines, but drinking water throughout the day will also help keep you hydrated. Drinking water during class also contributes to helping you stay awake during long lectures. Those who work out regularly and drink coffee every day should be conscious about the amount of water they drink, since those two things cause faster dehydration.
Get Enough Sleep
Many college students don’t get enough sleep. Some may be studying for a test, while others might keep hitting the “Next Episode” button on Netflix. Either way, sleep deprivation contributes to decreased performance in class, memory impairment, stress and irritability. According to the National Sleep Foundation, young adults (ages 18-25) need seven to nine hours of sleep every night, though many can run on six.
Don’t Live in Filth
Really. We are all adults and we are all capable of doing our laundry regularly, vacuuming our carpet and even wiping down the bathroom counter. Spend a few minutes cleaning every few days to make sure your life is together. It helps you feel more organized and you won’t have to “deep clean” everything as much. Just a little bit of maintenance helps to preserve your home, makes a safer environment and promotes positive mental health and hygiene
Go to the Dentist
Even if you brush and floss twice a day, everyone should go to the dentist every six months. According to Mayo Clinic, there may be a correlation between heart health and dental health. On top of that, poor dental hygiene will make your teeth yellow, your breath smelly and the plaque will eat away your teeth and give you cavities.
Replace Unhealthy Snacks
SLOWLY implement healthier snacks into your regimen. If you try and cut out all the chips, cookies and candies at once, you likely won’t be successful and you’ll get crabby from the lack of sugar. Your body really does get addicted to junk food. Instead of forcing a major switch, gradually replace one candy bar with one fruit and throw in a few vegetables. The general rule is if the food is more colorful, it is likely healthier. This does not mean to go and buy a bag of gummy bears or Fruit Loops because they are colorful. It means take a stroll though the produce and see what you find. Maybe add a little peanut butter to your banana, or caramel to your apple for extra flavor
No one needs to hear any more about how exercising for 30 minutes every day is good for him or her. We all know that already. But the advice to take from this article is to participate in exercise you enjoy. If you like playing basketball, hit up the courts. If you like to ride your bike, go to a spin class. If you aren’t big on strenuous activity, go on a walk through the park with a friend. Use the conversation to catch up or even study for a test. Not only does regular exercise help to lower the chance of heart disease and increase the overall lifespan, but it can be fun too!
Many don’t like to sit for a long period to meditate, but taking five minutes to deep breathe before a test, before bed or even before any other stressful situation can help you to relax. Take a deep breath in through the nose, then out through the mouth. Make sure the inhales and exhales are each 10 seconds long. Just close your eyes and relax your shoulders, and then soon enough you’ll have experienced a five-minute mini meditation.
Spend Time with People You Love
Constantly studying your life away alone in the library or even hiding away in your room to watch Netflix for hours on end won’t do any good for you in a social sense (even if Netflix is fun and amazing). Not that you shouldn’t study or have “you time,” just simply spend an hour or so on a Sunday getting coffee with a friend or talking to your parents. Having positive relationships with people will help reduce stress and improve your overall health. It’s fun, it builds positivity and it gives you a break from your never-ending list of responsibilities. Let yourself have a break.