Between school work, spending time with friends and family, and making time for yourself, it may seem impossible to lead a healthy lifestyle as a full-time student. But according to the Center of Disease Control (CDC), health-risk behaviors such as unhealthy eating and physical inactivity are consistently linked to poor grades, low test scores, and substandard educational attainment.
Contrary to popular belief, transitioning into a healthier lifestyle does not have to cost you too much money or take up all of your free time – two things college students are especially short on. Take your routine from over-stressed to bench-pressed with the help of the tips below!
Pack pre-planned meals.
One night a week, that’s all it takes! This step may seem daunting and tedious, but it is also the most crucial. Preparing small-portioned meals for your entire week and packing them into containers is so convenient when you’re rushing to leave the house each morning. Most people prefer to prepare their meals, or “meal prep” on Sunday night, so they’re ready to start their week on a healthy note.
If lugging gym clothes around campus is inconvenient, wear your gym clothes to your classes.
After spending four years on a college campus, I can honestly say the following: the hallway is not equivalent to the runway. College students are too focused on their schoolwork, jobs, extracurricular activities, and social lives to be worried about what you’re wearing to class. If you still don’t feel comfortable wearing workout clothes outside of the gym (which is somewhat concerning, considering they’re so comfortable anyway), at least think about investing in a lightweight gym or duffel bag so you won’t have to carry all of the extra weight on your back all day at school.
Invest in good-quality gym clothes and shoes.
Nice workout gear can help to motivate you. Who doesn’t want to wear a new pair of shoes after they’ve just bought them? Find a brand you like the look of, feel comfortable in, and treat yourself!
Don’t bring extra money to school. This way, you won’t be tempted to buy food you didn’t prepare.
If all you have to eat is the food you’ve brought to school with you, you’re going to eat that food. On the other hand, if you have money to spend, you’re more than likely going to catch a whiff of Panda Express or Carl’s Jr. while walking through one of the food courts and, thus, feel obligated to buy yourself something to satisfy your hunger.
Bring a reusable water bottle to school.
Again, if the only thing you have to drink is water, you will get thirsty and you will drink it. It doesn’t matter what size water bottle you choose to tote around, so long as it’s filled and re-filled throughout your day.
If you MUST give into your sugar craving, pick up a Kind Bar at a convenience store or grab a Robeks smoothie (perhaps with a whey protein boost)!
Quest Bars actually taste like the sweets they are flavored after, rather than merely resemble the taste. Robeks’ smoothies are also a healthier way to satisfy a sweet tooth. Their menu includes something for everyone, from low-calorie options to freshly-squeezed juices.
Although you have little to no time to spare as a student, there is always time for taking care of yourself.