By: Kenzi Weidman Sleepless nights can lead to unhealthy decisions. How many times have you gotten only a few hours of sleep, and then craved a salad or fresh veggies? I can honestly say NEVER. People always say “you can sleep when you’re dead” but …
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially in college, can sometimes be harder than that upper level accounting class exam you have each month. With the hustle and bustle between classes, the lack of sleep from studying and the bad eating habits due to such packed schedules, students have little time to watch TV, let alone exercise. So lets face it. Those bad habits often lead not only to “freshman 15″ weight gain, stressed out behaviors, and bags under your eyes from lack of sleep, but to an unhealthy lifestyle that continues even after college is over.
You have heard it before, and I will say it again, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When your body is sleeping, it goes into a process called ketosis, which in layman’s terms mean’s “I need energy”. A good way to start the day would be with some carbohydrates. They are your fuel and the main key to your energy levels. Try grabbing a piece of fruit, some veggies, or even a big bowl of cereal to start your day right. A vital rule to live by: In the morning, anything is better than nothing!
A typical student also needs to understand that being healthy should also mean your as close to stress-free as possible. Reducing stress will not only help battle weight gain, but it will also help you make more health-conscious decisions and ultimately lead to a happier you! So find a quiet place to lay out your “to do list” and start organizing those stressful items so you can find some time to relax.
Maybe start with sleep. What college kid actually gets the right amount of sleep, or perhaps goes to bed at the right time of night? It is very important to get enough sleep every night, especially if you have a big day ahead of you. I always wondered if their was a way to figure out the best time to sleep, other than making sure you get at least “8 hours a night”. The best time of day for naps is between 2 – 5 p.m. for about 30 minutes. Yes, that’s right, I said “NAP!” Sometimes that is just what our body needs to refuel and refocus!
Something interesting I found was the bedtime calculator at www.sleepyti.me. It allows you to type in when you need to wake up, and it will tell you the best time to fall asleep, according to the REM (rapid eye movement) cycles you have while repowering your body during the night. Sleep cycles usually last 90 minutes, and so by trying your best to fall asleep and wake up at the perfect time means you will feel less groggy and more awake when its time to get that day started. Not only will you consume less caffeine products, but it will also lead to a healthier and happier you!
Last but not least, my favorite part—the workout! It’s understandable that average college students wont work out on a daily basis. Sometimes schedules are tight, and there just isn’t time. Well if you’re like me, you make time. Working out keeps you in shape, lowers stress-levels, and also boosts your body with energy. Why wouldn’t someone want to work out every day knowing the side effects are all positive?
Try fitting in at least a 30-minutes cardio session every day to give your mind a break, and work the body…even if it is just taking a walk. Burning calories releases the bad toxins in your body leaving you refreshed, and ready to conquer. You will be fit, healthy, and happy.
Now just because you do everything mentioned doesn’t mean you will be just perfect. Every person is different. Personally, I love a hectic schedule! It makes me feel like I always have something to do, and it challenges me to get everything I want to get done for each day. Just find the routine that fits you best, and who knows, once you see how good you will start to feel, you may encourage your friends to follow these tips too! Nothing is better than having a partner in crime!
“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”