University life is fun but fast paced. One too many all-nighters, a surplus of packet noodles and exercising once a semester can lead to a decline in your health and wellbeing. Read on to find out how to lead a healthy lifestyle at university.
1. Stay Hydrated - Drinking plenty of water is very simple but very important. We need a minimum of 1.2 litres a day. If you do not consume enough water you risk becoming dehydrated, which can lead to headaches and tiredness. Dehydration will take a toll on your concentration and motivation towards university work. To combat this, always carry a water bottle to university and do not forget to rehydrate after a night out.
2. Get Your Exercise In - Make use of the university sports facilities; these prices are so cheap that you will be wishing you had used them after you graduate. Consider joining a sports society as this is a great way to meet new people. Playing competitive team sports often doesn't feel like exercise at all.
3. Always Opt to Walk - It might be tempting to get an uber everywhere, especially as the days get colder, but walking for 30 minutes a day is a great way to improve and maintain your overall health.
4. Increase Fruit and Vegetable Consumption - As a student, it is easy to fall into a routine of easy and cheap meals that lack fruit and vegetables. Try buying tinned or frozen fruit and veg. They are a fraction of the price of fresh produce and still contain all the essential nutrients needed. They also have a much longer shelf life, therefore you don't need to worry about them going off. Watch out for the salt or syrup content when choosing tinned products. Alternatively, head to your local market and you'll be able to pick up fresh fruit and veg for cheap.
5. Getting a Good Night Sleep - University accommodation can be a noisy place but there are little things you can do to help you get a good night sleep. Try and get into a routine as much as possible, make your bedroom dark, turn your phone off 30 minutes before going to bed (as exposure to this 'blue light' can affect your quality of sleep) and try not to nap during the day as this interferes with your natural body clock and is likely to lead to later nights.
6. Healthy Cooking Habits - Cooking together with friends or housemates will encourage you to try new cuisines. Cooking with others means you can bulk buy and split the price, making it cheaper than dinner for one every night. Think about buying a cheap cook book or reading recipes online so that you eat different dishes, as variety is also key. Cooking at home means you always know what is going into your food ooking with whole fresh foods and avoiding processed foods will play a part in disease prevention.
7. Shop Savy - Avoid going to the supermarket when you are hungry because you will probably end up with a trolley full of Doritos and ice cream. Make a list, consult recipes and meal plan before going shopping so that you only buy what you need. This will be beneficial for both your body and wallet.
8. Be Aware of Your Mental Health - University life is great, but it can be full of situations that can affect our mental state, such as leaving work until the last minute can cause stress. It is important to be aware of how both you and your friends are feeling and that you all know where you can go to seek help. Universities will have a guidance councillor and support network you can use.
9. Hygiene Standards - University is full of people, which makes it the perfect place for bugs to spread, especially in the winter. Wash your hands regularly and consider carrying antibacterial wash with you. If you are not feeling great, it is sometimes best to take the day oft have a lemsip and get better, instead of burning out.
10. Lunchtime - It is easy to pick up a meal deal every day for lunch, but normally the healthiest item available is a bag of fruit that is god knows how old! Making your own lunch means that you know what you are eating and will help save that student loan.
11. Go Meat Free - Going meat-free for a couple of nights a week will do wonders for your health, wallet and the environment! You can't argue with that!