8 Health and Wellness Tips for College Students

Good healthFreedom comes in many forms to the new college freshman, and continues to reign throughout college. Students are faced daily with new decisions, new problems, and new difficulties. From budgeting to learning to cook, students have a lot on their minds. Your parents are no longer breathing down your throat and the cafeteria is full of delicious, buttery carbs. Where could you go wrong? No matter what you think about being out on your own, you should still follow the doctor’s orders. For the most beneficial health and wellness tips all college students need to hear, keep reading.

1. You Guessed It: Drink Lots of Water

This likely comes as no surprise. As US News describes, this “isn’t revolutionary advice, but it’s very relevant to college students. As they walk around campus, students lose more water than they realize, raising the risk of dehydration. Plus, water promotes fullness, helping to stave off hunger” (McMullen). Grab a reusable water bottle from the school store and bring it from class to class. You get to represent your school and stay hydrated! Plus, water will keep you healthy, clear your skin, help your kidneys, and more.

We’re not kidding, drop the soda. That includes diet sodas, too.

2. Speaking of Drinking, Always Drink Responsibly

Like we said, you need water and lots of it. The problem, however, is that college students often refrain from water drinking in lieu of other beverage options. It’s true; many college students are simply drinking too much alcohol. The problem with this is that alcohol dehydrates your body, it “lowers inhibitions, [and] is a source of non-nutritious calories” (McMullen). We aren’t saying you can’t have a brew or two; we are just saying that you should be cautious about what you allow into your body, and how much you are consuming.

3. What All Students Want: Sleep!

It’s amazing how college students can function on 3 hours of sleep and still ace the final for which they were studying. Sorry to break the news, but just because you can do it does not mean it’s good for you. The Huffington Post reports the surprising, scary dangers of not sleeping enough. Getting too little sleep on the regular can “increase your risk of stroke, lead to obesity, up your diabetes risk, fuel memory loss, damage bones, increase your cancer risk, hurt your heart, and even kill you” (Klein). Not to mention it can also age your skin prematurely. Tired of getting carded at the bar? Don’t worry, that won’t last long if you keep up your terrible sleeping habits.

4. Eliminate Sitting

You sit during your 30 minute commute to school, you sit when you are in class, you sit as you study, and you sit while you are completing homework. That’s a lot of sitting. Many students don’t realize just how much time is spent in different chairs all day, every day. If the research revealing the affects of a sedentary, chair-hugging lifestyle doesn’t get you to stop sitting, we aren’t exactly sure what will. Most college students are still young enough to avoid the organ damage, neck strain, overactive pancreas, and muscle degeneration associated with spending hours, daily, in a chair.

5. That Being Said, Get Moving!

There is no debate over the benefits of exercise. Experts agree that almost any form of body movement is better than none. WebMD reveals, “Regular cardio exercise will fend off stress and give you energy to make it through a marathon class load, plus it’s good for your heart and just about every other part of your body. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends moderate cardio for 30 minutes, five times per week. No time? Two 15-minute sessions are as good as one half-hour stint” (Formichelli). There is no excuse to avoid exercising, and the benefits of exercising are endless. Don’t miss out on the chance for a healthy immune system, enhanced strength, and a good-looking body!

6. De-Stress to Be Your Best

A critical aspect of wellness in college relates to mental and emotional well being. Combating an overbearing class load as you balance your social life and work schedule is a stressful task (and, during finals week? Forget it). Learn the signs of stress and anxiety so you can beat them the moment you begin to feel overwhelmed.

7. Keep in Touch with Loved Ones

Yes, it is nice to be out on your own, abiding by your own rules. You finally get to live without the hassle of doing every little thing your parents want you to do. You no longer have a curfew, the opposite sex is allowed in your room, and you can watch as much TV as your want. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should lose contact with your family. Avoid loneliness and experience the familiar sound of your family’s voices. Whether or not your parents were the coolest pair on the block, you owe them a call here and there! It won’t only benefit them, but you, too.

8. Make Close Friends

You will need someone in your life while you are away from home. Whether they are your roommate, a classmate, or the cutie that works at the frozen yogurt shop, having a reliable best friend is crucial to your well being. US News reveals, “Loneliness shows up in measurements of stress hormones, immune function, and cardiovascular function. Lonely adults consume more alcohol and get less exercise than those who are not lonely. Their diet is higher in fat, their sleep is less efficient, and they report more daytime fatigue.” It sounds like loneliness can undo a lot of the positive moves you have been making. The report continues, stating that college students “can be around a lot of people but feel completely isolated. In humans, perceived isolation is so much more important than physical isolation” (Shute). Find someone and stick with them. It will mean a lot in the long run.

Students Come First

We want to ensure that every student is safe, healthy, and happy during their years at Florida National University. If you are not a student here, but you are interested in one of our programs, apply now! If qualified, we would love to have you on board.

Works Cited

Formichelli, Linda. “How to Stay Healthy at College.” WebMD. WebMD, 15 June 2012. Web. 14 May 2014.

Klein, Sarah. “Sleep Deprivation Effects.” The Huffington Post. The Huffington Post, 06 Mar. 2013. Web. 14 May 2014.

McMullen, Laura. “Nutrition Tips for College Students.” US News. U.S.News & World Report, 21 Aug. 2012. Web. 14 May 2014.

Shute, Nancy. “Why Loneliness Is Bad for Your Health.” US News. U.S.News & World Report, 12 Nov. 2008. Web. 14 May 2014.