First and foremost, you can do whatever you want in college. Eat you little heart out, it literally won’t hurt. If you want to indulge in the cupcakes that the cafe is serving that day, you do so! Don’t ever let anyone sway you from what you want. Food is necessary to fuel your body. The stigma society has about gaining weight is honestly annoying. Just be healthy for you. When I was a freshman, I was so cautious about gaining weight after I put on a pair of jeans and realized how tight they were. Was this honestly happening? You walk everywhere in college, that amounted to exercise to me! I would rush across Kent State’s campus and up hills daily to get to my classes – there were stairs involved and rushing on my part because 8 ams are not the best choice for me.
Nonetheless, I had an overview of what I had been eating in my head and it turns out chicken tenders and french fries for lunch + dinner wasn’t the best choice. I was missing out on important nutrition that’s for sure but isn’t that what learning is for? I learned quickly that I didn’t have the fridge that was at my parents’ home or the home cooked meals that ensure I was getting my daily values. My mom’s a Nurse Practitioner so she’s always been on my case about eating more than enough calories to fuel my body and taking a multi-vitamin because I am not a fan of drinking milk. Nope, not going to catch me drinking any milk. How did I introduce nutrition into my life? Obviously, the internet is out there for us to google any and every thing at our beck and call. I took a Nutrition Science and Pilates class to implement healthy choices into my life and it really taught me a lot. I took advantage of the extracurriculars that fulfilled GEC requirements.
So, what’s my advice to everyone who wants to stay healthy? I am not certified so I can’t say that you must follow this and that, I just take what I’ve learned over the years. I’m sharing what I apply to my own life.
Don’t fret over the freshman fifteen. We are stuck with society’s way popularizing this topic. You go to college and you get this freedom to do what you want and there’s a huge amount of stress. If you put on weight, it’s okay. It’s something that can be changed, just remember that. Never be ashamed of fueling your body and indulging every once in awhile.
Talk to a nutritionist. These are usually ‘free’ on campus as part of the student health and wellness centers. I know Ohio State offered up these services and it can be helpful to figure out what direction you should go in with your eating habits.
Eliminate the Stress. Twelve or more credit hours, extracurriculars and social lives are a big part of college lives. We pile on so much and we get overwhelmed at some point. Stress affects your health. Find ways to void stress out of your life and don’t let it get you down.
Take advantage of fitness classes. If you hate the gym and waiting on the machines, look into the classes that your university offers. These are a great way to start your fitness journey and figure out the direction you should take to implement it into your life. These are great introductory classes – I took pilates and fell in love and easily toned up over the semester.
Drink water. I didn’t drink water until I started going to the gym and working out. I played sports all throughout high school and games were really the only time that I would drink water. That’s terrible when I look back. Now I get quite enough water in my daily life and I can say that I’m reaping the benefits.
Drink moderately, don’t blackout. College is about fun and I know the freedom gets to us all. Don’t drink to the point where you blackout though. Don’t over do it and hurt your body. Love your liver and it will love you back.
Eat Breakfast, people! This is the most important meal of the day and can do so much for you. I used to skip breakfast all the time and literally crash by noon. I finally took the time to get up early and whip things like oatmeal and parfaits together. These helped me get on track and manage a healthier diet.
Get enough sleep! I’m the worst at this. I get my eight hours but I would stay up with Netflix all the time and that wasn’t good. As a college student, we need our sleep and naps are okay as well. Eight to ten hours are recommended so make sure that you get those hours. Set aside time to wind down and put your mind at rest. Sleep is your best friend in life.
These are just a few things to introduce to your life. I’m not certified in any way to tell you how to live your life – I only go off what I learned and what I apply to my life. Be happy and do what’s best for your health. I will say drinking tons of water and eating those yummy veggies and fruits are very important. Fuel your body and brain!