Five ways to stay fit and healthy in college (that aren’t the gym)
At Centennial College, we have an excellent gym, which as a student, you can use for free. Not everyone has the time, though, and even if you do, there’s plenty of other things you can do to stay in shape. A healthy body is important for a healthy mind, and you’ll be able to perform better in school when you’re healthy and fit.
, Huffington Post, and even WebMD all share the same basic set of tips, simple, non-gym ways for a busy student to keep their body in better shape. In fact, you can make a career out of it, with our Fitness and Health Promotion program. It features practical learning in our athletics centre and through placement and teaches you the facts about keeping the people around you healthy and in shape. While some of that is working out, there’s plenty of other knowledge you’ll pick up and impart, and this is just a tiny bit of it.
Walk whenever possible
The easiest way to get some physical activity while not going to the gym is just to get on your feet. If you can avoid driving or taking public transportation, or get off the bus a few stops early, and walk as many places as you can, you’ll already help yourself out a bit. You’ll get a chance to clear your head, stretch a bit, and burn calories. While we’re talking about walking, make sure your backpack isn’t too heavy. You might think it’ll get you more fit from lifting it, but it’ll just leave you with back and shoulder problems later on. Better to rent a locker.
Get up and move around every half hour
If you’re studying or working at a computer all day, not only is it bad for your fitness, it can also cause problems with your neck, back, wrists and eyes. Luckily, it’s an easy problem to fix: Just get up once every half an hour, walk around for a moment, stretch, do anything. All that matters is that you get up and move. (Speaking of that, I’ll be right back.)
Diet is just as important
When it comes to staying in shape, what you eat is equally as important as exercise. Don’t think that you can focus on one to make up for not taking care of the other. As for how to keep your diet healthy, here are some easy tips: Eat a big breakfast, because it’ll make you less hungry throughout the day. For the same reason, you shouldn’t skip any other meals. Bring healthy snacks with you, like granola bars or sliced veggies. Don’t eat the same foods every day, but mix it up so you get different kinds of nutrients. Finally, taking a good multivitamin every morning can do wonders for your metabolism.
Specifically, pay attention to what you drink
It’s important enough to get its own separate category. Most people don’t drink enough water in a day. Keeping hydrated will give you energy, help you concentrate, and make you feel less hungry. Not being hydrated enough will also make it easier to get sick. If you’re feeling thirsty, you’re probably already a bit dehydrated. So, get a good sized sports bottle, and try to finish it at least once a day. Also, avoid both soda and coffee, since not only are they bad for you, but the temporary energy they’ll provide you will just make you crash later on.
Get some sleep!
Doing the opposite of physical activity might feel wrong, but it’s a big help in the long run. Depriving yourself of sleep, aside from making it hard to focus or work, can also contribute to weight gain and mess with your appetite. You should be aiming for seven to nine hours of sleep a night. You should also stay off your computer and phone before bed, and invest in some blackout curtains, since the light can keep you awake longer. Similarly, don’t be afraid to take a nap during the day, if you have the time.
By Anthony Geremia