How To Stay Healthy In College
6 min read
College students today have busy schedules, especially college athletes in the US! If you are studying and playing at a US University, it is important that you maintain your grades in the classroom so that you are able to play with the team. It can be tricky to find a balance between training and your studies, even with all the support you will receive from coaches, tutors and team mates. However, with all of this going on - it can be easy to neglect your health! There are precautions that you can take to maintain a healthy lifestyle to optimize your energy levels, and avoid getting sick - especially important when you are living in a dorm with many other students! Check out our tips on maintaining a healthy lifestyle whilst at college in the USA.... 1. Eat a balanced diet Depending on your college, and if you are on a sports team - you may already have a diet plan in place. It is easy to think that because you are training regularly that you can afford to eat what you want all the time. Remember, that your body needs nutrients to boost your immunity and fight off illnesses so load up on fruit and veg and avoid sugary snacks like sodas, candy bars, potato chips, and take away junk food. Invest in some tupperware containers to store food hygienically in your fridge, and keep your metabolism revved by carrying a small lunchbox with healthy snacks with you every day. This will reduce the chances of binge snacking when you are on the go! 2. Get regular exercise Make sure you are at the top of your game, and your physical fitness. Many of our student athletes comment that they think they are fit, until they go to America and realize how high the standard of fitness is! Make sure that you are pushing yourself to do more in training, and that you maintain it during holidays so that you don't fall behind. 3. Drink plenty of water The most important think to remember is to drink plenty of water - especially if you're training in 80 degree heat! You should have on average 8-10 glasses of water per day for optimum health...do not be tempted by sugary sodas - these will not keep you hydrated! Invest in a water bottle, and make sure you carry this with you at all times, and refill regularly at water coolers. 4. Get plenty of sleep Your body has been working hard throughout your day as a student athlete. You have been pushing your physical fitness in training or at games, and you have been working hard it class. To keep on top of your studies and sports, you need to make sure you are getting your eight hours every night. The better rested you are, the better you will perform in class and on the team! Invest in a sleep mask and ear plugs in case your room mates have other ideas! 5. Protect your skin Make sure that you wash your hands regularly to avoid sickness causing bacterias that can easily be spread in communal areas. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in your backpack to combat daily germs. It is also equally important to protect yourself from the sun, especially if you are not used to it! Make sure you apply sun cream to protect your skin from damage - try using a moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15. Don't forget about your eyes - wear sun glasses and your head - wear a cap if out in the sun for long periods! 6. Keep your space clean Shared areas like the bathroom and kitchen are breeding grounds for bacteria if someone is sick. Make sure you are doing your part to keeping these areas clean - always wipe down toilet seats, door knobs, phone handsets, and anything else that most people will use. Always have disinfectant wipes around to keep those germs at bay. Equally, ensure you are keeping your dorm clean! This will not only keep you in with your room mate, but it will keep your space clear of dust and germs. Clean your sheets and towels regularly. 7. Get vaccinated If you are prone to catching colds and the flu, make sure you book yourself in to get vaccinated in time for winter. The best time to do it is before school starts back as many doctors can be busy at this time of year. Book in for regular check ups with your doctor to help you to stay on top of your health and to address any health concerns you may have. 8. Make smart choices College is a time for making choices that can affect the rest of your life, so make sure you make the smart ones! If you want to be successful in your sport or in your studies and continue to have a prosperous career after graduation, you should think twice about a few decisions you make at this stage. Make smart choices about smoking, drinking and drugs - not only can these affect your physical and mental capabilities now, who knows how it can affect your life or health in the long term. Also, If you choose to have sex, make sure you are being safe...use protection and use it wisely! 9. Dress appropriately You won't look too hot if you're sick so don't take chances, and make sure you are dressed appropriately for the weather! In the USA, the weather can be more extreme than maybe what you are used to so be prepared for all seasons! 10. Get Help If you are feeling poorly, stressed or depressed - get help! There is a lot of change in your life just now, and it can be normal for some to feel a little overwhelmed at times. Don't make the mistake of thinking you are the only one feeling this way - chances are, many of your team or class mates are too! Talk to a friend, a school councillor, a coach, a doctor, a tutor or your parents back home....sometimes, just speaking about what's bothering you can put things back into perspective! We hope you have found our article on staying healthy in college useful. Keep on top of these simple tips to stay on top of your game and get your grades!