The campus environment poses unique temptations to students at colleges and universities. With busy schedules for studying for exams, it's not surprising if some students skip meals or eat fast food more than is healthy.
For those who don't get enough sleep, staying up all night cramming the night before an exam can lead to fatigue and bad study habits, such as reading class material while watching TV or surfing the Internet.
On top of all that, sick people with colds or other infections may be tempted to tough it out and go to class anyway rather than miss a day.
Below are some of the ways campus students can stay healthy:
1. Eat three well-balanced meals a day
With a well-balanced meal, you're getting a mix of carbohydrates, fat, and protein in each meal. It means avoiding junk food or fast food for very long periods.
2. Get at least eight hours of sleep per night
More than half the college students surveyed said they do not get enough sleep regularly. It's a myth that college students aren't tired enough to sleep until noon on the weekends.
3. Exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes
To be healthy, you need to get your heart pumping and sweat flowing at least three times a week for about 30 minutes per session.
4. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water when in public
Colds, flu, and other infections are incredibly contagious. You could get sick from touching or using public surfaces such as doorknobs, keyboards, desktops, shopping cart handles, bathroom faucets hence the need to clean your hands properly.
5. Get vaccinated for meningitis
Meningitis is a deadly disease that can strike suddenly without warning. College students are not usually considered at risk for meningitis, but the disease is more common than you may think.
6. Stay informed about campus safety and emergencies such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks
Ensure that your cell phone is fully charged and ready to go if an emergency occurs on campus.
7. Ask your college health center for tips & advice
College health centers offer free services such as general wellness, HIV/STD prevention and education, student counseling, sexual assault services, and more. It's a good idea to make an appointment with the campus health center before you get sick or experience an injury.
8. Keep track of personal belongings
Students often spend hours searching for keys, phones, laptops, and other personal belongings. Make sure to always keep track of your belongings by using a GPS tracking device.
9. Hang out with friends when studying instead of getting 'stuck' in your room alone and spend more time on academics than on social networking sites
Staying up late studying by yourself can lead to fatigue, making it much harder for you to focus on the tasks at hand. Staying up late socializing on Facebook or Twitter can also affect your sleep cycle.
10. Ask for help if necessary
If any of the above seems too complicated or overwhelming, don't be afraid to ask for help from your parents, teachers, counselors, and others.
The benefits of maintaining healthy life on campus
There are numerous benefits of maintaining healthy life on campus. Just some of them are stated below:
1. You will thrive in a healthy body and mind
With a healthy body and mind, you are more effective at work, can accomplish more tasks in a given time frame, and have ample energy for socializing.
2. You will get sick less often
You are less susceptible to getting sick with colds or other infections with a healthy lifestyle.
3. You will be motivated to study effectively for exams
When you are healthy, you have lots of energy to study effectively for exams. You can also devote more time to studying since you are less likely to get sick or injured.
4. You'll feel happier and more optimistic
When you feel healthy, happy, and energetic, it is much easier to be optimistic about the future.
5. You will have a sense of accomplishment
When you make healthy choices, you can be proud of yourself for achieving more and having the strength to resist the temptation to eat junk food or skip a workout at the gym.
Some students may have some bad habits, such as smoking cigarettes. Keep reading to know of the bad habits to avoid:
Smoking cigarettes can cause numerous risks to your health. For example, smoking can damage your blood vessels, increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, contribute to erectile dysfunction (ED), cause early menopause in women, lead to low bone density (osteoporosis), reduce fertility, affect pregnancy outcomes like premature birth and stillbirth, and damage the lungs.
B. Excessive alcohol use
Drinking too much alcohol can cause liver disease, stomach ulcers, certain cancers like breast cancer and throat cancer, high blood pressure, heart failure, pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas), early menopause in women, nerve damage that affects movement in the arm and leg muscles, depression, anxiety disorders, and severe headaches.
C. The use of ecstasy drugs
Ecstasy is a psychoactive drug that releases serotonin in the brain and causes feelings of empathy and well-being. The drug can be addictive, and it may cause brain damage over time if taken frequently or in large doses. Even occasional use can lead to memory loss and other cognitive problems.
D. Ingestion of unprescribed prescription medications
Taking unprescribed, over-the-counter, or recreational drugs does not benefit your academic performance at school. It can have serious side effects on your health and contribute to a lower level of productivity.
E. Eating junk food regularly
A diet full of junk food has more fat, salt, and sugar than the body needs. This diet can lead to obesity, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, certain cancers like breast cancer and colon cancer, gallstones, infertility in women, osteoarthritis, and chronic inflammation.
F. Smoking marijuana regularly
Smoking marijuana regularly can lead to loss of motivation, reduced focus, poor academic performance at school, legal problems, memory problems, increased heart rate for up to 3 hours after smoking, reduced sperm count in men, menstrual cycle changes in women, lung damage like bronchitis, and addiction.
G. Watching too much television or playing video games excessively
Watching too much television can contribute to lower grades since students will have less time to study for exams. It has also been linked to weight gain in children and adolescents, associated with a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
It does not have to be difficult when it comes to healthy habits. There is a sense of accomplishment and pride when you feel healthy because you know you are one step closer to reaching your goals. If you want to succeed in the classroom and at work, certain bad habits can get in the way of your success.