Staying Healthy at College
By Donna Kostiew
I think it is safe to say that for most college students, maintaining their health is not at the top of their priority list. Classes, studying, homework, clubs, meetings, sports, and social activities all seem to take up a lot of space on that list, while healthy eating, restful sleep and exercise drop lower and lower. Of course this may vary from student to student, but we all know that so many of our children become over-stressed, over-caffeinated, and over-extended while trying to balance everything on their plate. And in very little time, it can soon become a slippery slope in regards to their health, especially without Mom or Dad watching over them, making sure that the right choices are being made.
Whether your child is proactive about their health and well-being or not, developing healthy habits before they leave will make it easier for them to carry those behaviors along with them when it’s time to start school. Here are some tips that will be easy to maintain once they pack up their suitcases for college and head out your door.
Drink More Water
Water is essential and needed for almost every function in the human body. You can’t maintain good health without it. Keeping your body hydrated can help with concentration, can discourage overeating, and will improve your energy and mood. This is an easy habit for your college student to keep and you can encourage them to drink more by skipping sodas, bringing water to class, and carrying a reusable water bottle.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Cafeteria and fast food is the easy choice, the go-to for college students, but this choice doesn’t always have to be full of bad decisions. Encourage them to keep these suggestions in mind when choosing what to eat: moderation, variety, and balance. Vitamins and supplements should also be a part of their diet, and probably to your child’s utter and complete sadness, Flintstone vitamins should not be on the grocery list anymore. A quality multivitamin can cover the basic nutrient requirements, especially if taken with a B vitamin supplement as well.
Walking to classes every day is great, but hitting the gym or being involved with other physical activities as well is even better. Exercise helps to maintain weight, keeps you focused, and improves your overall well-being … and it’s pretty easy to add in some extra flights of stairs every day.
Get Enough Sleep
The recommended amount of sleep for college students is seven to nine hours per day. Sleep deprivation can lead to headaches, reduced brain function, fatigue throughout the day, and mood changes, so getting enough sleep is critical for your child’s success at school.
This list could go on and on, but keeping it simple is important because it will be easier for your child to manage.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Culver City, Calif.