Colleges students have a lot on their plate each day, as a result, they often neglect what they put on their food plate. With so many unhealthy choices just a phone call away for delivery, cheap boxes of mac and cheese and ramen packs that students on a budget stockpile each semester, and full-serve campus dining halls, a student can quickly adopt poor eating habits.
For many students, getting a good education comes with gaining an extra ten to fifteen pounds to go with it. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Here are five essential health and nutrition tips that all college students should consider when they go away to school.
- Three Meals a Day
It’s important that students eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, particularly a good meal in the morning. Students often neglect breakfast and even lunch because their schedules are just too hectic. Instead of a well-balanced meal they cram salty snacks or a quick microwave burrito in between classes because they’re hungry. This is the fastest road to a poor diet and lousy health.
- Keep Drinking
Don’t get any ideas as I’m sure some of you may mistake this advice for just partying all day but in this case, I’m talking about water. Forget trying to down ten glasses a day as many suggest, but do bring along a water bottle or some other way to stay hydrated throughout the day. Water is a vital necessity that supports the body’s many components and systems to keep you active and energetic, as staying hydrated is a very important part of the body’s healing and replenishing processes. This is even more important if you went out drinking (beer) the night (or afternoon) before.
- Navigating the Supermarket
Students rely too heavily on fast food and late-night pizza delivery for their meals, when they should rely more on their local grocery or supermarket. They have more control over what they put into their bodies when they’re the ones buying the ingredients. The store shelves usually offer healthier options of the foods they may be getting from the local fast food joint.
Buying ground beef with less fat, spaghetti sauces with lower sodium, and other healthy versions of the foods they’re paying someone else to make for them will prove to be a smart recipe for good nutrition. Not only will they be saving their health, they’ll be saving a few extra bucks too.
- Exercise is Good
Getting out more is a crucial part of staying healthy. It’s too easy for students to sit around all day in their dorms or apartments when they’re not in class. When they are in class, they’re just doing more sitting around. Inactivity is a big contributor to poor health and extra pounds. Take a walk, go for a run, do something active. For some students, the only running they have time for is between classes. Take a break during study time, drop to the floor and do a few push-ups and sit-ups. Something is better than nothing.
- Do Some Research
College students should be used to that by now. So check out the USDA Food Pyramid and My Plate resources for information on the recommended daily intake of servings and calories for proper nutrition. This goes for all students, those living at in dorm at Rutgers or taking UAB Online courses, as these suggested food distribution tables have all the information necessary to make the proper nutritional choices to remain healthy.