Between exams, papers and maintaining an
active social life, many college students
feel they can't really find the time to keep
up on their personal health and wellness
until an illness catches hold and stops them
in their tracks. With most colleges
providing health care and endless physical
activities for students, staying healthy in
college is about as easy as it will ever
get. Here are a few tips to help students
make the most of the resources at their
fingertips and to ensure they stay healthy
and illness free throughout their education.
Withiout careful attention to your diet, you
could end on putting on the freshman 15 and
more. Follow these tips to help keep your
diet healthy and beneficial.
Learn proper portion size.
To avoid eating too much of
even the healthiest foods, keep track of
how much you're eating. For most people,
meat servings should be about the size
of a deck of cards and other servings
vary by the type of food.
Vary your meals. When
the cafeteria has your favorite foods
daily it can be easy to return to those
old favorites every day. Changing up
your diet from day to day is an
important part of good nutrition so take
advantage of the variety of selections
available to you.
Eat breakfast. Start
your day off right with a good meal when
you get up. Whether you're rolling out
of bed at noon or up at the crack of
dawn for class, make sure you start your
day with a balanced, healthy meal.
Keep healthy snacks around.
It's easy to eat healthy if you
keep the Cheetos at bay and stock your
dorm room with fruits and other healthy
snacks. You'll be more likely to reach
for these than junk food if you keep
them nearby or in your backpack.
Drink moderately. While
college students are known for their
partying, you can still have a good time
without consuming all the calories that
come along with binging on beer, plus
you'll avoid the hangovers and other
negative effects. Drink in moderation
and you can have a good time without
hurting your health.
Don't fight stress by eating.
It can be tempting to reach for
a bag of chips or some cookies when
you're stressed out about an impending
exam. Eating won't help your stress go
away, so avoid filling up on snacks. Try
working out or taking a break instead.
Drink water. Drinking
enough water can help boost your
concentration as well as keep you from
overeating. Make sure to keep hydrated
as you go through your day by bringing
water with you.
Limit sugary and caffeinated
beverages. Beverages may not
fill you up, but they sure can help
fatten you up and have a detrimental
effect on your overall health. You don't
have to completely give up soda and
coffee, but you should scale back in
order to keep yourself in tip top shape.
Try to eat fruits and veggies.
Even if fruits and vegetables
don't comprise some of your favorite
foods, try to incorporate at least a few
of them into your diet each day.
Limit junk food. Junk
food is fast and easy and many students
end up eating a lot of it while they're
on the run to class or to work. While a
little fast food now and again won't
really hurt you, make sure it doesn't
become a habit.
Make it convenient to eat right.
Don't make it hard for yourself
to eat right. Buy healthy foods and
stock your fridge and room with them to
ensure they're the first things at hand
when you get hungry.
Don't skip meals. With
so much to do, it's easy to forgo eating
to run off to class or the library.
Don't skip meals. Set up foods you can
eat on the run so you'll have the energy
to keep going.
Indulge every once in awhile.
A little treat now and then is
a great way to reward yourself for
eating a healthy diet. Give yourself a
break and indulge in a food you love but
can't eat all the time.
Take vitamins. If you
feel like you aren't getting the
nutrition you need from your diet, don't
hesitate to supplement it with some
multi-vitamins to stay healthy and
Get help for eating disorders.
While many groups focus on
helping students lose weight, there are
those who need help fighting eating
disorders as well. If you are worried
you have an eating disorder and want
help, don't be afraid to reach out to
campus resources for help.
Fitting exercise into a busy schedule isn't
always the easiest thing, but take stock of
some of these tips to help you get on track
Stretch first. Help
yourself avoid injuries by stretching
each time you exercise. Simple stretches
before and after you work out or engage
in physical activity can help keep you
active and pain free.
Ride your bike. Instead
of taking the bus or driving to class,
try biking instead. It will give you a
few minutes of exercise between your
Play a sport. One way
to get yourself motivated to exercise is
to make it a game by playing a sport.
Join an intramural team or play
recreational sports through your school
to get active and have fun at the same
Use safety equipment.
No matter what sport you're playing,
make sure to always use the proper
safety equipment. It will keep you from
getting hurt which will allow you to
stay active more often.
Head to the gym. Most
schools provide students with gym
facilities they can take advantage of
for free. Head to the gym between
classes or when you get up in the
morning to squeeze in a workout.
Take advantage of fitness
courses. Along with gym
facilities most students will have
access to fitness classes they can take.
Since you're already paying for these
through your tuition you may as well
take advantage and get a workout that
will help keep you in shape and motivate
Walk to class. While
taking public transportation might be
quicker, walking will give you a chance
to stretch your legs, burn some calories
and relax before your next class.
Incorporate different kinds of
exercise in your routine. When
you work out, don't just stick to one
kind of workout. Incorporate strength
training, cardio and stretching
exercises into your routine to make it
Make it fun. You're
probably not going to work out if you
are bored with your routine or find
going to the gym torture. Find a way to
make it fun for yourself and you'll be
much more likely to keep it up.
Bring a friend. With
someone else relying on you showing up,
you'll be much more likely to make the
effort to work out. Plus, working out
with a friend can be a great way to make
working out more fun.
Take advantage of open spaces.
Most colleges are equipped with
large grassy quads or arboretums with
trails you can walk on. Take advantage
of these spaces to take hikes, play
frisbee or just walk around.
College students aren't exactly known for
their early to bed early to rise attitudes,
but getting sleep is an integral part of
staying healthy. Check out these tips to
help you make sure you're resting enough.
Take a nap. If you have
the time during the day, a short nap can
do wonders for your energy levels. Just
make sure not to nap too close to
bedtime or for too long, and a nap will
do your body good.
Don't work in bed.
Working in bed can make getting to sleep
harder. Keep your work space separate
from your sleep space to keep insomnia
Get a full night's rest whenever
possible. While the amount of
sleep each person needs varies, most
people need 7-9 hours to feel fully
rested. While this may not be possible
every night, try to sleep a full night
whenever you get the chance.
Stick to a schedule.
With different classes and work hours
each day, it can be hard to stick to a
schedule, but keeping sleep times
similar from day to day can greatly
improve your chances of getting a good
Understand that lack of sleep
can have a big impact. Lack of
sleep doesn't just make you cranky, it
can also reduce your ability to
concentrate and to excel at class, so
try to get as much sleep as you need.
Work out bedtimes with
roommates. When sharing a room
with someone it can be hard to go to bed
when you need to and not get woken up
when you don't want to. Try to work with
your roomies to make sure you each get
the sleep you need.
Avoid all nighters.
While you may feel like you need to
study all night to do well you might be
doing yourself a disservice. Not getting
enough sleep can impair your ability to
do well, regardless of how much you've
studied, so make sure you get at least a
little sleep before your big test.
Create a bedtime routine.
If you have trouble falling
asleep at night you can help yourself by
creating a routine that will let your
mind and body know that bedtime is
approaching and that it should get into
sleep mode. After a few weeks of
practice this should help you fall
asleep when you need to.
Avoid caffeine, eating and
drinking right before bed. All
of these activities can throw off your
body's internal clock, so try to limit
meals, alcohol and caffeine consumption
to a few hours before bed.
Keep your room dark and quiet.
While college campuses are
hardly either, try to keep your room as
dark, quiet and cool as possible. This
will help trigger to your body that it's
time for bed and help you get and stay
College is a place where many students
choose to explore their sexuality. Students
can do this safely by following these tips.
With communal living and thousands of other
students sharing classroom space, spreading
colds and viruses is easy if you're not
careful. These tips can help keep you from
Wash your hands.
Studies have shown that simple hand
washing can help prevent a large number
of illnesses. So wash your hands,
especially any time you'll be touching
your nose, mouth or eyes or if you've
been around others who are sick.
Avoid sharing beverages.
Germs are easily spread through
the sharing of drinks, alcoholic or
otherwise, so get your own and avoid
sharing with friends.
Don't go to class. If
you're sick, don't force yourself to go
to class. It will only make you feel
worse and infect other students. Email
your professors that you're ill and stay
home and rest.
Get to the doctor. If
you have symptoms that aren't showing
any signs of clearing up within a few
days, you may need to take a trip to the
campus clinic or your doctor. Simple
illnesses can mutate into much more
deadly and dangerous ones if left alone
so make sure to seek help if you aren't
feeling any better.
Drink lots of fluids.
Colds and flues can wreck havoc on your
body, often depriving it of much needed
fluids. Replenish these by drinking
plenty of water or energy drinks when
Get a flu shot. With so
many germs around, sometimes getting a
flu shot is the best thing you can do to
avoid getting sick. Many colleges offer
these for reduced prices so students can
get vaccinated for little out of pocket
Wear flip flops in the shower.
Dorm bathrooms are generally
cleaned daily, but can become dirty
quickly with so many students sharing
them. Always make sure to wear sandals
in the shower to avoid getting viruses
and bacteria that can cause warts and
Avoid ill friends. If
your friend is sick, try to avoid
spending too much time around them.
While bringing soup or medications won't
hurt, touching ill friends and their
stuff can increase your chances of
getting sick yourself.
Don't touch your eyes, nose or
mouth. If your hands aren't
totally clean, try to avoid touching
these areas. The membranes in these
areas make it easy for bacteria and
viruses to enter your body.
Try simple over the counter
remedies. Most viruses leave
you feeling miserable but with no
recourse in medications that can make
them go away. Try out over the counter
remedies to help ease your symptoms.
Keep immunizations up to date.
While most students will have
been immunized as a child, some shots
may need to be updated when you enter
college. Make sure yours are up to date
to keep you from contracting a serious
Students can get run down with so much going
on. These tips can help you beat the stress.
Create a routine. If
you get yourself in the habit of
studying, working out, and sleeping at
certain hours, it will be easier to fit
in all the things you need to do in a
day without feeling too stressed out.
Put limits on work hours.
You can't work all the time-fun
and relaxation have to be part of your
routine as well. Limit the times when
you will work to give yourself time to
sleep and rest up so you won't get sick.
Give yourself a break.
If you've been working steadily for
hours, give your eyes and mind a chance
for a rest by taking a break. You can
come back feeling more refreshed and
ready to go.
Be realistic. Sometimes
there's just no way you're going to get
done everything you'd like to in one
day. Be realistic about your goals and
understand that you can only do so much.
Understand you can't do
everything. While you might
want to go to class, work, play a sport,
and participate in clubs and social
activities, the reality is that sooner
or later you're going to get run down by
trying to do so much. Focus on doing the
things you truly love and forget about
Get help. If you're
feeling overwhelmed, reach out and ask
for help from professors and friends.
They may be able to give you more time
or help you to complete projects and
studying more quickly.
Take advantage of campus
meditation and yoga programs.
Many campuses are equipped with programs
that can help students get a release
from their stresses through a relaxing
session of meditation.
Cut back if needed.
Sometimes students overwhelm themselves
with everything they have going on. If
you're feeling like you've got too much
on your plate, cut back work hours, drop
a class or cut out some extracurricular
activities to make your schedule more
Relax with hobbies.
Whether you like to paint or to destroy
aliens with your friends in video games,
making time for the things you love is
an important part of keeping yourself
from getting too stressed out.
Give yourself plenty of time.
It's easy to put off starting
on a big project or studying for a test
until the last minute. You'll be much
less stressed out, however, and will
likely do better if you give yourself
more time to work on it.
Spend time with friends.
There are few things that can
cheer you up like being around the
people you like most. Eat dinner with
friends or just hang out and watch tv or
take a walk to get away from the stress
Don't let yourself get run down.
With so much to do, it's easy
to get run down. If you feel yourself
getting stretched too thin, take a step
back and evaluate everything you've got
going on to determine what's really
Learn time management skills.
Time management skills will
make everything from getting assignments
done to managing work a lot easier. Read
a book or check out advice on the
internet to help you better manage the
hours of your day.
College students are in a high risk group
for depression, so make sure you keep
yourself happy and healthy with these simple
Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Many people feel embarrassed or
ashamed to ask for help with their
depression but this is unnecessary as
it's a common and treatable problem that
you don't have to deal with alone. Tap
into campus resources to find help or
tell a friend how you're feeling.
Keep in touch with family and
friends. You can help beat
homesickness and loneliness by keeping
in touch with friends and family
Build new friendships.
A big part of the college experience is
meeting new people and forming new
friendships so get out there and meet
new people whenever possible.
Expect things to change.
Things will change both at home
and in your school life, so expect
things to change over time. You will
grow and so will the people around you.
Understand that it may take time
to fit in. Most people don't
make best friends on the first day of
college. It takes time to build
friendships, so don't get discouraged if
you don't fit in right away.
Don't let stress get the best of
you. Stress can be a major
factor in many students' depression. If
you're feeling stressed out make sure to
take a break and set aside time to
Realize you don't have to please
everyone. There is no way that
you can make everyone happy all the
time. Concentrate on making yourself
happy first and you'll cut out lots of
stress and hassle from your life.
Know the signs of depression.
It can be hard to differentiate
a simple slump from serious depression
so learn the signs of depression not
only for your own benefit but for the
benefit of your friends as well.
Build on your confidence.
If you know you're good at
certain things build on the confidence
you take from these activities rather
than concentrating on your faults.
Find strength in numbers.
You may have an easier time
feeling good and fitting in if you find
a group of students who share similar
interests and values as you.
volunteering can give you a sense of
satisfaction you can't get from work or
class work, so get out there and help
others in your community.
Get involved on campus.
Joining clubs and social groups on
campus can help you to meet new friends
and keep you from feeling lonely or
Set goals. You'll be
more motivated and positive if you give
yourself goals to work towards
throughout the school year.
Before you embark on a study abroad program,
take a look at these tips to keep yourself
healthy at home and overseas.
Get immunized. If
you're traveling to a country where you
run the risk of getting a serious
communicable disease, make sure to get
vaccinated before you go. It can save
you a lot of pain and serious
complications in the future.
Ensure you have access to
necessary prescriptions. If you
have medications you need regularly,
ensure you get these before you leave or
that you have a place where you can get
refills while you're away.
Get a check up before you go.
It doesn't hurt to get a check
up before departing on a trip to make
sure you don't have any hidden illnesses
or medical conditions that could affect
you away from home.
Avoid raw foods and water that
seems suspect. While water and
food will likely be safe in most places
you will visit, it's better to be safe
than to get a serious food bourne
Consider travel insurance.
In case something does go wrong
when you're away from home, you can
invest in some travel insurance which
can give you advice and treatment just
Bring a travel first aid kit.
Bringing a small first aid kit
with you on your travels can be a great
help to you if you get a small injury.
With the kit you'll be able to take care
of it yourself and you won't have to
hunt for a place to buy antiseptics and
Take precautions to avoid
diseases like malaria. In some
areas of the world, students will run
the risk of contracting potential
serious illnesses like malaria. By
avoiding wet and waterlogged areas at
night and using mosquito netting and
repellant, students can help reduce
their risk significantly.
Avoid contact with animals.
While household pets may be
safe to interact with, many wild animals
or those found on the street can carry
diseases. Students can avoid contracting
them by limiting their contact.
Be careful when swimming.
Drowning in the most common
cause of death for overseas travelers,
so ensure that you're a strong enough
swimmer before diving into the place
you're swimming and stay near lifeguards
and other swimmers.
Get advice from doctors on
pre-existing conditions. If you
have conditions like diabetes or heart
problems, make sure you check with your
doctor before departing to make sure
you'll have the tools and help you'll
need to stay healthy while away.
Here are a few other tips to keep you a
healthy and active college student.
Avoid walking to class in flip
flops. While they may keep your
feet cool and look good with your summer
wardrobe, few flip flops provide the
support needed for your feet. If you are
walking long distances, it's best to
leave the sandals at home and avoid the
arch pain and pinching associated with
Keep backpacks from being too
heavy. An overfilled backpack
can hurt your back and leave you with
some serious back and shoulder pain
later. Make sure your backpack is
properly fitted and avoid carrying
around more than you need.
Quit smoking. No matter
how much you may love the sweet thrill
of a nicotine rush, the reality is that
smoking just isn't good for you or
anyone around you. Quit as soon as you
can to save your lungs, heart, teeth and
years of your life.
Don't drink and drive.
If you do overindulge in drinking, make
sure not to get behind the wheel. Call a
cab or get a sober friend to take you
Make sure you have emergency
contacts. In case something
does happen to you, make sure that the
school and those around you know who to
contact to get those you care about to
you when you need their support.
Wear sunscreen. College
kids on spring break aren't usually the
first to whip out huge tubes on
sunscreen to slather on. While getting a
tan may prove you spent your break on a
beach, it can also be a source of skin
cancer, so make sure to protect
Ensure that your medical
insurance covers physicians in the area.
If you aren't going with your
school's insurance plan, make sure that
your parent's or your own insurance
covers doctors in your area.
Monitor existing health
conditions carefully. If you
leave for college knowing you have a
pre-existing medical condition, make
arrangements to ensure that it's
properly monitored while you're at
Be aware that health concerns
differ for men and women. While
men and women's anatomy is similar in
many ways, some things that seem like
they should be the same simply aren't.
Educate yourself on the sex-specific
aspects of wellness to keep yourself
healthier and to know what to watch out
Assert yourself. Don't
let anyone make health or wellness
decisions for you that you feel
uncomfortable with. If you don't want to
eat that donut or have a drink, then