Shape up

Illustration by Kelly Gillit / THE FLARE

A long day of classes, late night study sessions, random eating habits, coffee, energy drinks and a lack of sleep describe your average college student’s life in all the wrong ways.

With so little extra time, focusing on eating habits and exercise may seem impossible, but the first two years of college very crucial to your health and overall well-being.

Preventing weight gain ultimately comes down to making healthy choices.

Keep reading for our five ways to get you on track to a much healthier, happier lifestyle.

 

1 Save your money

We understand that time is precious to college students and sometimes it’s just easier to take the easy way out, but this isn’t always the best way, especially when it comes to what kind of food you are putting in your body. Instead of wasting money on a meal through the drive-thru or going to a gas station for a quick snack, think about packing your lunch instead. Yes, we know this is old school and you probably haven’t packed your lunch since middle school but give it try next time. Buying all of the groceries you need and packing your lunch the night before or the morning of, will save you so much more time and money.

 

Concentrate on Sleep

Late night studying, work or staying out with friends can make it challenging for us to get the proper sleep we need. Most college students should be getting about seven to nine hours of sleep a night to function at their best for the following class day. Sleep is absolutely essential to the body. Lack of sleep hurts academic performance, limits your body’s ability to restore energy, and creates an overall negative attitude. Listen the next time your body tries to tell you something. It may be wise to cut  a couple hours from your evening plans a couple hours.

 

Try water on for size

Blended coffees and sodas have rapidly gained popularity among college students for their caffeine boost, but their caloric count and lack of health benefits have caused an invisible problem. The average daily caloric intake is about 2,000 calories. The average frappe weighs in at 500 calories and the average canned soda is 190 calories. Try water as an alternative. Water has zero calories and is an essential staple to any healthy lifestyle. It helps to keep the body hydrated, flushes out unwanted toxins, and replenishes the fluid your body loses through urination and sweating.

 

Focus on Fitness

Instead of taking your stress out on greasy fast food, take it out on a treadmill. The Parks Fitness Center is free to all KC full-time students and offers great hours. If you’re not a treadmill person, try different exercise classes and figure out something that works for you. The average student should get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. Walking to class and even using the bridge instead of driving across campus increases your heart rate and can add to that 30 minutes.

 

5 Eat several times a day

Eating a small meal every three hours is a great way to keep your metabolism high all day. When your metabolism is high you burn more calories throughout the day. Rather than eating two or three large meals a day, try eating small, healthy snacks every three hours. These snacks don’t have to be bland. Try a handful of nuts, a granola bar, fruit or a cup of yogurt.

Get up and  get moving. You may be surprised at what you can accomplish.

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