Maintaining healthy habits in college


Chefs Andrew Eith and Timothy Wright prepare grilled fish tacos with mango slaw for a food demonstration introducing Kent State’s new “mindful” menu items. Photo courtesy of Kent State Dining Services.

Jessa Schroeder

On top of the stress of homework, work, bills and social life, college students might put their health on the back burner. While it’s not cheap to shop at Whole Foods or purchase a gym membership every month, other options for being healthy are still attainable and affordable for college students.

It’s important to keep a routine or schedule. Getting the proper amount of sleep is a great start to keeping students’ health in check. 

According to the National Institutes of Health, “during sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain physical health. In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development.”

Regular exercise is also important, whether it is at the gym, walking to class or taking a bike ride with a friend. 

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends participating in moderate cardio for 30 minutes  five times per week.

Senior psychology student Amber Singer said she sets an alarm a bit earlier in the morning before beginning her day. 

“Set your alarm for a half an hour early and force yourself to get up,” she said. “Even just a half an hour walk and good stretch helps.”

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Students don’t need to shop at high-end supermarkets. Sign up for a local grocery store’s savings card or try out the variety of less-pricey brands.

Singer said meal prepping is an important part of her weekly routine, and she tries to plan for every three days.

“It’s hard to eat unhealthy when your meals for the week are all prepared and ready to grab and go,” she said. “There are plenty of ideas and tips on just how to prep meals on Pinterest.”

It’s also necessary to keep a healthy stress level, especially while in school. Not many people like stress but a minimal to moderate level is actually constructive for your everyday life.

According to researchers and psychologists, “learning to identify and manage individual reactions to stress, people can develop healthier outlooks as well as improve performance on cognitive tests, at work and in athletics.”

However, too much stress “strains your heart, robs you of memory and mental clarity and raises your risk of chronic disease,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

It is crucial that students give their bodies and minds time to rest. This idea goes back to the emphasis on the importance of a good night’s sleep, regular exercise and a balanced diet. 

By sustaining a well-rounded lifestyle in college, students can better prevent sickness and disease as well as improve their mental and physical state.

Contact Jessa Schroeder at [email protected].