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Tips For A Healthier Freshman Year

Welcome to your college freshman year…the beginning of a new and exciting adventure. This may be the first time your away from your parents for an extended period of time, and this most likely, is the first time you are living on your own. Many freshman students find adjusting to the “college lifestyle” to be quite challenging. It could be a culture shock having to actually do your own laundry, make your own food, clean up after yourself, and to have nobody telling you how or when to do so. One of the hardest things to learn when you first come to college is how to balance all of your needs with the demands that come along with a full course load. Trying to figure out how to balance being involved on campus, getting a job, making new friends, staying connected with friends back home, and getting in enough study time, could cause your health to go to the back burner. The hard thing about that is that when your health starts to become lesser and lesser of a priority, balancing and adapting to this new college lifestyle will become even more challenging. The good news is that there are some key tips to follow in order to keep your health on track that can make it easier to maintain balance throughout your college career.

Check out these rockin’ tips for a healthy school year:

  • Get enough sleep: It is a common thing for college students to pull all-nighters to get in an attempt to get in some extra studying time or because procrastination on some paper or project. Not having a regularized sleep schedule could cause not only cause physical health problems, but also mental health problems as well. These could include problems such as anxiety, irritability, and weight gain. It is recommended to get at least eight hours of sleep a night.
  • Stay active: Make exercise a part of your lifestyle. There are plenty of ways to stay active on campus, such as going to the wellness center with a friend, joining intramurals, taking a stroll around campus, or biking, rollerblading, or running on campus. Exercise burns off excess calories and it can also reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Exercise should not be the main priority in your lifestyle, but it should become a regular habit.

         >UND Wellness Center

  • Take time to relax: Not only is balancing the many demands of college difficult, but it can also be stressful. It is extremely important to pay attention to your emotional needs, as they are just as important as studying for that first test that you are stressing about. Stress can lead to health issues if not addressed and dealt with properly. If you are feeling overwhelmed, take time for yourself to relax and do quiet and/or enjoyable, non-schoolwork related activities. Reach out to a family member or a trusted friend to talk about what is stressing you out. Taking care of your mind will allow you to better focus when studying and it will allow you to maintain a healthy mind and body.

>UND Meditation Center

>UND Counseling Center

>Wellness Center Quiet Lounge

  • Be mindful of your diet: Make sure that you are trying to eat balanced, nutritious meals. You may have heard of the ever so popular, but dreaded, phrase “the freshman 15.” Experts say that although the generalized number of fifteen pounds of weight gain isn’t exactly accurate, students do typically gain weight during their freshman year of college. First off, make sure to eat breakfast to help your metabolism get started for the day and give you energy for those morning classes. Secondly, snacking isn’t a bad thing as long as you are monitoring it and trying to include relatively healthy snacks such as: apples and peanut butter, low-fat popcorn, or veggies or pita chips with hummus. Students should strive for a balanced diet to stay healthy. A balanced diet includes foods from every food group such as: fruits, grains, veggies, dairy, and protein. Having a balanced diet will help to prevent weight gain and to keep your body and mind healthy in general.

> Nutrition Resources

*For more information on how to stay healthy as you are adjusting to the new school year visit the Health and Wellness Hub on the main floor of the student union, or visit Student Health Services located in McCannel Hall- Room 100.

Source: Kang, Jaewon. “4 Steps to a Healthier Freshman Year | USA TODAY College.” 4 Steps to a Healthier Freshman Year | USA TODAY College. USA Today Educate, 2013. Web. 16 Sept. 2013.


Posted on September 26, 2013, in Emotional, H&W Hub, Intellectual, Physical, Seven Dimensions of Wellness, Social, Spiritual and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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