Students are always busy juggling with challenging curriculum, assignments with overlapped deadlines and tight exam schedule; not to mention social events and even a part-time job. Maintaining a healthy life, thus, can be a difficult task, so below are some quick yet useful tips to stay healthy.
Keep a healthy eating habit
Since students are often pressed for time, avoiding bad habits like skipping breakfasts or grabbing quick meals at fast food stores is a challenge. However, a healthy diet can give you more energy and help you to perform better.
Oatmeal is healthy and easy to cook for breakfast. Add taste and vitamin C to this simple yet nutritious morning meal by tossing in a few fresh strawberries. If boiling oatmeals take times, cereals and milk are not good enough, you can try many healthy cereal options available in the market. Alternatively, a convenient on-the-go option is a bagel or a croissant, pair it with fruits or juice but choose those without sugar.
For lunch and dinner, stay away from fried stuff, try to stick to lean proteins, good carbs and fresh vegetables. White meat is the leanest choice, so opt for chicken or turkey but skip the skin. One useful tip to save your time is to roast whole or half of a chicken for lunch and keep the leftovers to top your salad or fill your sandwich for dinner. Lean ground beef, egg or fish are also excellent sources of healthy proteins.
Turn everyday activities to quick and easy exercises
Maintaining an intense gym routine sounds like an impossible mission for busy students, so why not bringing exercises to your daily life. These are a few quick tips:
- Make your 10-minutes study break an exercise break: some yoga, a few stretches, jumping jacks or squats will release stress and help you to concentrate better afterwards.
- Take every opportunity that comes your way to climb the stairs instead of elevators.
- Find a friend that lives nearby to walk or cycle to university with you instead of taking the bus. Alternatively, if you live far away, take the bus but intentionally get off at the wrong stop to give yourself a chance to walk for about 15 minutes every day.
Get enough sleep
Get enough sleep because you won’t function normally if you don’t sleep properly. Just that simple! Getting 7 hours of sleep per day will guarantee to improve your health and wellness. Enough sleep will also improve your metabolism and energy levels. Coffee is believed to be students’ life saver, but it can cause sleep disruption. That said, pay attention to your daily coffee intake
If you sleep less than 7 hours the night before, try to get any amount of shut-eye. A 20-minute nap can help you to re-energise and stay away from sleepiness. If you really have to drink coffee, drink it, then close your eyes for about 20 to 30 minutes. By the time you wake up, the caffeine is just about to hit your bloodstream.
Reduce caffeine intake
Caffeine in coffee gives students the boost to stay awake for their active lives, but coffee can be a double-edged sword. You can over-rely on coffee instead of learning how to manage your time better. Plus, caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and thus results in a headache and/or fatigue.
A cup of coffee typically contains about 200 milligrams of caffeine while each bag of tea carries with it much less caffeine (just about 35 to 40 milligrams). Green or black tea is packed with antioxidants which are highly beneficial to our health. Its detoxifying effects can lower bad cholesterol, protect cells from free radicals and prevent several types of cancer. So, pick tea instead of coffee to consume less caffeine.
Drink enough water
Staying hydrated by drinking enough water is probably one of the healthiest and cheapest habits that students can adopt. Mild dehydration breaks down the ability to focus because it interferes with our brain processing function. Your cells and brain need water to work properly. Just like enough sleep, enough water significantly improves your memory and your focus ability.
A busy lifestyle can drag you away from keeping the healthy habit of drinking enough water. So the easiest tip is to link drinking water with your daily activities:
- Grab one glass of water as soon as you get out of your bed in the morning. Keep this as a habit because it improves your digestion and stimulates your metabolism.
- Always place a water carafe at your desk. Let it work as a reminder so you can sip/chug water at every study breaks
- If you’re going out in the morning, keep the habit of packing a bottle of water with you just like packing other things like cellphone, laptops or books.
Replace candies with healthy snacks
Enjoy the rainbow, not in candies, but in colourful dried mangoes, apples, pears, pineapple, cranberries, figs and dates. They’re lightweight and easy to be carried in your pack-bag. Stock low-fat Greek yoghurt, apples or bananas in your fridge to consume when you’re hungry during night study at home.
Another healthy snack is dark chocolate. It contains antioxidants and a much lower level of caffeine (compared to coffee) to help improve your brain function.