1) Eat Better
College students are victimized by eating on the run, whether it be a quick bite at the Wright Place between classes or indulging in a tasty Big Mac. Rarely do college students pay attention to the food pyramid or whether or not they eat enough fruit and vegetables. In fact, many new dieting phenomena, such as the Atkins Diet, encourage elimination of important food groups, such as carbohydrates, as a substitute for weight loss via monitoring what you eat and exercise.
"The University attempts to provide a nutritious diet, but college students go for what tastes good and is easy. Usually, that is a bag of chips or a candy bar instead of a well-balanced meal," said Matt Cook, junior biology major.
Eating properly will not only help you look better but will improve your overall quality of life because your body will be supplied with the nutrients it needs to function normally.
2) Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Drinking large quantities of alcohol can wreak havoc on your body. All types of alcohol, especially beer, are full of empty calories. Beer is loaded with empty calories caused by an excessive amount of carbohydrates, which are stored as fat in the body and result in the "beer belly."
If eliminating drinking is not in your future, drinking light beer will significantly mitigate the effect of beer's carbohydrates. Most companies market light beer with significantly reduced carbs. Michelob Ultra, for example, only has 2.6 grams of carbohydrates per beer.
3) Cut Down On Stress
Stress is probably the most important health concern among college students. In fact, it is the underlying cause of the health obstacles that students face. Stress produces many undesirable effects in your body. Insomnia, high blood pressure, headaches, sexual dysfunction and immune deficiency can all usually be traced back to enduring excessive amounts of stress.
The key to reducing stress is incorporating enjoyable activities into your day and refusing to bite off more than you can chew. "No," is a word that probably ought to be used more by college students. But because of pressure to achieve, students try to do too much and as a result, are stressed.
4) Reduce Caffeine Intake
Many students use caffeine to stay awake and get an energy boost to function. Besides the fact that soft drinks are loaded with empty calories, excessive caffeine consumption may cause "coffee jitters," insomnia and temporarily increase heart rate. According to information obtained from Dining Services, the easiest way to cut caffeine out of your diet is to gradually remove it, drink decaffeinated coffee and drink more water.
Exercising regularly is one of the most important things you can do to keep your body's performance optimal. Exercising 3-4 times per week keeps your muscles peaked and increases your body's immune system. Most importantly, it helps keep your weight down so walking on the beach during spring break won't be an embarrassment.
6) Use Proper Protection in the Sun
College students are generally apathetic about skin care in the sun, but in the brutally hot Carolina summers, it's important to apply sunscreen when staying out in the sun for more than 20 minutes at a time. Wearing sunscreen will reduce the risk of developing sunburn, skin cancer and pre-mature aging of the skin.
7) Get More Sleep
When homework and exams pile up, the only way most students can find to gain extra time is by cutting back on sleep. Sleeping on a regular schedule is important because it enables the body to recuperate and prevents fatigue, irritability and the inability to concentrate. While most college students sleep about six hours per night, it's recommended that the average adult gets seven to eight hours of R&R for maximum performance.
8) Develop Better Study Habits
Developing good study habits is of particular concern because it's an easy way to achieve stress relief and maintain a balanced schedule.
"Good study habits aren't usually thought of as a health concern, but if students adopt proper study habits, come exam time in April, students will be a lot less stressed," said Tywanna Jeffries, assistant director for wellness education.
9) Lose Weight
Being overweight is a risk factor for developing many diseases. The incidence of high blood pressure, cardiac disease and diabetes increases among overweight people. Determining whether or not you are overweight is easier than ever with quick indicators such as the Body Mass Index. Fortunately, losing weight is easier than ever due to increased understanding of dieting techniques and exercise. While students turn to means such as smoking to control their weight, such unhealthy techniques should be avoided.
10.) Get an Annual Physical
Whether or not you feel like you are in the best shape of your life, getting a yearly physical is highly recommended. Many STDs, especially in females, are asymptomatic and can result in increased incidence in ovarian cancer and sterility. Males ages 18-35 are at an increased risk of developing testicular cancer. Getting a yearly physical is the most reliable way to avoid health problems, especially those that aren't visible to the untrained eye.John Bream,2004.