The “Freshman 15:” Is it a myth, or is it true? Well, statistics show that a majority of students gain around 10-15 pounds their freshman year. If this is true, how can we show those stats they have nothing on us?
Living a healthy lifestyle is very important not only for our physical health, but also our mental health.
After thinking back on my last three and a half years, I came up with five practices that have helped me stay healthy throughout college.
1. Drink a lot of water! Fun fact: drinking water helps your brain function properly. When your body is dehydrated, your brain dries up, in a sense, and has a hard time absorbing information and thinking properly. Not only does drinking water help mental activity, it also improves your health and helps you avoid gaining those unwanted pounds. (Stay hydrated. Stay healthy.)
2. Stay active. Ouachita offers so many opportunities to do this. Sign up for intramurals, work out in the student center gym or take the workout classes offered on campus. If working out and sports aren’t your thing, then go explore God’s creation around Arkadelphia! Walk the bluff, swim at the lake or ride bikes around town. There are many different ways to stay active; find what you enjoy and stick with it!
3. Make healthier choices. Y’all, I love food – especially sweets and cheese dip. But, I quickly learned that eating junk food all the time does nothing good for me. Keeping unhealthy snacks in your room is always a bad idea, especially if you are like me and have no self control. There are ways to make healthier choices in the caf and student center, too. The simple servings line is the way to go in the caf, or you can go visit the salad bar. In the student center, you can get grilled nuggets (instead of fried), and Sandella’s offers healthier choices, as well!
4. Sleep is a must. I struggle with this one daily because I am a night owl and don’t want to miss out on anything. But when I get a good amount of sleep, I can tell a huge difference. Not only am I more energetic and can get through the day physically, I also perform better mentally. Sleep is one of the best ways to keep your body healthy and fight extra weight.
5. Have an accountability partner! Finding time to work out and eating healthy can be tough; it’s not always the fun thing to do. But, having a friend to do it with you makes it easier! Take a break from studying to go workout together and hang out. After a hard workout and long day at school, reward yourselves by splitting a milkshake at Chick-Fil-A. Everything is good in moderation.
These are a few tactics I have learned that work best for me. College is one of the most fun times of your life. Take the late night Taco Bell trips and live your best life, but remember to take care of your body regularly so you won’t feel guilty about that Taco Bell the next morning.
Find what works best for you. Healthy is a different look on everyone. Stay encouraged and remember: God made each of unique. Our body is a temple, so let’s live like it!
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