Friday, September 23, 2011

Little tips: Staying healthy in college

My younger sister asked me the other day how I got my hair to grow so quickly. {I told her it was a mix between high protein consumption and the fish oil supplements I take daily.} Her question got me thinking about college (since she is a college freshman) and how horribly I treated my body! Junk food, alcohol, no exercise, up to all hours of the night, alcohol, no sleep. You get the picture. I do think if I would have had the knowledge I have now, I would have changed things a little. Here are a few things I think can help in the I'mnotgoingtotakecareofmyself years of college.
    
    The inspiration for this post, my sister :)
    
  1. Eat within one hour of waking. This one is easy. One thing I didn't know anything about in college was metabolism and how big of a role it plays. It is SO important that you give your body the fuel it needs first thing in the morning to get your metabolism jump started. The longer you wait the longer your body is eating away at your muscle, which is turn is going to slow down the metabolism. Eating first thing in the morning will also give you a huge energy boost. It's true what they say (still not quite sure who "they" are exactly... experts I suppose) Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
  2. Try to eat every 3 hours. Back to the metabolism again, if you want to keep yours fired up, you need to keep feeding your body throughout the day. When your body knows it's going to be fed, it is much less likely to hold on to fat. You don't need to eat 5 course meals every 3 hours, but at least have a piece of fruit, some carrot sticks, a protein bar, protein shake etc. You will thank me later.
  3. Drink. Water that is. You should have a water bottle on you at all times. Cut out as many sodas as possible and stick with water or low sugar teas. Water is SO much more important than you think. Drink up!
  4. This one is probably a little harder, but try to choose healthier places to eat. Choose Paradise Bakery over Taco Bell, or Chipotle over McDonalds.
  5. Exercise. The least you can do is walk or bike to class. What's better? Hit up the free gym that is likely on your campus! Find some group classes that interest you or grab your textbook and jump on the elliptical.
  6. Find a buddy. It will help tons with number 5 above. If you can get your roommate or a friend to commit to working out with you, it is much more likely you will hold each other accountable and actually go. Well, most of the time anyway.
  7. Lastly, don't drink alcohol. Hahaha. Okay just kidding about that one, but you can make better choices. Try to stay away from mixed drinks that have tons of sugar like margaritas. Instead do a vodka soda water, or at least choose a diet soda. If you can handle it (probably  not...wimps) vodka water with lemon a pretty safe bet. If you're drinking beer try to go with lights or ultras. Michelob Ultra is my favorite, but a good old Bud Light will work too. Also when drinking, try to drink water too- it will save you, I promise!
  8. HAVE FUN. Most importantly enjoy college. It's awesome.
Are these pieces of advise I would follow now? No, but I think they can save a lot of people from that dreaded Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior 15!

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