Tips on staying healthy in college

By Eva Weber
Staff Writer

Welcome to college: the land of unlimited ice cream, social events, and, of course, school work. Throughout this semester you may find it hard to keep a healthy balanced lifestyle so the Voice is here to give you a few brief tips on finishing this semester without scurvy or a nervous twitch in your eye.
One of the most key things to staying healthy is to eat healthily. Coming to college is a big change for many Simmons students. They are confronted with food any hour of the day and there is no one telling them what or when to eat.

For many students, it’s very easy to stroll into the dining hall after a long day of hard work or studying and simply grab three slices of pizza and a nice tall glass of soda.

College is also about the time when young women switch to an adult female metabolism, so they may not be able to eat as much as they used to and still keep their weight stable.

Here are a few tips to maintaining a healthy diet:

Keep a food journal: I’m not saying you should obsessively count your calories, but have you ever had a moment when you’ve thought to yourself “When was the last time I had a piece of fruit”? Simply jotting down what you had for meals or snacks will help you keep track of these things.

See a nutritionist: Luckily for Simmons students, we go to a school that wants you to do and feel your best. If you’re really unsure of how this healthy eating habits are maintained, feel free to set up a free appointment with one of our very own nutritionists (or, if you don’t have the time, find a nutrition major friend; maybe they can help).

The second most important thing (and my personal favorite thing to do) to maintain a healthy lifestyle is to sleep as much as you can. I’m not recommending that you skip classes or social events to go into a coma-like state, but don’t avoid it either!

There are so many benefits to sleeping; they almost always outweigh the benefits of not doing so. Some of you may consider pulling an all-nighter to cram for an exam or to finish up a paper.

Foregoing sleep by cramming all night reduces your ability to retain information by up to 40 percent. Sure, you can try to jam as much information into your head as possible, but if you’re dead tired by the time that exam comes around, all that work will be for nothing.

Here are some ideas to make sure you maintain a balance in your sleep-life:
Take naps: Some of you may not have taken a nap since pre-school, but I’m here to tell you that they’re still pretty great. A 60-minute nap improves alertness for 10 hours, although with naps over 45 minutes you risk what’s known as “sleep inertia,” that sluggish feeling that may last for half an hour or more.

This occurs because one hour is not long enough to complete a full sleep cycle, so waking up in the middle of it will leave you feeling groggy.  However, naps as short as 10 or 20 minutes can be all you need to get the mental benefits of sleep, without risking grogginess.

Taking a break from the social life: Going out on the weekends, meeting new people and doing new things with friends is great. You’re in college now, you’re expected to go out and create memorable experiences.

But you know what? Staying in every now and then is just as great. So instead of going out for the fifth time in a row this week, grab a book, watch some TV, or maybe even make a blanket fort and take a nap in it.

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