How to Stay Healthy in College

We all know that our time in college could undoubtedly be the busiest time in our lives. Between getting involved in clubs and organizations, piling on school work and classes, and not missing a weekend to go out, we might find ourselves drifting toward an unhealthy lifestyle.

Whether it’s a late night pizza run, lack of sleep or simply having fast food for lunch every day, all of these things contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle.

After two years at Ohio State, I have gathered some tips and tricks that I think are helpful for keeping your life on track:

1. Keep a routine 

A big part of staying healthy is having a schedule and sticking to it. Allocate slots in your schedule to work out. If you can’t find a workout partner or get bored working out alone. Try the group fitness classes available to all Ohio State students (the classes are part of the recreation fee you pay each term). Review all the classes offered and see which ones fit your schedule. Working out with others will keep you motivated.


2. Re-think your drink!

Although you might have more than enough blocks on your BuckID, buying daily lattes might not be the best thing for you. Coffee, although it is a liquid, dehydrates you more than it hydrates you. It might be a good cognitive stimulate, nonetheless it robs your body of water. Furthermore, Coca-Cola might be a Buckeye drink, as the soda company sponsors our school, but remember all the needless calories it throws into your body. One can of Coca-Cola is almost equivalent to a glass of water with 9 spoons of sugar.

3. Go to sleep!   

Now, I understand that it may be hard to get that good night sleep on weekends. We have lots of energy and what’s college if we wasted weekends on sleep? However, you could at least make it a habit to sleep well during the week. Having a schedule can’t be emphasized enough. It will help you stay on top of your school work and avoid staying up all night for homework.

4. Don’t get TOO involved

As I walked through the involvement fair as a new student, I was overwhelmed by all the student organizations at Ohio State. That being said, you should strive to join two or three clubs that really excite you and enhance your college experience. Getting too involved in your fist year could leave you over-scheduled and stressed, exactly the opposite of what you expected before you joined. In my first year, I made sure that one of the clubs I joined was a sports club. That way I was able to stay active and didn’t have to alter my schedule too much in order to work out.

I hope some of those tips were informative and helpful. Make it a priority to stay healthy and it will reflect positively on your social and academic life.

Fun Fact: Ohio State is among the 25 healthiest colleges in America.

Let’s keep it that way!

“Working out just isn’t working out”

We’ve all come up with excuses at some time or another to avoid going to the gym: I have too much to do, it’s too far away, or it’s too cold out (or, in the case of this semester, there’s still too much snow on the ground!) But in reality, we know this is something important we should do to live a healthy lifestyle.

Don't put me down for cardio

For me, working out has always been a chore. Last year, I  viewed it as something I didn’t like to do, but I did it anyway. But this had its flaws. If I was really busy, working out was the first thing that would go. If it was really cold, I wouldn’t make the frigid walk to the RPAC.

It took me a while to understand, but working out and exercising on a regular basis has helped me manage my time better, feel better about myself, and be happier in general! (Who knew all that could come from a treadmill?!)

Here are 5 tips I’ve learned over the past year or so on how I have increased my motivation to work out.

Find a friend

Working out with a buddy is a great way to build motivation for a workout. If you and a friend schedule a workout, you’re less likely to back out if you know someone is relying on you to be there. Plus it’s fun! Going to a ZUMBA class or yoga with a friend for the first time can be a fun way to let loose!

Have fun

Finding an activity you enjoy makes working out fun! Running on the treadmill every day can get repititive, so try a variety of things–maybe it’s a pickup game of basketball, or a night of rock-climbing. Trying new activities is a great way to spice things up a bit.

Set goals

If you set a goal in your workout plan, you will feel like you’re working toward something. Maybe it’s running two more laps around the track next time, or increasing the weights you lift. Or maybe it’s scoring a few more goals in your intramural soccer game! Whatever it is, setting a goal helps you feel productive.

Understand the benefits

Understanding the benefits of exercising also helps with the motivation of actually doing it. Now that we’re (hopefully) coming out of the snowy, gloomy winter of central Ohio, the weather is getting nicer and we can spend more time outside. But when it’s cold and gloomy, we lack the vitamin D we get from the sun, which can sometimes affect our moods. By exercising regularly, you release serotonin which helps make you happier! I am no expert on health and medicine, but I’ve noticed when I work out regularly, I’m happier, more productive, and feel better in general. Check out the Student Wellness Center for more benefits and information.

Just do it!

Committing to yourself is half the battle! By scheduling workout times into your weekly schedule, you’ll be prepared for your hectic day. If you know you have a busy couple of days, schedule a workout time so you can prepare to bring your clothes and tennis shoes with you for the day. This way, you’ll be ready  to go!

I understand where the lack of motivation to work out comes from. Hopefully these ideas will help you a little bit! Hey! Maybe with enough practice you can do this: