College is a time to learn and develop the skills needed for a successful, happy future. In addition to academics, college students also have the opportunity to develop habits that will keep them healthy for a lifetime. Three healthy habits to start practicing while in college are getting enough sleep, eating right, and keeping physically fit.
Getting Enough Sleep
The right amount of sleep each night is the key to overall health. Typically, it is recommended for everyone to have between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. Not only does getting enough sleep mean better health and lower levels of stress, but it is also an important factor in learning.
In a study by the Harvard Medical School, the amount of sleep someone gets is directly related to the ability to both memorize information and understand previously learned information. When someone is sleeping, they are actually participating in the final stages of the learning process, and sleep is also a key in being able to focus. For additional information on the benefits of sleep for learning, review the information from the Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep Medicine.
Eating for Good Health
Making healthy food choices is beneficial for many things, from maintaining a healthy weight to fighting some diseases. It can be easy to fill a late night craving with pizza or to munch on cookies and potato chips during a late night study session. Quickly, those calories can add up, causing weight gain and negatively affecting mood, mental health, and physical health.
Foods that offer both physical benefits and improvement of brain function include fish, whole grains, leafy green vegetables, blueberries, beans, eggs, avocados, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, and tea. Keeping these foods handy in dorm rooms and in backpacks can help fight hunger and “the freshman 15” and improve brain function all at the same time. Read more about the benefits of healthy eating for students at http://www.cmpcc.org/healthy-foods-that-help-you-study/.
Physical Health and Exercise
Students at colleges that have fitness centers typically have access to the cardiovascular equipment, weights, pools, and other resources in the center. Getting started in an exercise program is often more convenient and less expensive as a student, and it can create the pattern needed to continue to keep exercising after graduation.
Physical health means more than just keeping fit in the gym, though. Regular, yearly check-ups with a family physician or at a school health clinic are essential in finding ways to stay healthy and for identifying any potential problems early. Check-ups are also a chance to stay up-to-date on vaccinations and immunizations, from meningitis immunizations to seasonal flu vaccinations to stay as healthy and safe as possible at college. Find additional information on the benefits of check-ups and vaccinations for college students at http://www.cdc.gov/family/college/.
Benefits of Healthy Habits in College
When in college, learning ways to live healthy helps students to continue practicing those habits after graduations. From earning a higher GPA while in school to reducing stress levels from the classroom to the office, eating the right foods, exercising and maintaining physical health, and getting enough sleep are three healthy habits for college students to focus on.