If you’re enrolled in one of our amazing colleges in Lynchburg, then welcome to the community! We know how important your college years are to your future. However, the key to your success lies in not only your academics but the health choices you make as well. Here’s our advice to stay healthy!
Contrary to college logic, skipping meals is not a money-saving lifehack. There’s a reason they call breakfast the most important meal of the day, especially when you’re spending the majority of your day taking in new information. When you eat breakfast within the first two hours of your day, you are setting up your cognitive functions for the day as well. Additionally, eating breakfast is proven to help with weight control and even lower your risk of heart disease and bone health problems.
Eating breakfast can be cost-effective too. Hard boiled eggs, overnight oats with fruit or whole grain, and low sugar cereals are great options to start your morning!
Eat Healthy Meals and Snacks
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but ramen and microwaveable mac and cheese can only go so far, nutritionally. Since these are four of the most important years of your life, it’s vital that you have the right food that will support the heavy lifting your brain is doing, day in and day out.
Instead, make sure your meals and snacks are healthy each day by including*:
* Recommendations from Choosemyplate.gov. All amounts are recommended for 19-30 year old males and females who get less than 30 minutes per day of moderate activity.
In addition to healthy eating, portion control is also an essential part. If you plan on preparing any snacks or meals to enjoy between classes and study breaks (and we recommend that you do) try investing in food storage containers that compartmentalize and portion out servings.
We know the temptation is there (after all, we were once in college too!), but moderate, responsible drinking pays off in the long run during college. A good rule of thumb to follow when it comes to moderate drinking is sticking with 2 alcoholic drinks for males and 1 alcoholic drink for females. One “drink” is equal to:
- 12-ounces of beer
- 5-ounces of wine
- 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits
On the flip side, binge drinking in college, which according to American Psychiatric Association is defined as 4-5 more drinks at one occasion, can lead to performance loss in school and temporary cognitive function loss.
Regardless of how much you had to drink, remember that drinking and driving is never the answer!
Don’t Skimp Out on Water
During those big exams, you’re most likely reaching for the largest cup of coffee you can find. But believe it or not, water is your best choice in energizing during exam week. Did you know that dehydration is linked to short-term memory loss, concentration issues, and can increase feelings of anxiety? Further, dehydration can lead to grogginess and fatigue.
Simply put: Your body needs plenty of water to function to its full potential! Therefore, make sure you are drinking eight 8 oz or more glasses of water each day.
Walk or Ride a Bike To Class as Much as Possible
College is not just a great educational opportunity, but it’s an opportunity to get plenty of exercise as well. The American Heart Association recommends adults get 2.5 hours of moderate-high intensity physical activity each week, which equals out to roughly 35 minutes per day. Luckily, walking to and from classes or around campus is one of the best and easiest ways to accomplish this.
Your Health Resource During College Years
As a community health resource, it’s our job to ensure you have the best care possible to stay healthy while you study hard. That’s why we offer walk-in appointments as well as health advice and resources.