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  • Sarah Toruno, University of West Florida

How to Stay Healthy in College

Staying healthy and being active is my key to success in college. Growing up, my parents were always advocates for staying active. My mother runs full and half marathons, while my dad lost 50 pounds to renew his life change. I am passionate about living a healthy lifestyle and hope to advise on simple changes that can make drastic differences in how you feel and live.

Establishing a day-to-day morning routine has been one of my most beneficial habits. I'm an early riser so for me; therefore, this is what my routine looked like--5:00 AM, wake up; 5:15 AM, go running; 5:45 AM, return and shower; 6:00 AM, brew coffee; 6:05 AM, plan out my day; 6:30 AM, devotional; 7:00 AM, homework or anything else I need to do. In just two hours, I would accomplish more than what most people would do in half their day.

My routine is slightly different now, but it should always adapt to your needs. To wake up early, you must go to sleep at a reasonable time. Even though this may not be entirely possible every night, every student should use their time wisely. For example, instead of scrolling on your phone or playing games until 2:00 AM, try going to bed at 10:00 PM, waking up early to be productive, and scroll on your phone/play games at 5:00 PM for a limited amount of time. Doing this will ensure that you are not up late. At all costs, avoid procrastinating on your duties and assignments. Time management may be difficult at first, but with practice, it will get easier.

I am sure you have heard of the freshman 15. It's terrible, but it doesn't have to happen to you. One of my favorite ways to remain active on campus is workout classes! The best part about it is that they're free for most students. I aim to attend four classes a week that include yoga, Zumba, and cycling. Invite a friend and have fun working out together. Having a workout buddy can even keep you accountable for exercising regularly. Workout classes are an excellent way to remain active and challenge yourself.

Many people tend to overlook self-care. When I began the new year, I resolved to take better care of myself. Methods for self-care change from person to person, and the options are endless. The four areas that I would suggest focusing on would be the mind, body, heart, and soul. I take care of my mind through yoga and stretching; this is my time to relax and gather my thoughts. For my body, I began a daily morning skincare routine. I take care of my heart by doing kind deeds as often as possible. Devotionals always put my soul at peace. These methods may be helpful for you to try. However, find something that you are passionate about and enjoy these things as often as possible.

Lastly, I would suggest avoiding unnecessary calories. Our campus buffet is called the Nautilus Market, and first-year students are required to have a meal plan. There are so many options that it may be effortless to overeat. If you limit yourself to one plate per meal, this will help. Another restriction to try is avoiding going for that ice cream cone or cookie after every meal. This surprising small change can make a huge difference in your diet. Adding a waffle, ice cream cone, or cookie to your meals can add an extra 700 calories!

I hope you find these tips helpful! Please explore what works best to stay active and healthy throughout your college experience.

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