Nothing is better than finally being on your own and thriving in your uni life, right? That is, until you catch the dreaded freshers flu going around and you’re running ragged after several late night study sessions in a row. It’s a chore to get to early classes, let alone work out several times a week like you wanted.
There were so many plans made before the start of the school year to stay fit and healthy, but student life has a way of messing up all your best laid plans. It’s like you have to choose two out of three between school, a social life, and your health.
For many students, healthy habits go straight out the window in the face of uni work and a full social calendar. But with a few simple tips to keep in mind, these health and fitness tips can keep you going on the longest of school days and fun nights.
Here are our top health and fitness tips for university students.
It may seem obvious, but when was the last time you put the caffeinated drink down and had a glass of water? Keeping hydrated throughout the day has multiple essential impacts, including keeping your mind sharp, your stress in check, and your body running smoothly. Not only does water help you by flushing out the cold that your coursemate gave you, it does wonders for keeping your skin looking fresh and bright. It also is key to avoiding feeling (and looking) like death after a fun night.
Start your day by waking up and reaching for that big glass of water, then continue drinking water throughout the day. Your physical and mental health will thank you!
Get Some Rest
Again, perhaps obvious, but rest is another forgotten basic when you want to have it all as a student. And while you’ve heard you should be getting a solid eight hours of sleep a night, it may not be possible with the late night revising and the early morning deadline. It is important to rest when you can – either by taking a moment for yourself or catching up on some zzz’s.
The key is to be kind to yourself and take breaks when you can. A helpful study method is to use the pomodoro method where you take 25-minutes to work, and 5-minutes to rest for a full four times before you earn a longer 30-minute break. This way you can work hard for those breaks and reward yourself with some TikTok scrolling or a few minutes of shut eye. It can be helpful to fully put the screens away and take a walk, look out the window, stretch, or catch up with your flatmates.
It’s important to have some rest when you can so you can come back to your school work refreshed and rejuvenated. You may just come up with a great idea for your work while resting your eyes or taking a brief walk!
Reach for a Vegetable
Yes, it is very enjoyable to have a plate of late night chips before bed, or to stress eat with something chocolatey or something fried. It is not so enjoyable to not fit into your clothes anymore. Instead of the late night and stress-bingeing, be kind to yourself and reach for the water and granola bars. Choosing healthier foods can give you more sustained energy so you don’t have to endure that sugar crash.
Are you a sweets lover? Try swapping out the biscuits for some fruit every so often. Tangerines are great for giving you that vitamin C and come with their own natural wrapper for easy transport if you’re on the go. To really make them taste like a real sugary treat, try unpeeling them and putting them in the freezer, which brings out their natural tartness. This trick also works well with carrots!
If you’re more into salty snacks, switching out the bags of crisps for some vegetables every so often can do a world of good for your body and mind. Dipping some celery into some peanut butter can fulfil that salty craving and keep your energy up for all those student activities you have planned.
Take the Stairs
You may not have time to make that workout class at the university gym but you can still move your body for the recommended 15-30 minutes each day by taking the stairs instead of the elevator or taking the longer way to class. You can also put on your favourite tracks and a quick YouTube yoga routine to get the blood flowing.
Something as simple as renting or riding your bike from our conveniently located student accommodation in Birmingham can make all the difference. Or perhaps you’d prefer to utilise the top-of-the-range equipment in Novel’s fully equipped in-house gyms, available at all Novel student residences. It’s a matter of making small, smart and healthy choices that make the world of difference. One step at a time!
Remember to be kind to yourself and do what you can. Your time in university is meant to be transformative. Make sure your transformation is one of happiness and good health!