Fall is here again and needless to say it is a busy time of year. School starts again, classes and homework start to pile up, work schedules replace free time, and in our fast paced lifestyle it seems like everything is rushed. With so much going on it’s easy to let healthy choices become replaced by more convenient ones, making it even more difficult to stay active and take care of yourself. Use these 10 tips to help form healthy habits and find a way to schedule in the time to keep your fitness and health a priority throughout the year.
1. Find simple ways to stay active: try walking, running, or biking to and from school and work instead of driving or taking the bus. These are great ways to fit in a workout while also saving you money.
2. Make use of your local or campus gyms and rec centers. Most school gym memberships are very cheap or even free for students, and they will have everything you need to get a good workout in. Try going before or between classes, it can save you a trip later and help make the best use of your time while you’re already on campus.
3. Take a P.E. class: the list of exercise classes most universities offer is usually fairly long. By signing up not only will you have a pre-scheduled time where you will be able to work out, but you will also get an easy credit for it just by doing something you enjoy and would probably be doing anyway.
4. Make sure to check what your campus rec programs have to offer. They will often have scheduled activities for students to sign up for, and are a great way to have fun and meet new people. Also consider looking into intramural sports, try getting some friends together to make a team so you can all do something you enjoy.
5. Find friends with similar fitness goals as you. Whether it be a workout partner, running buddy, or an intramural team, having people around you who share your same goals and passions will help you make them more of a priority and much easier to commit to.
6. While it can be very tempting, try to avoid fast food and eating out too often. With so much time dedicated elsewhere it can seem like an easy fix, but it will also really affect your health in a negative way.
7. Make healthy food choices, especially with breakfast. It is very easy to slip into a habit of skipping breakfast and running straight to class or work, but by doing so you are skipping the most important meal of the day. If time is the issue, try to find simple solutions, oatmeal or granola and yogurt and both fast and easy, with just a few extra minutes you will have a much better start to your day.
8. Try cooking meals in advance. It can be hard to find 15-20 minutes to cook every time you need to eat, but by having meals already cooked and stored you will have something healthy to eat right when you need it. It is convenient, and will help replace the urge to hit the drive through instead.
9. Have fun, but not too much fun. Late nights and parties are just part of the college experience, but they can also really hurt your progress on your health and fitness goals. It is easy to forget that alcohol, along with other health risks, contains more calories than carbs or protein do, and chances of finding healthy foods at a party is not very good. It is important to still have fun, but do it in a smart way. Try eating a good meal before going out so you’re less likely to get hungry and reach for the chips and soda late at night.
10. Make your health a priority. If you can start now to make the time and make it a habit then everything else is easy.