How College Students Can Make Health and Fitness a Priority

More Tips to Stay Fit in School

Fit College Girl
With time and experience you’ll learn that the things you end up getting done are the ones you assign priority to. While you can certainly say that health and fitness are priorities, the truth is that actions speak louder than words. And if you’re sleeping all morning, attending class in the afternoon, and then partying all night with your friends, it’s pretty clear where your priorities lie. That said, it’s never too late to start putting your money where your mouth is, so to speak.

Freshman 15

If you’re upset about the freshman fifteen you’ve packed on, not to mention the fact that you battle fatigue, anxiety, a lack of focus, and other obstacles related to your poor diet and nonexistent exercise regimen, then perhaps you’re ready to make your health and fitness a priority so that you can get back to looking and feeling your best. For most college students this won’t be easy, but with a few tips and tricks up your sleeve you can definitely reach your health and fitness goals.

Identify Weak Spots

The place to start is by pinpointing problems that you’d like to work on, and they should be specific. If you workout with dedication, you should already be using this principle with your training – identify your weak spots and make an effort to correct them.

For example, many of us want to lose weight, eat better, or get healthy in general, but with such vague parameters it can be difficult to plan a path that will take you to your goals. Instead, decide to lose ten pounds, to fit into jeans that are one size smaller, to run a mile without stopping, or to make it up a flight of stairs without panting. These are attainable goals, and you can create detailed plans to reach them.

Resources for Fitness and Nutrition Tips

There are two main ways to attend to your health and fitness needs, as well as reach any targeted goals that you set for yourself: diet and exercise.

This is not to say that you have to go overboard with fad diets that severely restrict the foods you can eat or extreme routines like P90X, neither of which are really sustainable. (I mean P90X wants you to train 6 days a week for 60-90 mins… who wants to do that?) But you do need to become aware of your current habits, and this starts with keeping a food and activity journal or using a mobile application like MyFitnessPal or Fooducate that’s designed to help you track.

You might also join a free online community like SparkPeople that can offer you not only tracking tools, but also access to health and fitness resources, a way to set goals and create a plan to reach them, and a support network of like-minded people that can offer you advice. There are also several fitness forums like BodyBuilding.com that you can use for additional online support, and to connect with your peers who have some of the same goals.

Enough Reading, Start Doing

Once you’ve taken these initial steps it’s time to make a plan that will help you to reach the goals you’ve set for yourself. On the dietary side, you may want to begin counting calories, limiting portion size, and consuming a balanced and nutritious spread of food that includes lean meats, low-fat dairy, whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, healthy fats, and of course, plenty of water.

This means cutting back on sugary beverages and snacks that are loaded with fat, sodium, and chemical preservatives. But you’ll also want to schedule in exercise, and doctors generally recommend 30 minutes of moderate to intense activity 3-5 times per week for maintenance (more if you want to lose weight).

There are some great routine on this site for college students. For both men and women, the Full Body Fat Loss Routine with HIIT provides a great starting point, and teaches you that there are better alternatives to exercise for weight loss, than endurance cardio.

Bring Your Friends – They’ll Thank You Later

So get your friends on board and head to the quad for a weekly pick-up game or a jog around campus. And don’t forget to catch your zees since adequate rest plays a big role in your overall health. You don’t necessarily need a health MBA to attend to your own health and fitness needs. But you do need to make them a priority, and that starts with setting goals and creating a workable plan to reach them.

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