Going to college and away from the parents means, among others things, freedom.

Freedom to live the best life you can on your meager budget. This means pizza dates, parties, drugs, studying all night, etc. OK, sure, we get it, student life can be hectic, but it’s no excuse to live an unhealthy life which can have massive consequences later on.

Being good big brothers, we collated the following tips to help you live a healthier lifestyle without needing to change your schedule. You’re welcome.

1. Exercise: One way to keep your physical and mental health in check is by constantly exercising. Sadly, only about39% of college students exercise at least 3 days per week. The Department for Health and Human Services says that one needs to exercise for about 150 minutes every week to maintain a healthy body.

Exercising does not necessarily mean paying for a gym membership or attending yoga classes. Simple everyday activities like walking, hiking, and cycling are highly effective exercises and go a long way in countering the effects of bad eating and lifestyle habits. Next time, choose to walk or cycle to school instead of taking a bus and in addition to saving a few dollars, your overall health will be all the better for it.

2. Sleep More: Most college students don’t have a problem sleeping in the wee hours of the night, doing homework, studying for exams, partying and chatting with their friends. Over time, sleep deprivation leads to weight gain and low concentration which consequently affects academic performance.

Sleeping for 8 or more hours per day is a great way to keep your body and brain in peak condition health-wise. Of course, you can’t do that when you always have a Starbucks in your hand. Ideally, don’t drink coffee 4 to 6 hours before bed or even better, keep off caffeine for good. Most importantly, keep noises and distractions like your smartphone away from your bedroom.

3. Change Your Diet: The ordinary student’s meal consists of french fries, pizza, coffee, soda, and alcohol in no particular order. Understandably, most students eat what they can afford, and the perennially fluctuating prices of fruits and vegetables do not help either. Nonetheless, diet plays a crucial role in your well-being and body shape.

While you can’t possibly change your eating plans at once, you can start by minimizing consumption of high-calorie foods like fries and pizza. The alternatives include fruits like bananas, pineapples, apples, and otherhealthy but tasty snacks like roasted almonds and fruit salads.

4. Stay Hydrated: The human body is always craving water mainly as a way to regulate internal temperature but also to replace water lost through sweating and breathing. The recommended water intake is between 6 to 8 glasses a day. The effects of this are increased concentration, smooth skin, and more energy.

So, the next time you see someone walking with a big water bottle, fight the urge to make fun of them and instead, buy one yourself. It is also worth noting that you should only hydrate using water, not coffee, tea or alcohol. In fact, sugary drinks have a dehydration effect in addition to causing illness such as obesity and diabetes.

5. Regular Checkups: Most of us only think of seeking medical intervention when we experience unbearable pain. Going for random checkups seems like too much work and the natural fear of hospitals only adds to that. However,medical checkups and exams are very important for maintaining a healthy, disease free body, more so to college students.

Make a habit out of going for regular medical exams to track your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. For women, yearly breast examinations and pap smears help diagnose breast and cervical cancer earlier, making treatment easier and less painful. For men, periodic prostate exams will help you nip prostate cancer as soon as it appears.

6. Avoid Reckless Sex: In college, the pressure to engage in irresponsible sex can be overwhelming. What with your pal Jack bragging how he ‘smashed’ three girls in one night and all those late night parties overflowing with scantily clad girls. The temptations are plenty now, perhaps more than they’ve ever been. Nonetheless, several minutes of sex are not worth the long nights you’ll spend wishing an unplanned pregnancy away or the high costs of antibiotics needed to treat a syphilis strain. Worse still, there is always the looming danger of acquiring HIV/AIDS which often comes with a load of opportunistic diseases.

In short, careless sex may be exciting at the moment but has far-reaching physical, mental, and social effects. Apart from the STDs and unwanted pregnancies, you can easily sink into depression from the shame of your actions. Your grades will also take a hit, and all the money your parents spent to keep you in college will go to waste.

Kids, abstain. And if you can’t, at least put a rubber on it. Is it that hard?

7. Keep Off Drugs: The consequences of drug abuse and eventual addiction are always stressed in mass media, schools, churches, and homes. As it were, a lot of students are casually introduced to drugs in college by their peers, and before they know it, they are full-blown addicts. Drugs like cocaine, ecstasy, marijuana, and meth are popular among college students. Their effects include lung and throat cancer, infections, psychosis, heart attacks, and overdose leading to death.

That said, if you find yourself caught in the web of drug abuse, know it’s not the end of the world. Actively seek help from your school counselor, parents, and friends. Checking in torehab can greatly help you overcome addiction and lead a better, healthier life.

Conclusion: College life is not easy, but that’s not an excuse that your body wants to hear. As the above tips prove, it doesn’t take much to live a healthy lifestyle. Some discipline, determination and using what you have properly goes a long way. It’s all a matter of skipping those pizza dates, choosing to walk around your school and having early nights, and your future self will thank you for it.

Now get off your phone and get started!

Author’s Bio: Jake Lester is an experienced content writer that is currently working for https://custom-writings.net. The most recurring themes he covers are education, writing and marketing. He has his own writing style and this is why he is appreciated by readers. You may look through Facebook, Twitter & Google+.

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