College can be tough. You’re out in the world on your own for the first time, which is stressful enough, but then you have classes, studying and a social life to contend with and it can all get a bit much and your health can suffer as a result. If you don’t want that to happen to you, here are some simple tips to help you stay healthy in college:

Eat Right

If you only do one thing on this list, make it this. Students often suffer from run-down immune systems that can leave them prone to catching a whole host of bugs and viruses. One way to combat this is by ensuring that you eat three healthy meals a day, packed with fruit and veggies. Not only will this up your nutrient intake, but it could help you avoid the dreaded freshman 15 too. That’s not to say you can never splurge on pizza, but try to maintain a healthy balance and you’ll be fine.

HIIT

Students tend to have full schedules, so exercise can fall by the wayside, but you really shouldn’t let it. If you want to stay healthy in college, but you’re short of time, try high-intensity interval training, which could keep you fit in as little as 4 minutes.

Sleep Well

Burning the candle at both ends is typical student behavior – how else are you going to fit all of the parties in and finish that paper on time, right? Wrong. It’s perfectly possible to have fun, work hard and get a good night’s sleep if you create a tight schedule, and you should do that because a good night’s sleep will help you stave off stress, depression and all manner of illness. Get your 8 hours!

Relax

With such a busy schedule, you may feel like you have no time for rest and relaxation, but if you don’t want to burn out and see your performance drop, you really do need to chill out once in a while. Take a yoga class, learn to meditate or curl up early with a good book and it will do you the world of good.

Practice Safe Sex

Enough said.

Practice Moderation

College can be a time of experimentation and excess, but so many students end up sick, addicted or dropping out of college because they’ve partied too hard. Don’t be tempted by all of the drink and drugs on offer and practice moderation if you want to stay healthy. If you do find yourself overwhelmed by substances, get help, check in to a drug rehab center or call your parents. The sooner you get back on top of things the better.

Practice Proper Handw‌ashing

It’s such a simple thing, but proper handwashing can keep colds and flu, not to mention other communicable diseases, at bay. So wash your hands often and wash them well.

Staying healthy in college can be a tall order, but if you’re sensible and you make an effort to look after yourself, practicing self-care on a regular basis, you’ll be fine.

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