Stay healthy while studying: 10 top tips

21 Jan 2019
Student with rugby ball

When you’re at university, it can sometimes feel like all you do is: Study. Eat. Sleep .Repeat.

Well, maybe the occasional night out is thrown into the mix, but the one thing that we all sometimes forget about is our health. Long days and nights sitting at laptops, consuming too much alcohol/fast food and lack of sleep can take its toll on our bodies.

However, it isn’t just our bodies that suffer from our intense lifestyles, our minds can suffer too! You may think that spending hours in the library is good for you, but research has shown that the mind needs a break too.

Regular exercise can help to improve your mood and even your mental agility. In fact an article published on the Harvard Health Publications website revealed that exercise can help to improve memory and thinking skills.

Health experts recommend that adults should do about 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week. Yet with hectic lifestyles, you’re probably thinking – how can I fit this in?! Well fear not, our guide will provide you with the tips you need keep healthy whilst studying:

1. Get your 5-a-day

Pomegranate and orange fruit cut open

As the saying goes – “an apple a day, will keep the doctor away.”  It’s easy to say eat fruit and veg, but sometimes, they can be a little bit boring. So why not mix it up; create smoothies or even cut up salad sticks to eat with dip – it’s healthier than tortilla chips! There are plenty of recipes available online and some of our favourites can be found on the Food Network site.

2. Have an early night

Sleeping student

The importance of sleep can never be underestimated. Not only does sleep allow our body to relax and repair itself, it also helps our mind to process information and supports memory development. Plus, it gives us the energy we need to for the next day. It is recommended that adults should have between 7-8 hours of sleep, whilst teens need 9-10 hours. Although, we won’t judge you if you need a couple of extra hours sleep on a Sunday morning.

3. Drink plenty of water

Water with fruit in

We all like to treat ourselves to a pint or two, but it’s important to ensure you drink plenty of water. Medical advice has shown that it can have many benefits such as energising your muscles, keeps skin looking healthy and flushes out toxins in your body.

4. Do something you enjoy

Woman horse riding

Exercise doesn’t have to be boring. Any physical activity will help to burn those calories and keep you feeling refreshed and healthy. Sports are a great way of engaging in regular exercise, whilst having fun at the same time. Make sure you check out Winchester Student Union’s website as there are a range of societies you can get involved with, from Martial Arts, Football and Rugby, to Tennis, Rounders and Horse Polo.

5. Meditate

Neon light in shrubbery saying 'Breathe'

Meditation is a great way to clear your mind and just relax. It doesn’t have to be in the traditional Quarter Lotus position, simply sitting and being still and ignoring your phone is a great way to focus your mind (yes, that does mean no checking Facebook or Twitter!). Controlled breathing can help energise the body and create a sense of calm. It’s all about being mindful and taking time out to just be in the moment.

6. Use the stairs

Walking up stairs

Many of our accommodation blocks and buildings around campus have lifts enabling students to get to the top floors with ease. So why not challenge yourself by using the stairs? Not only do you get to keep building those steps for your 10,000 target, it’s a great workout for your entire lower body.

7. Aim for 10,000 steps a day

Students outside The Vine

Exercise doesn’t have to be about running for miles on end each day. Walking has many health benefits, plus it is a fun and easy way to increase your physical activity. New scenery, fresh air, and the challenge of walking up and down the Winchester hills can help you to burn those extra calories (we know about all that extra cheese you’ve had this Christmas!)

You can count your steps by using an app on your smartphone (Google Fit for Android and Health app on iOS), or you can purchase a Pedometer for around £10 online.

8. Get a jogging buddy

Man and women jogging on a bridge

If training on your own is not something that motivates you, why don’t you train with a friend? Not only will this mean you can share the challenges of the workout, you can also use this as an opportunity to introduce some friendly competition between you. This means you will work harder and keep the pace achieving your set goals.

9. Get those muscles working

Workout equipment in a gym

Whether it’s doing push-ups at home, going for long brisk walks, or training at the gym, it’s important to get those muscles moving. Strengthening and building your muscles can help to burn calories, release endorphins (which has shown to combat depression), and re-energise you for the work ahead.

10. Schedule in breaks

Quote in sunset: 'There is virtue win work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither' - Alan Cohen

The first thing you need to do is schedule in the time. Plan your breaks within your workload. This is just as important as the assignment deadlines; ensure that you know when your breaks will be and stick to them. Your mind is a muscle and needs rest in order for it to perform at its peak.

What are your tips?

Let us know in the comments below!

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