Retaining some kind of semblance of health while in college is one of the biggest challenges faced by all students. Between the drinking, the all-nighters and the lack of any kind of cash flow, staying healthy tends to take a backseat. Now we would never want to discourage you from partaking in all that college has to offer because let's be honest, you're not going to suddenly quit drinking and go to bed at 10 every night. But there are some little adjustments you can make on a daily basis that will keep you feeling vaguely virtuous and healthy.
1) Bring a bottle of water everywhere with you.
Water is good for everything in your body and it's a great habit to get into now.
2) Always carry around healthy snacks.
They say you're meant to eat every 3 hours so you'd be remiss not to, but try to stick to healthy alternatives; popcorn rather than crisps, fruit rather than chocolate....
3) Walk everywhere.
Now we're not saying you need to trek across the city, but if it's within reasonable walking distance, make the effort. You'll have the added bonus of saving money on public transport too.
4) Get some cute runners.
If you get cute runners that are really comfortable, you'll be more inclined to pop them on and go out and show them off.
5) Get on your bike.
If somewhere is a bit too far for walking, cycling is a great alternative. There are so many bike schemes in cities that you really don't have an excuse for not giving it a try.
6) Find an exercise you actually enjoy.
So many of us are put off exercising because we despise the gym. But colleges offer so many alternatives, from yoga to kickboxing, that you're sure to find one you'll actually enjoy. Getting the motivation to go and exercise is so much easier when you actually like what you're doing.
7) When drinking, stick to spirits.
Beer and cider are all well and good, but sticking to spirits is a great way to keep off the extra pounds and stop bloating. So vodka is the way forward, basically.
8) Before going out, make a bucket load of pasta.
Save yourself the money and disgusting (delicious) hangover food by making a shitload of pasta before a night out so you can devour it while dying on the couch the next day.
9) Brown carbs are your friend.
We would never, ever advise anyone to say goodbye to carbs...sweet, delicious carbs. But try eating brown carbs as they're far better for your digestion and health in general, think of all that fibre.
10) Cook for yourself as much as possible.
It can be so easy to fall into the pattern of eating waffles and microwavable meals, and that's fine occasionally. But if you can cook a huge stir fry or Bolognese that keeps you going for a few days, you'll be all the better for it. Processed foods are the work of the devil, just remember that.
11) Beans on toast - Perfection.
Yep, beans on toast are the dream. Beans are really good for you, as is brown bread and it's as cheap as chips too.
12) Stay away from fizzy drinks.
I know, it's a near impossible feat in college, but a cup of coffee is a thousand times better for you than a bottle of coke. Get into the habit of avoiding fizzy drinks now and you're set for life. Plus coffee and green tea will give you as good a buzz, if not better, than any sugary beverage. (This is coming from someone who had a serious Diet Coke problem for a long time. Trust me, it's worth giving them up.)
13) Check if your college offers a reduced rate for gym memberships.
So many colleges offer deals or even free memberships for their gyms to entice students in, but we all fail to take advantage. Get on that while it's cheap and you'll reap the rewards instantly.
14) Try not to get into the habit of wearing sweats and leggings every day.
Leggings may just be the most perfect item of clothing in the world, but they're not great for keeping an eye on your weight and overeating. Those stretchy waistbands can be so deceiving!
15) Sleep, sleep, and more sleep.
Get a full night's sleep as often as possible. Sleep is a magical drug and yes we can go without a lot of it, but getting a good 8 hours (or however much your body needs) actually works wonders. It'll improve your concentration, your mood and your skin.
16) Wrap it before you tap it.
College is all about having fun, just use protection and you're good to go.
17) Get that protein into ya!
Protein is known to directly stimulate those brain cells, so before any study sessions or all-nighters, try and have a protein rich meal; chicken, turkey, lentils, chick peas, and eggs are all good options.