Physical Fitness is the result of regular exercise, proper diet and nutrition, and adequate amounts of sleep; all of which can be challenging to maintain as a student. Below we have provided information and links to assist with these three tenants of Physical Fitness.
The American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate exercise 5 times a week, looking for ways to stay active? Here are some options for you to sweat it out on campus!
Maintaining healthy eating habits in college can be a challenge, here are 10 tips to make it a little easier
- Eat a good breakfast - Studies show that skipping breakfast detracts from scholastic achievement. When there isn’t time to sit down and enjoy your morning meal, grab a bagel, piece of fruit, and some juice. Most of these items can be easily stored in your residence hall room.
- If you must eat fast foods, choose wisely - Choose pizza with half the cheese, a regular size roast beef sandwich, baked potato, or green salad with reduced calorie dressing. Limit high fat offerings like French fries, fried chicken, or fish sandwiches and watch out for salad dressing!
- Keep healthy snacks on hand - This way, if hunger strikes during a late night study session, you won’t be tempted by vending machine candy, chips, or ice cream. Possibilities include fresh or dried fruit, pretzels, unbuttered popcorn, rice cakes, or whole wheat crackers. If you have a refrigerator, consider raw vegetables with low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese dip.
- Eat plenty of foods rich in calcium - People in their early twenties need to be building up stores of calcium in their bodies to prevent osteoporosis later in life. If you don’t like milk, try to include ample amounts of low-fat yogurt, low-fat cheese, and green leafy vegetables in your diet.
- If you need to lose weight, do it sensibly - Starvation and/or diets that offer a quick fix usually backfire and are harmful. There is no truth to the theories that suggest eating foods in any particular combination will promote weight loss. The only safe way to lose weight, feel good while doing it, and keep it off, is to eat a balanced diet and exercise.
- Limit your sugar intake - Sugar provides calories in your diet but few other nutrients, and it contributes significantly to tooth decay. Use it sparingly and consider sweetening coffee, tea, cereal, and fruit with diet sweeteners instead.
- Visit the dining hall salad bar - The dining hall salad bar can be either an asset or a detriment to your diet depending on how you choose from it. Of course, leafy greens, raw vegetables, and fresh fruits are beneficial. But, if you choose a lot of creamy dressings, bacon bits, and mayonnaise-based salads, the calories and fat may equal or even exceed those of a burger and fries—so choose wisely!
- Limit your alcohol intake - If you drink alcohol, keep in mind that it supplies calories but no nutritional value. A light beer, a glass of wine, or an ounce of liquor each has about 100 calories. There may also be health problems associated with drinking alcohol.
- Drink lots of water - Your body needs at least eight glasses a day, and, if you exercise vigorously, you may need more. To remind yourself, carry a water bottle along to class and keep it handy during late night study sessions.
- Enjoy your food - Food is a lot more than nourishment for our bodies, so take the time to enjoy and savor it!
For more information visit the American Heart Association Nutrition Center website!
Having trouble sleeping?
- Stick to the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends - This helps to regulate your body's clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.
- Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual - A relaxing, routine activity right before bedtime conducted away from bright lights helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety which can make it more difficult to fall asleep, get sound and deep sleep or remain asleep.
- Avoid naps , especially in the afternoon - Power napping may help you get through the day, but if you find that you can't fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating even short catnaps may help.
- Exercise daily - Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep.
- Evaluate your room - Design your sleep environment to establish the conditions you need for sleep. Your bedroom should be cool – between 60 and 67 degrees. Your bedroom should also be free from any noise that can disturb your sleep. Finally, your bedroom should be free from any light. Check your room for noises or other distractions. This includes a bed partner's sleep disruptions such as snoring. Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, "white noise" machines, humidifiers, fans and other devices.
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows - Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses. Have comfortable pillows and make the room attractive and inviting for sleep but also free of allergens that might affect you and objects that might cause you to slip or fall if you have to get up during the night.
- Use bright light to help manage your circadian rhythms - Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning. This will keep your circadian rhythms in check.
- Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals in the evening - Alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine can disrupt sleep. Eating big or spicy meals can cause discomfort from indigestion that can make it hard to sleep. It is good to finish eating at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.
- Wind down. Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode, so spend the last hour before bed doing a calming activity such as reading - For some people, using an electronic device such as a laptop can make it hard to fall asleep, because the particular type of light emanating from the screens of these devices is activating to the brain. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid electronics before bed or in the middle of the night.
- If you can't sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired - It is best to take work materials, computers and televisions out of the sleeping environment. Use your bed only for sleep and sex to strengthen the association between bed and sleep. If you associate a particular activity or item with anxiety about sleeping, omit it from your bedtime routine.
For more information visit the National Sleep Foundation Website!
Feeling sick or under the weather? Here are your two best options as a student on campus.
Campus Medical Clinic: 970.943.2707
Gunnison Valley Hospital: 970.641.1456