As we grow older, age catches up to us when we least expect it. Not many students realize that we are at high risk of falling victim to immune system diseases in our 20s. In fact, lifestyle choices in your student years have an influence on the risk of developing severe health issues later in life. Keeping track of your health now is thus a long-term investment that benefits our current physical and mental wellness. Below I shall provide a list of things to do for maintaining a healthy student life (Disclaimer: I am not a health expert, this list is based on personal experiences and by no means exhaustive):
1. A Balanced Diet
It’s not easy to eat well in uni. Most of us don’t have a lot of time or money to spend on food preparation so we eat for convenience. In essence, keeping mindful of what we eat is key to maintaining a balanced diet at university. That doesn’t mean giving up on your favourite foods, but maybe think twice about having pizza with Dr Pepper 6 nights in a row. Try to eat less of foods high in sugar, sodium and carbohydrates. Instead, opt for high fibre content foods such as fruits, vegetables and nuts. Keep hydrated when you drink, snack with restraint, you’ll be alright. If the budget allows, vitamins and supplements also help.
2. Stress Management
Keep conscious of stress levels. University is stressful at times. Moderate stress is conducive, but there is a tipping point past which things tend to go awry. It’s important to know when to stop, when to wind down and when to get help. At LSE, the Student Counselling Service is always available, they hold a ‘Stress Management Workshop‘, which can be helpful for students learn how to healthily manage and relieve stress. Remember, nothing is more important than your mental health, and university is the prime time to learn and deal with common stressors that pervade the rest of our adult lives.
3. Exercise, Yoga and Meditation
Most of us had weekly Physical Education (PE) classes throughout our schooling. In university, physical wellness is placed in our own hands, and many of us stop exercising regularly. But exercise is what keeps our bodies fit and intact as and wards off the general achy-breaky-ness of impending old age. Exercise comes in all forms, you can go to the gym, follow workout videos at home, do yoga and meditation. Start slow and pick up the pace to establish positive practices for keeping healthy.
4. Regular health check-ups
This is something that’s super common-sensical but very often put off – go to health check-ups. For anyone aged 18 and above, health screenings are necessary because illnesses can creep up on you without obvious symptoms. Health screenings are the first line of prevention and absolutely necessary to ensure all the bits and bobs in us are working in order.
And that’s it! This is just a gentle reminder to all students to keep track of our wellness and always stay healthy!