In today’s modern society, it seems increasingly difficult to stay energized and follow the steps to a healthy lifestyle. It should also be recognized that it is no easier for students to remain healthy than it is for adults. Above all else, if any individual wants to be able to handle the stress brought upon by daily living, their first and most important asset is their health. Here are some tips that may help you with restructuring your day around taking care of yourself, and letting work and school fall into place.
It seems that the true value of sleep is underestimated. This is especially true for students who struggle to complete large projects just in time for the deadline. This scenario almost always results in long nights with very little to no sleep and a weakened immune system. Even without the imminence of a major assignment due the next day, students tend to stay up late and enjoy sleeping-in. Both cases should definitely be avoided as it results in an inconsistent routine which causes students to feel more tired during the day and causes more susceptibility to infection.
It has been proven that consistent and healthy sleep patterns, from 8-10 hours depending on the individual, lead to increased alertness the next day. This, in turn, helps students retain more information during class and also helps with reviewing class material. In contract, an exhausted individual may be compared to an inebriated individual with a decrease in cognitive function due to cognitive impairment.
Nutrition does not just stop at “no more junk food”, it goes far deeper than that. Generally, students are sleep-deprived and do not make time for a healthy breakfast. After a long night without food, the body’s energy stores need to be replenished and a healthy breakfast consistent of grains, fruits and dairy products can provide an individual with all the nutrients they need to replenish their food stores and get a healthy start on their day. Even though it can be difficult, students should try to have 4-5 small and healthy meals per day that keep them full and energized throughout the day.
- Physical Activity
In addition to taking care of sleeping habits and nutrition, students should also strive to exercise 2-3 times per week for at least one hour. Physical activity of any kind (i.e. sports, weight lifting, aerobic exercises, etc.) releases hormones, called endorphins, into the bloodstream. Endorphins stimulate a “feel-good” response in the brain which helps to combat fatigue and depressive symptoms, allowing an individual to be energetic and relaxed throughout the day.
Also, aerobic exercises such as swimming, running and biking have been shown to correlate with heightened memory and retention which can definitely help a student study for an upcoming test.
With a busy schedule, it is often easier to eliminate activities in which we do not see an immediate benefit. It is very important to keep in mind that maintaining healthy sleeping, eating and exercising habits allows for our best performances in everyday activities such as, retaining information during class or taking a test.
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