Imagine this: you just woke up from your three hour “night’s sleep” and reach over your cluttered nightstand to finish the precious last drops of yesterday’s Starbucks. Class starts at 8:00 am and it’s already 7:51, looks like it’ll be another Ramen for breakfast kind of day. This is the norm for many college students and it does not take a medical professional to know that this is not the healthiest lifestyle. So, given that the average college-age student should scientifically be at peak health, why are we giving ourselves the bare minimum? And how can we fix it?
First thing’s first… Everyone needs sleep, especially during this mentally challenging part of our lives. As young adults, we should be getting at least seven hours of sleep a night. That’s seven consecutive hours of sleep! Depending on naps between your Stats class and Ultimate Frisbee practice is not going to cut it. Our bodies have to complete multiple REM cycles to reap the full benefits of sleep. Some of these benefits include improved learning ability and memory, according to Medical News Today, which are crucial for college students.
Sleep is the easy part because we are tired all the time anyway, but are we monitoring what we are putting in our bodies on a daily basis? It is no secret that an average college diet consists of iced coffee, cafeteria pizza, and maybe a shower beer on special occasions. “Inadequate nutrition affects students’ health and academic success” says Sam Abraham, Assistant Professor of Nursing at Bethel College School of Nursing. What seems to be the real secret is that campus meal plans often offer a variety of healthy choices. Everything from salad bars, freshly grilled chicken, and fresh fruit smoothies can be found around most campuses. It is just a matter of looking past the in-house soft serve machine and making a conscious decision to not DoorDash Taco Bell at 1:00 am (even if you do have a coupon.)
Lastly, getting up and moving will do wonders for health! Luckily, many college campuses have countless opportunities for outdoor activities like sand volleyball, basketball courts, and endless sidewalks for evening strolls. Additionally, if you are as fortunate as the students at Eastern Michigan University, you have access to a fabulous recreation center included with your general tuition fee! At the Rec, you can find free group fitness classes as well as a variety of intramural sports for only $10 per semester. Looking for a plan specific for you? Contact their certified personal trainers to schedule a session today.
“Working out doesn’t have to be hard, it’s just a matter of making it a priority,” Ivy Wells, Current EMU student, EMU Rec/IM employee, and personal trainer says. The Rec is ready to help you focus on your health and fitness.
When it comes down to it, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is dependent upon three things: sleep, diet, and exercise. As Ivy stated, it does not have to be hard, but you do have to take action. So here’s to keeping off the “freshman 15” and being as successful as we can these next few years! Remember, we’re all in this together, so partner with your friends and peers and get moving!
About the Writer
Hi, I’m Abby Postema! I am a senior at EMU studying public relations with minors in dance and entertainment management. I am quite involved on campus, including positions in Sigma Kappa Sorority and EMU Dance Forum. I am often found in the Warner dance studios, the Rec/IM, or walking around campus with Tim Hortons in hand.