For many of us, our college years are filled with studying, exploring who we are, socializing, taking chances, and doing great things all while our nutrition, sleep, and workouts take the back burner. Heck, these are our young years right, so who needs to waste time worrying about what food we are eating and whether we are working out or not? That can all be made up for later on in life right? Well, not quite. Sure your 20s are filled with people telling you that you have your whole life ahead of you and that it is totally okay to relax and enjoy yourself. And sure some of us are blessed by their genes a bit more than others but that certainly isn’t an excuse to use and abuse your body. However, without you even realizing it you could start to create some habits that may not be that great for you in the long haul. The thing is, it’s a whole lot easier to maintain good health than it is to reverse your health once something is wrong. The earlier you can start forming healthy habits the easier it is to keep them as a habit when life gets a bit more complicated.
Here are 5 small healthy habits to start in your College Years.
Get your annual done, well annually.
This may not cross your mind if you are someone that feels they are pretty healthy. However, the great thing about going to a doctor each year is to build a report with a doctor and have a medical history for doctors to refer to in the future. Also, finding a doctor that you like and aligns with what you believe early on will save you a lot of time when a bigger concern may come up in the future.
Learn to cook something you like.
Cooking doesn’t have to be hard, so no need to feel like the kitchen is not a place where you below. I mean have you ever seen the show ‘Worst Cooks in America’? Yeah, you can at least be better than them if you start early on so don’t feel intimidated. Plus, there are tons of easy, budget-friendly recipes out there that you don’t even have to chop, dirty more than one pan, or seek our special ingredients. Learning how to cook the food you like early on will put you ahead of your peers. You will be able to cook meals ahead of time for yourself, or even impress someone on a date.
Sleep and sleep enough.
This one may actually be the hardest one. A big case of FOMO can come into play in college, especially when you are making new friends. You want to say yes to everyone and partake in as many activities as possible. This is all fine and dandy and by all means, you go girl (or guy) but try not to push your sleep to the side. You want to aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night and if you can, go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day. The drawbacks of sleep deprivation aren’t just limited to next-day irritation and brain fog, they can really mess with people if they have other underlying health issues too.
Have safe sex, always.
Safe sex isn’t just about pregnancy protection. It’s also about protecting yourself from sexually transmitted infections as much as you can. Unless you and your partner have both been tested and are in a monogamous, then you should be protecting yourself each and every time–no excuses. This is also a great age to start getting comfortable talking to your partners about sexual and reproductive health. Get tested and stay protected!
Find an activity you love.
Remember how we talked about how habits now can determine your habits in the future? For this one, it is especially true. It is also true that we couldn’t have a healthy habit list and not include our favorite way to keep healthy. Finding an activity you love now can help set the stage for lifelong physical activity. If you haven’t yet discovered what kind of physical activity you really enjoy, now’s the time to try them all. You may surprise yourself so try activities you may not even think you would enjoy. Try recruiting a friend too and knock out a full-body HIIT workout or take try a few yoga classes. Try going for a hike, or rowing or swimming or researching all the different activities available in your area.