How to Stay Healthy
What can I do to stay healthy?
Eat nutritious food, exercise, and get plenty of rest.
What should I know about nutrition and eating well?
Eating well will keep your body strong, and help your immune system fight off germs that cause colds and other common illnesses.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods. Try to eat 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Choose foods that are baked, steamed, or grilled, rather than fried.
- Choose fresh foods such as steamed vegetables, fresh fruits, and grilled chicken instead of fast food or processed food.
- Limit the amount of salt that you use. Check out food labels to see if the food you choose is low in sodium.
- Cut down on junk food (candy, chips, soft drinks, etc.).
- Snack on healthy foods such as popcorn, string cheese, fruits, and vegetables.
- Drink 8-10 glasses of water or non-caffeinated fluids every day.
- Remember dairy products. Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are high in calcium, which keeps your bones healthy. Eat or drink 3 servings a day of low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
- Take a daily multivitamin (with iron and 0.4 mg folic acid) and 600 units of vitamin D each day.
- If you're a vegetarian, get all the nutrients that you need .
What do I need to know about exercise?
Another important way to stay healthy, reduce stress, and manage your weight is to exercise. Try to include aerobic exercise, muscle strengthening, and stretching exercises into your daily routine. It is recommended that you exercise approximately 60 minutes each day.
- Aerobic exercises include biking, running, fast walking, swimming, dancing, soccer, step aerobics, etc. You can tell that you are doing aerobic exercise because your heart will speed up and you will start breathing faster. However, you should still be able to talk when you are doing aerobic exercise.
- Strengthening exercises (such as sit-ups, push-ups, leg lifts, or weight training) will build up your muscles and keep your bones healthy.
- Stretching exercises (such as yoga) will make you more flexible, so you will be less likely to strain a muscle.
- You can also get exercise by doing simple things, such as walking or riding a bike (with a helmet, of course), instead of driving or taking the bus.
What do I need to know about getting enough rest?
You may realize that after you get to college, you don’t get as much sleep as you were used to getting. This is typical for college students, however; your body needs 7-9 hours of sleep a night to be at the top of its game.
Sleep deprivation (not enough sleep) can cause you to feel:
- Stressed, sad, or depressed
- Tired, and you may find hard to stay awake in class
- Unfocused, or have a hard time concentrating
- Sick with lots of colds and other minor illnesses (because your body cannot fight off germs as well)
Try to get enough sleep so you'll be able to get the most out of your classes and enjoy social activities too.
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