College years are especially critical for acquiring healthy habits that can improve health outcomes in the long run and prevent diseases like obesity.
In fact, a U.S. News article on national obesity rates points out the prevalence of obesity among American college-age students, with 33% of adults aged 18 to 25 identified to be obese. An active lifestyle is key to lessening the risk of obesity and its consequences on health and quality of life, as well as improving overall health.
To do this, developing healthy habits early on is important. Here are a few tips on investing in your long-term health by getting and staying fit while in college.
Even if you have a busy schedule, you can still get fit by integrating movement and exercise into your daily routine. For starters, walking around campus is an easy way to get moving, and you can also try a physical hobby like gardening, biking, or dancing.
If your other reason for being unable to exercise is the lack of proper space and equipment, Popsugar has a 4-week workout plan that you can do in the comfort of your dorm room. A hectic schedule can’t stop you from getting into shape because exercise can be done anytime, anywhere!
Part of the fitness journey is finding the drive to keep going. This can be different for every person. Some are inspired to exercise because they see it as a way to get out of their comfort zone; others find motivation in healthy competition with their workout buddies.
With the advent of social media, fitness influencers can be a great source of inspiration. In our previous article on influencer workouts, we listed down YouTube and Instagram fitness influencers whose exercise tips and routines are based on their jobs and backgrounds. Whether your #fitspo is a certified trainer or a yoga instructor, you may find yourself connecting their stories and experiences with your own fitness journey.
The key to having a consistently healthy lifestyle is not just to be fuelled by drive, but also to make sure you match it with discipline. There are many health and wellness apps out in the market, but rarely do they train you to be disciplined in ways that align with your current lifestyle and needs.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to maintaining a healthy weight, so you can try looking into personalized weight loss programs with WeightWatchers. Working with WeightWatchers allows you to access a customized food plan based on nutritional and behavioral science. The app also includes food, sleep, and activity trackers for monitoring your weekly progress.
Try complementing your diet and exercise with mindfulness to achieve a mind-body workout. The Headspace app offers guided meditation to help you pay better attention to your struggles with self-discipline and how to overcome them. It also has resources on stretching and motivation to ensure you’re in the right headspace when you work out.
If not managed well, stress from college can take its toll on your health and hold you back from staying fit. A guide by Mayo Clinic on stress management emphasizes the importance of listening to your body and responding accordingly.
Maybe your lack of energy and concentration isn’t caused by illness, but because you haven’t been exercising or getting enough sleep lately. Rest and self-care aren’t rewards but human needs—know how and when to listen to your body so you don’t burn out.
As you take all these tips into consideration, remember that the path towards getting and staying fit will be bumpy. You can try setting a more realistic goal—like focusing on how exercise can make you feel better rather than thinking about how exercise should enhance your appearance. For more tips and news on what goes on in Fordham, check out the rest of our posts here at the Fordham Ram.