With the holidays coming up, RIT students and faculty returning home for Thanksgiving are ready for some home-cooked meals and relaxing before the few weeks before finals. The last few weeks can be quite hectic! Sometimes students who are surrounded by constant classes, studying, homework, meetings, and maintaining a relative social life, can forget to retain a healthy lifestyle. Some students don’t believe in the need to develop healthy living styles now – but eating ramen and microwavable mac and cheese while pulling all nighters may have severe consequences to your health. Developing healthy habits in your life as a college student will only make it easier to stay healthy throughout your life. Here are five tips to stay healthy at RIT!

1. Exercise – There are plenty of ways to get exercise on campus and walking the quarter mile every day is a good start. However, the Wiedman Fitness Center in Hale-Andrews Student Life Center offers a seven day schedule to all RIT students. Even just working out for half an hour a day could improve your overall health! Hale-Andrews also offers a five multi-purpose courts, a dance and aerobics studio, an elevated 1/8 mile running track, conference and classroom space – you can even go for a swim in the Judson/Hale Aquatics Center! Check here for the hours to all the facilities provided around campus including Wiedman Fitness Center, the Judson/Hale Aquatics Center, the Red Barn, and more!

2. Eat right – Probably one of the easiest ways to stay healthy and yet a bit difficult in the life of a busy college student. You might not realize your intake of food and how it’s affecting you! A lot of college students fail to eat right – why else would everyone know the definition of the “freshman 15”? Even after freshman year, some students still struggle with maintaining a healthy diet and RIT has many healthy options at every corner of its food and dining services.

Though there is always a large availability of food here on campus – Gracie’s, The Commons, and more –  with the help of RIT’s Dining Services’ website, students can see the vast majority of healthy options that their college has to offer – with even more guidance on nutrition labelling!

3. Get on a good sleep schedule – All nighters are quite common on a college campus. Seeing students walking to class half-asleep is no fun, and teachers don’t want you to fall asleep in their classes (but some of us have done it!) All nighters are tempting when cramming for a test when the stress and anxiety levels are running high. That weekend to celebrate, you might just go stay out late until the early morning hours having fun with your friends. The goal here is to try to not make that a habit. Sure we all have like to have fun and we all sometimes have to cram for a test, but trying to make a decent sleep schedule is hard for a lot of college students. Students aresaid to need at least seven to nine hours of sleep at night. You might be thinking that there is no way you’d ever get that much sleep based on your homework and cram sessions, but sleep deprivation can lead to decreased brain function, fatigue, headaches and weight loss or gain. Losing out on a good night’s sleep is never the right answer! Instead, try to stay on a schedule by avoiding caffeinated drinks before bed. Keep track of the hours you sleep with an app on your phone which can help you regulate your nightly routines. Best of all, even if you’re feeling tired during the day – check out RIT’s own Nap Map to find out the best place on campus to take a short power nap to help you get through the day!

4. Hydrate – Drink your water! It’s a sentence we’ve heard plenty of times yet many choose those caffeinated and sugary drinks to fuel them throughout the day. However, water replenishes your body – keeping you more focused and energized throughout the day. All of that sugar and caffeine can wear your body down, making it more difficult to focus and stay awake as it only gives your short bursts of energy. Drinking water will improve your overall health and keep you moving throughout your day so find a reusable water bottle and take it to class!

5. Relax – Probably the most difficult thing to do as a college student. Relaxing never seems to be an option but the truth is, is that you need to take moments to just breath. Taking breaks and having downtime is essential to staying healthy. If you’re stressed from studying, take a moment to read a book or hang out with your friends, even take a nap! Stress management is like time management – just another thing students learn as they grow. Stress and anxiety is a major problem in young adults and especially college students, which can be detrimental to your health. Take a moment in every day to just step back and breath! Find ways to help yourself relax – it can do wonders for your physical and mental health.

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