Health Tips for University Students

Do you fall victim to adopting an unhealthy lifestyle while at school?

The life of a university student can be fast-paced and overwhelming. From attending classes and late-night study sessions to tending to a social life, the effects can be grueling on the body and mind. The deeper you get into the semester, the more likely health will take a backseat. So how do you bring your health back into focus?

As an engineering student at Purdue University, I have developed various ways to avoid getting sick, tired, and drained (physically and mentally!). Here are my tips for staying happy and healthy on and off campus, all year round.

Regular Exercise

The busy schedule of university students can quickly deter students from regular exercise. Unfortunately, a lack of exercising can be extremely unhealthy, both mentally and physically, adding additional stress for many students. I recommend making time for 1 hour of physical activity everyday. Whether it’s a long walk or a gym visit in between classes, it’s important to be physically active.

Regular exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight, improves heart health, strengthens your immune system, improves energy levels, and releases endorphins which help to make you feel happy and calm.

Here are some ways students can add exercise to their daily schedule include:

  • Doing some yoga or taking a walk when you get stressed or need to a break. Stretching is also good during study breaks too.
  • Adding it to your planner or calendar. By penciling exercise into your day, you’re prioritizing your health and setting time aside for an hour at the gym or a walk throughout campus.
  • Taking a group class with friends. Fitness is fun in numbers, so get a group of friends and take a local class together.

Stay Hydrated

Often students forget to drink enough water daily. Instead, they turn to multiple cups of coffee, fast food, or even nothing at all. This results in dehydration, which leads to constant fatigue, dry skin, constipation, muscle cramps, headaches, and more. Avoid these health scares by drinking approximately 7 cups of water a day. If you sweat a lot one day, drink more to replenish fluids.

When you drink enough water throughout the day, you boost your immune system and fight off colds early, prevent and treat headaches, give you energy to study, exercise, and have fun. Try drinking a glass of water before every meal, as studies show this boosts your metabolism and reduces your appetite.

To ensure you’re drinking enough water, you can:

  • Carry a reusable water bottle to class;
  • Drink water with meals, including the dining halls;
  • Use an app that notifies you to drink water or allows you to track your water drinking habits;

Get a Full 8 Hours

Getting a good night’s rest can feel like an impossible task, especially during exam season. The all nighters, whether from studying or Netflix binges, will eventually catch up to you and wear down your immune system. To keep yourself in tip-top shape, plan to get 7–8 hours of sleep a night. Letting your brain and body rest, improves your brain functionality, immune system, and metabolism.

Here are a few tips for powering down early:

  • Purchase blackout curtains so you can close your eyes and catch a full 8 hours of sleep no matter the time of day.
  • Power off all electronics at the same time every night, an hour before you want to go to bed. This will help your body slowly and naturally power down, as there is an absence of bright light distracting you.
  • Organize your tasks and stick to a schedule. This will help you avoid late night study sessions as much as possible.