As a college student, the idea of maintaining a healthy lifestyle may seem out of reach. After all, you’re trying to save money, explore college activities, navigate new social opportunities, and juggle a full class load. Living in a dorm on campus may add another complication, as it most likely means you won’t have access to a full kitchen and a steady supply of fresh, whole foods.
If you’re wondering how to eat healthy in a dorm, the reality is that it’s not as impossible as it may seem. There are plenty of things you can do to make these years healthier and set yourself up for success as you navigate the many responsibilities of college life.
Start with Healthy Dorm Snacks
Healthy lifestyle changes don’t have to happen all at once. In fact, it can be beneficial to start small and make changes gradually, so it won’t feel as overwhelming to stick with new habits. One ideal place to start is with what you eat. Begin by creating a stash of healthy dorm snacks and nutritious foods you can grab when you’re on the go.
Swap chips and sweets for easy-to-make healthy dorm foods, like trail mix, protein shakes, oatmeal, or granola. These foods keep you feeling full, and a high-protein diet has another benefit too: It can help keep you focused when you study.
You also want to avoid drinking your calories throughout the day. Ditch sugary beverages like Gatorade, soda, and energy drinks, and instead opt for water, milk or milk alternatives, or teas with no sugar added.
Since you can’t live on dorm snacks, consider what you eat at other times of the day too. Whether you’re eating your meals on or off campus, opt for whole foods with a focus on fruit, vegetables, and protein as often as possible.
In addition to eating healthy in a dorm, there are other ways you can maintain a healthy lifestyle while in college besides what you eat. Read on for more tips.
The Right Set Up
It may seem like a minor detail, but your environment can have a huge impact on your health. Create a living space that lends itself to healthy habits. This might include good lighting for when you’re doing homework, comfortable furniture like the right chair for studying, and a desk where you can set up everything you need for research and test prep.
To help keep you focused and minimize stress, another important thing you can do is organize your living space. Make use of storage solutions and organizational tools to keep things tidy, from the top of your desk to the interior of your closet.
Creature comforts can also help you build a space where you love to be. This might include pictures of your family, posters of your favorite band, or a soft, cozy blanket to wrap up in when you miss home. Adding a healthy plant as part of your décor can be a great choice as well.
A healthy lifestyle can mean a lot of different things, and the most important factor to remember is that all bodies are valid, no matter their size or shape. Whatever your goals may be, whether it’s to drink more water or take a daily walk, you are more accountable to healthy habits when you write them down.
Tracking behavior is also a useful way to stay aware of daily habits, and it can be a good way to see the progress you’re making over time. Try using a smartphone app to track things like how much you’re moving or how much protein you’re getting each day.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Make a water bottle your constant companion, and your brain and body will thank you. Staying hydrated is critical to your physical health, and it can help with everything from concentration to memory to mood. Aim to drink the number of ounces of water each day that is equal to half your body weight.
Catch Those Zzz’s
All-nighters may be a collegiate rite-of-passage, but sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on your GPA and your health. Sleep boosts your immune system and gives you the energy you need to keep pace with your busy life. It also supports your ability to concentrate when it comes to writing that paper or studying for a big exam.
Instill good habits about when to go to bed and wake up each day, and catch up on needed sleep by fitting in naps if necessary. A comfortable bed and mattress can go a long way to achieving good sleep.
Schedule Down Time
Staying healthy means finding the right balance between social activity and time for yourself. Learn to set aside some “me time” to help you focus on what you want to accomplish, and don’t forget to check in with yourself frequently to see how you’re doing.
Carry on your healthy habits even when you move off campus by allowing CORT Furniture Rental to take care of your furnishing needs while you focus on maintaining your grades, and your healthy new habits.