As a college student, it can be hard to stay healthy with little budget and no time, but it is not impossible.
According to the United Health Foundationâ€™s state rankings, Colorado is the state that struggles the least with obesity, with only 18.9 percent of its population falling within the obese category. Fort Collins comes in as Coloradoâ€™s third healthiest city, in Gallup-Healthwayâ€™s Well-Being Index Survey.
Some would say it is because of the cityâ€™s easy access to hiking routes and an extensive number of bike paths, but experts say motivation is what keeps people healthy and what college students are lacking when dealing with their health.
Being a part of Colorado State University is a great benefit to students because they have free access to the newly renovated gym, weight lifting and cardio equipment, swimming pool, athletic courts and workout classes. Bringing friends or making friends on a regular basis is one of the best ways to stay motivated and accountable. Getting into a routine is also key. Itâ€™s easier to go to the gym if it is a habit.
â€œWorking out by yourself can be pretty difficult. I highly recommend finding a workout partner to maximize your program,â€ said Tom Holland, an exercise physiologist, in an excerpt from his new book, â€œBeat the Gym: Personal Trainer Secrets without the Personal Trainer Price Tag.â€ Holland says that workout buddies help with companionship, competition, motivation and spotting.
Students can get motivated and plugged in by enrolling in intramural sports. Itâ€™s a less competitive and less expensive option compared to a school team, but the team spirit is a great motivator to stay active.
In addition, buying ingredients and making food instead of package meals is a good way to get the needed elements to a healthy diet without the extra fat, chemicals, sugar, calories or carbohydrates.
Couponing is a great idea for saving a few bucks when buying your own food. With so many restaurants and stores competing, if students want healthy options, they are out there. Some restaurants offer healthy menus so people can ask for vegetarian, low-fat or sugar-free options.
Cheryl Forberg, R.D. and â€œBiggest Loserâ€ nutritionist, says that when you eat out you should, â€œBe assertive when exploring the menu. Ask your server how items are prepared (fried? steamed? sautÃ©ed?). Donâ€™t be afraid to request that your chicken, fish and/or vegetables are prepared without added oil. Ask to have them baked, broiled or grilled.â€
One of the real issues with eating during college has less to do with the what and more to do with how much. College students eat at weird times because they work at weird times and they get hungry. However, the Health Research Foundation discovered in a study that the timing of food really does impact the eaterâ€™s health.
Even if students have classes all day or are up late into the night, scheduling when they eat can help them not get hungry later and binge. It allows time for people to make healthier choices. So pack food to snack on in classes, or take your homework into the dining center for lunch.
As mentioned before, the biggest struggle with college students health isnâ€™t that there are no options; it is that people need to be motivated. The best way to do that is to make a plan, get others involved, set goals and follow through!