Healthier Lifestyles for College Students

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When you first come to college you are told to be aware of the Freshman Fifteen. However, the moment you step foot onto pavement and begin your college journey that reminder gets pushed to the very bottom of your To-Do List. Most students put on more than those fifteen pounds over the course of their entire college career. Unfortunately, very few institutions help students avoid this problem lacking in better food options and the promotion of exercise around the campus and in the cafeterias. With endless pizza bars, fried foods, burgers, processed cafeteria food and poorly prepared salad stations students aren’t given much help to improve their eating habits. Colleges should be willing to better promote healthier food options for students, exercise and the importance of healthier lifestyles.

Most times students struggle with what they eat when in college. With early morning classes, no real breaks in between meetings and homework, students could either forget to eat or tend to grab the quickest meal or snack. Chips at convenient stores and burgers seem to be the easiest thing to grab and go. With campuses failing to offer food that not only tastes good but is also convenient, students fall victim to getting poor nutrition. A healthy diet can seriously help a college student aiding them to stay focused, have more energy throughout the day, improve digestion and most importantly assist them in managing their weight. The benefits of offering these healthier options and having them out in sight for student to see will motivate them to try it. People say that college students will eat anything as long as it is food so getting them to choose the better option shouldn’t be hard, as long as it is made available for them to access.

It is said that you can’t out exercise a bad diet. Knowing this, colleges cant stop at only offering better food options but also promoting exercise. A lot of times students don’t have time to squeeze in proper exercise during the day and by the time that they do campus gyms and weight rooms are closed and motivation becomes low after a long day. There might also be no advertisement of gym times or even activities to get students active. Purdue University saw tremendous growth in student’s performance in grades and overall grade point averages when they implemented a plan to improve their gyms and promote exercise. It began to help students relieve stress related to academics and improve their health. Sometimes all students need is a little motivation and a reminder of whats available to them. Schools should also look into group sessions. Sometimes working out alone is tough so creating group workouts throughout the week and extending gym operation times would not only benefit the students but improve the stats for the school.

Notably, sixty percent of college students are unaware of how to live a healthy lifestyle and are insecure in learning. Fourteen percent of these students come from households with the same insecurity in learning proper nutrition and healthy living. The opportunity to make healthy choices allows students to form healthy living habits of which they will take with them into their adult lives. If students are aware of their health and the benefits of taking care of themselves it will carry on into their adult lives and further create this cycle of poor health. Schools should work to improve their promotion of health fairs, wellness clubs and yearly doctor’s visits. By doing this there is only room for improvement. Once students see and began to implement a more healthier lifestyle they will be encouraged to stick with it because they will experience how their overall health improves. Students require encouragement in this area of their life especially with their main concern being classes and extracurricular activities while taking care of themselves comes last.

As a college student I understand how hard it is to live a healthy lifestyle while in school. An entire day could go by and I will forget to eat or workout. When I do I reach for the quickest unhealthy meal and feel less encouraged to get my body moving. If colleges worked to promote healthier food options for students, exercise and the importance of healthier lifestyles, it could really help the way that students take care of themselves. As a result of these benefits they will do better in school, create better habits and stay as far away from that Freshman Fifteen that seems to occur over and over again while in school. The schools can only offer these tools and promote them making them as appealing to students and encouraging them to incorporate them into their lives. However, at the end of the day, it is still up to the student themselves to want to take advantage.

Taylor Moses is a Freshman Broadcast/Mass Communications major from Chicago, Illinois. She is a member of the Mass Communications Club and the Honor Student Organization. She will be a contributor to The Campus Chronicle for the 2016-2017 school semester.

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