The health and fitness industry is all about living your best life and looking after your mind and body. However, a large majority of people who find this difficult are students.
Countless times I have heard my student friends say that they don’t have time to go to the gym or they picked up that doughnut for breakfast because it was quick and they couldn’t be bothered to get anything else.
But when you’re studying, diet and fitness can have a big effect on your day to day working and in return, this could affect crucial aspects of your education such as exams or important decision making.
It has been found that empty calories from added sugars and solid fats, contribute to 40% of daily calories for children and adolescents aged 2-18 years old.
As well as this, having an unhealthy diet could mean skipping meals. 32% of students skip breakfast and this number increases during adolescence to 40%.
Skipping a meal is another contributing factor to fatigue and loss of concentration and it is becoming increasingly common.
Students who exercised vigorously for 20 minutes a day, seven days a week, have been proved to have higher grades than students who don’t. As well as this, many students are not getting enough sleep and then have to study with an average of only six hours of sleep.
There could be many reasons why students are not living their healthiest lives and much of it is a result of feeling like they don’t have enough time. After all, being a student is difficult and sometimes life can get overwhelming but, how can you turn all of these points around and create more time?
Changing your diet is one of the easier changes to make, because it simply means planning ahead and practicing some self-control.
Throughout the week, try making simple changes like eating breakfast, whether it’s a bar or a delicious bowl of porridge and maybe experiment with what you would like to eat on the weekends.
I often found that I used to pick up the first thing I saw and if that was a brownie, so be it. But after discovering new breakfasts and flavours, making a bowl of porridge with my favourite toppings every day became the easiest and tastiest breakfast for me.
If you are student at university, you may think that healthy eating will cost a fortune, but it is possible to create nutritious meal from few and simple ingredients. If you do a bit of research for healthy and affordable recipes, you will find hundreds of delicious meals.
On the other hand if you aren’t at the university stage yet, making lunches the night before can save time in the mornings and gives you the opportunity to think about what you are putting into your meal, in order to make it nutritious. This could also save you money in the long run if you stop buying your lunches while you are out. However, if you like me, do buy your lunches from school, college, or university, try to steer yourself towards the healthier options more often than the cinnamon rolls.
Now for the tougher one, exercise.
Firstly, don’t forget that exercise comes in many many forms. It’s a guarantee that you will be able to find at least one physical activity that you enjoy and helps you get your daily dose of fitness in.
It could be anything from hiking, to boxing or horse riding and could be as simple as going for a run or going to the gym.
It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you move!
But, if you are looking to increase your fitness levels more dramatically, then try creating goals to work to and track your progress. You may find it difficult to fit a workout into a your day, so I advise using free classes you have to head to the gym or go for a run, as this gives you at least an hour to get some exercise in.
If you don’t have a free hour to spare, working out in the morning before school, college or university may be the best option for you. Even if you aren’t a morning person, you will get used to waking up a bit earlier and it will create a massive difference to your life. In the short term, you will feel energised throughout your day and in the long term, you will become fitter and healthier. You may even discover a new passion that you never thought you’d try!
Of course waking up earlier can take away from our precious time sleeping which, is just as important as working out and eating right. We need enough sleep to feel recharged for the next day, so organisation is fundamental in ensuring you get to bed at a time that won’t be making you hit that snooze button the next morning.
All of this advice can sound overwhelming but the more you introduce little changes like these into your life, the more of a change you will notice in yourself.
There will always be some challenges and things you need to improve. I’m still not great at sticking to a sleep schedule that provides me with a sufficient amount of sleep however, I know what the problem is and I’m slowly trying to change it.
It isn’t always going to be easy but I can promise that it will be worth it.