Wellness and Health Tips For College Students

To continue with my guest posts for my vacation, today I have Gary. Gary Dek is a former investment banker and private equity analyst from Southern California. He writes at Gajizmo.com and is always looking for ways to help people make and invest money.

College Health TipsSo, maybe you’re starting college soon, you’re in college now, you know someone who is, or you just want to be as prepared as possible. Whichever the case, there are a few health tips college students should learn during their 4 year stint at school. By examining my own personal experiences and those of my friends, I’ve compiled a list of quick and easy tips on what to do, what not to do, and what you should definitely avoid.

Sleep

Sleep is really a no-brainer, but all too often, it’s ruthlessly neglected. I know I’ve been guilty of this, but I really saw an improvement in my personal health and grades when I committed to getting a reasonable amount of sleep every night. Attempt to get 8 hours. The real number will likely end up closer to 6-7, but aiming for 8 and getting 6 or 7 is better than aiming for 6 and getting 4 or 5. However, extreme circumstances during finals may adversely affect your sleeping habits, and your sleep schedule will be erratic or non-existent at times, but at least you’ll have a break afterwards to catch up. Unless you develop this lifestyle habit in college, trust me, real life and stressful, high paying careers won’t offer you an opportunity to fix this issue.

(Editor Note: I remember cramming for exams until 5am, waking to write the exam at 8am…even though I knew I had the material under control. It took about four years for me to figure out this wasn’t ideal…)

Coffee vs. Energy Drinks or Supplements

We all know this story: it’s finals week and you’re behind. The library is open 24 hours, but your capacity for maintaining consciousness is significantly less than that. As you struggle to memorize a semester’s worth of material in one or two nights, you begin to realize that it’s going to be a long night. You know drinking coffee’s probably healthier than throwing down a syrup-like, fluorescent yellow-green, carbonated concoction, but getting coffee takes so much time and the vending machine is right here. Plus, you know the caffeine intake of an energy drink is 50% more than coffee.

Let me reassure you that your instincts are correct – coffee is the better and healthier choice. Coffee has shown to stimulate brain activity, reduce the risk of cirrhosis (liver disease), and promote a healthy metabolism, among other positive health effects. Coffee also contains antioxidants. In addition, coffee has been shown to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in those who drink it regularly. Those who suffer from depression or type 2 diabetes might also notice a change when they drink a cup of coffee. Keep in mind, however, that coffee can also increase anxiety and can lead to a hardening of the arteries, so remember to consume it in moderation. If you find yourself suffering from any of the side effects that coffee can bring, you also have the option of ordering medication that can treat these issues from an online pharmacy.

Try reading the back of an energy drink or a 5 hour energy shot. Although chemicals with “scary” names aren’t always bad, they are often unnatural and uncommon in most other foods for a reason. 5-Hour Energy commercials claim that their product is simply “caffeine with vitamins and nutrients,” which sounds reasonable. However, they fail to mention that in many cases, vitamin overload can be just as detrimental as vitamin deficiency. I’m not saying frequent energy drink users are going to all drop dead anytime soon. Just think about your amount and frequency of consumption.

 

(Editors Note: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE stay away from these energy drink crap cans. They’re TERRIBLE for you and so dangerous. I read somewhere that waking up and eating an apple ”wakes” your system up more than a cup of anything, though I do love my coffee :))

The Showers

Most probably already do this, especially girls, but I think everyone should change their bath towel at least weekly**. Besides the obvious reason (smell), it really can help with general health and hygiene. Think about it – dirt, bacteria, and other grimy things can collect and grow on your bath towel. What comes into contact with your towel? Your bare skin, eyes, face, and entire body. Also, since you’re likely fresh out of the shower, you’ve probably washed the protective layer of sweat and oil off. What did that layer of sweat and oil do? It’s part of your body’s innate immune system, and basically prevents bacteria and toxins from entering your body through your skin. So, rubbing yourself with a bacteria-infested towel probably isn’t the best idea: unless you enjoy increasing your risk of skin infections and acne.

Additionally, most have probably heard of this by now, but it’s still important – use sandals or flip-flops in the community showers. Bacteria, fungus, and other dirty things will live in your dorm showers. Unless you have a personal bathroom that you’ve bleached thoroughly, use sandals. Pick up a cheap pair from Target for $5 and save yourself the headache of dealing with infections and other problems such as athlete’s foot. Just because you are health conscious and clean, it certainly doesn’t mean other people are too.

(**Please, for the love of God change your towel more often than weekly)

Protect Yourself

Baby-making aside, STD’s are a very real thing. Fortunately, I’ve personally had very responsible friends, but we’ve all had acquaintances who have demonstrated the real-world need for condoms. Many individuals may pass the “eye-test” down there, but let me assure you that the “eye-test” is far from perfect. Remember, if you’re administering the “eye-test,” something inside of you (no pun intended) most likely really wants that person to pass. Also, there’s a significant chance that, in college, you may possess some level of inebriation while administering this test. Just keep that in mind, and use condoms. You need them and they’re free. Talk about an excellent value!

(Editors Note: What he said. Be safe kids.)

Maintain A Balanced Social Life

Balance is essential in every aspect of your life. It’s crucial in love, work, play, family, money and health. It’s easy to let one fact of your life dominate your existence, but then you get caught up in the frenzy, shifting from one extreme to another, perpetually attempting to negate the deleterious effects of your obsession. Simply put: it’s not good practice for your long-term mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. Prolonged stress causes a multitude of physiological changes in your body, and significantly changes your hormonal balance. Such stress can result in irritability, insomnia, acne, and lethargy in the short term, and increased risk of heart disease, hypertension, and stroke in the long run.

What else is college, if not training and preparation for the real world, your future career, and the rest of your life? Balance your activities, family and friends, academics, extracurricular activities, and definitely your social life. What’s the ideal balance? That’s for you to determine.

(Editors Note: This is something I still struggle with but I’m learning!)

Enjoy Plunged in Debt?

Pid

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  1. I’m a big coffee drinker, but when I need a little more, I do get the DoubleShots. They give me enough energy to pull an all-nighter.
    The College Investor recently posted..Are All Colleges Proprietary Schools?My Profile

  2. I’ve always figured you’re already clean when you use the towel so it shouldn’t get dirty very quickly. It should last at least a week. 😉
    Andy Hough recently posted..Hitchhiking – Frugal Transportation or Death Wish?My Profile

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Wellness and Health Tips For College Students

To continue with my guest posts for my vacation, today I have Gary. Gary Dek is a former investment banker and private equity analyst from Southern California. He writes at Gajizmo.com and is always looking for ways to help people make and invest money.

College Health TipsSo, maybe you’re starting college soon, you’re in college now, you know someone who is, or you just want to be as prepared as possible. Whichever the case, there are a few health tips college students should learn during their 4 year stint at school. By examining my own personal experiences and those of my friends, I’ve compiled a list of quick and easy tips on what to do, what not to do, and what you should definitely avoid.

Sleep

Sleep is really a no-brainer, but all too often, it’s ruthlessly neglected. I know I’ve been guilty of this, but I really saw an improvement in my personal health and grades when I committed to getting a reasonable amount of sleep every night. Attempt to get 8 hours. The real number will likely end up closer to 6-7, but aiming for 8 and getting 6 or 7 is better than aiming for 6 and getting 4 or 5. However, extreme circumstances during finals may adversely affect your sleeping habits, and your sleep schedule will be erratic or non-existent at times, but at least you’ll have a break afterwards to catch up. Unless you develop this lifestyle habit in college, trust me, real life and stressful, high paying careers won’t offer you an opportunity to fix this issue.

(Editor Note: I remember cramming for exams until 5am, waking to write the exam at 8am…even though I knew I had the material under control. It took about four years for me to figure out this wasn’t ideal…)

Coffee vs. Energy Drinks or Supplements

We all know this story: it’s finals week and you’re behind. The library is open 24 hours, but your capacity for maintaining consciousness is significantly less than that. As you struggle to memorize a semester’s worth of material in one or two nights, you begin to realize that it’s going to be a long night. You know drinking coffee’s probably healthier than throwing down a syrup-like, fluorescent yellow-green, carbonated concoction, but getting coffee takes so much time and the vending machine is right here. Plus, you know the caffeine intake of an energy drink is 50% more than coffee.

Let me reassure you that your instincts are correct – coffee is the better and healthier choice. Coffee has shown to stimulate brain activity, reduce the risk of cirrhosis (liver disease), and promote a healthy metabolism, among other positive health effects. Coffee also contains antioxidants. In addition, coffee has been shown to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in those who drink it regularly. Those who suffer from depression or type 2 diabetes might also notice a change when they drink a cup of coffee. Keep in mind, however, that coffee can also increase anxiety and can lead to a hardening of the arteries, so remember to consume it in moderation. If you find yourself suffering from any of the side effects that coffee can bring, you also have the option of ordering medication that can treat these issues from an online pharmacy.

Try reading the back of an energy drink or a 5 hour energy shot. Although chemicals with “scary” names aren’t always bad, they are often unnatural and uncommon in most other foods for a reason. 5-Hour Energy commercials claim that their product is simply “caffeine with vitamins and nutrients,” which sounds reasonable. However, they fail to mention that in many cases, vitamin overload can be just as detrimental as vitamin deficiency. I’m not saying frequent energy drink users are going to all drop dead anytime soon. Just think about your amount and frequency of consumption.

 

(Editors Note: PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE stay away from these energy drink crap cans. They’re TERRIBLE for you and so dangerous. I read somewhere that waking up and eating an apple ”wakes” your system up more than a cup of anything, though I do love my coffee :))

The Showers

Most probably already do this, especially girls, but I think everyone should change their bath towel at least weekly**. Besides the obvious reason (smell), it really can help with general health and hygiene. Think about it – dirt, bacteria, and other grimy things can collect and grow on your bath towel. What comes into contact with your towel? Your bare skin, eyes, face, and entire body. Also, since you’re likely fresh out of the shower, you’ve probably washed the protective layer of sweat and oil off. What did that layer of sweat and oil do? It’s part of your body’s innate immune system, and basically prevents bacteria and toxins from entering your body through your skin. So, rubbing yourself with a bacteria-infested towel probably isn’t the best idea: unless you enjoy increasing your risk of skin infections and acne.

Additionally, most have probably heard of this by now, but it’s still important – use sandals or flip-flops in the community showers. Bacteria, fungus, and other dirty things will live in your dorm showers. Unless you have a personal bathroom that you’ve bleached thoroughly, use sandals. Pick up a cheap pair from Target for $5 and save yourself the headache of dealing with infections and other problems such as athlete’s foot. Just because you are health conscious and clean, it certainly doesn’t mean other people are too.

(**Please, for the love of God change your towel more often than weekly)

Protect Yourself

Baby-making aside, STD’s are a very real thing. Fortunately, I’ve personally had very responsible friends, but we’ve all had acquaintances who have demonstrated the real-world need for condoms. Many individuals may pass the “eye-test” down there, but let me assure you that the “eye-test” is far from perfect. Remember, if you’re administering the “eye-test,” something inside of you (no pun intended) most likely really wants that person to pass. Also, there’s a significant chance that, in college, you may possess some level of inebriation while administering this test. Just keep that in mind, and use condoms. You need them and they’re free. Talk about an excellent value!

(Editors Note: What he said. Be safe kids.)

Maintain A Balanced Social Life

Balance is essential in every aspect of your life. It’s crucial in love, work, play, family, money and health. It’s easy to let one fact of your life dominate your existence, but then you get caught up in the frenzy, shifting from one extreme to another, perpetually attempting to negate the deleterious effects of your obsession. Simply put: it’s not good practice for your long-term mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health. Prolonged stress causes a multitude of physiological changes in your body, and significantly changes your hormonal balance. Such stress can result in irritability, insomnia, acne, and lethargy in the short term, and increased risk of heart disease, hypertension, and stroke in the long run.

What else is college, if not training and preparation for the real world, your future career, and the rest of your life? Balance your activities, family and friends, academics, extracurricular activities, and definitely your social life. What’s the ideal balance? That’s for you to determine.

(Editors Note: This is something I still struggle with but I’m learning!)

Enjoy Plunged in Debt?

Pid

Subscribe to get our latest content by email.

Powered by ConvertKit

  1. I’m a big coffee drinker, but when I need a little more, I do get the DoubleShots. They give me enough energy to pull an all-nighter.
    The College Investor recently posted..Are All Colleges Proprietary Schools?My Profile

    1. So am I. Drinking coffee completes my day actually. It has become a habit.
      Marissa @ Thirty Six Months recently posted..Think Like a RockStarMy Profile

  2. Andy Hough says:

    I’ve always figured you’re already clean when you use the towel so it shouldn’t get dirty very quickly. It should last at least a week. 😉
    Andy Hough recently posted..Hitchhiking – Frugal Transportation or Death Wish?My Profile

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