Archive | Wellness

5 Foods to Boost Your Mood

What you eat affects your body in many different ways. Different kinds of foods have the power to make our bodies well (or sometimes unwell!) But did you know that the foods you eat can also affect your mood? Research has unearthed a number of different foods that can help you if you’re feeling depressed; in fact, certain foods can also help you to prevent the onset of depression.

In this article we shall discuss 5 foods that can help improve your mood and get you feeling better.

1. Brazil nuts

Did you know that low levels of the mineral selenium have been linked to increased rates of depression, irritability, anxiety, and tiredness? This where Brazil nuts can help. They are one of the best naturally occurring sources of selenium. Experts recommend having them as a mid-morning snack. As far as the quantity is concerned, three Brazil nuts are all you need to get your recommended daily requirement of selenium.

2. Oats

Oats also contain selenium, and have the added advantage of increasing your mood and energy levels. This is because they have a low glycemic index (GI) – foods with a low GI are metabolised gradually and they slowly release energy into the bloodstream, which keeps overall blood sugar levels stable. This is preferable to high glycemic foods which will provide you with a quick rush of energy but later leave you irritable. Half a cup of porridge made with oats is a great breakfast to start your day. You can add honey and almonds for extra pep!

3. Bananas

Consuming one or two bananas can do wonders for your mood and even health. After all, bananas are packed with an amazing array of nutrients. Among them, tryptophan, carbs and vitamin B6 play a role in improving your mood. The carbs help the brain in absorbing tryptophan which is then converted into serotonin with the help of vitamin B6. Serotonin is a hormone that boosts your mood and also helps you sleep better.

4. Lentils

Lentils are complex carbohydrates which means that, like bananas, they will boost the production of serotonin in the brain. This leads to less anxiety and a calmer state of mind. Lentils are also a good source of folate; folate deficiency has been linked to states of depression and mania. Lentils are rich in iron, which gives your energy levels a boost. All in all, half a cup of lentils in a day will keep you happy. Consider adding them to your soups or stews.

5. Dark Chocolate 

You may have noticed that people tend to reach for a bar of chocolate whenever their mood is low – and there is a reason for it. Eating dark chocolate contributes to your well being in a number of ways  and can give a boost to your mood too. A study conducted in Switzerland discovered that consuming a small portion of dark chocolate (1.4 ounces of it, to be exact) every day for two weeks reduced stress hormones, including cortisol, in people who were highly stressed. But, of course, you need to stick to the quantity mentioned to get the benefits. Too much chocolate will lead to weight gain and that is not going to be great for your mood!

This article was contributed by guest author Tanya Sen.

 

 

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8 Tips To Combat Winter Dry Skin

combat dry skin

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Dry skin is a huge problem in winter. As the temperature drops, it affects the natural moisture of your skin. It’s important to keep your skin healthy and hydrated – so here are 8 tips to combat winter dry skin.

  1. Stay hydrated

The more you hydrate your body internally, the more your skin will benefit. Drink two to three liters of water on a daily basis to stay hydrated, and drinking lots of fruit juice will help detoxify your body. Working herbal teas and vegetable juices into your diet plan can help you to stay hydrated and combat dry skin.

  1. Moisturize your skin

Moisturizing your skin is probably the most obvious advice when thinking about how to avoid dryness. Apply a moisturizer that suits your skin type twice a day. Also consider using a night cream, as it can help retain the moisture of your skin. You can also choose natural moisturizers if your skin is very dry, such as glycerin and honey for your face once a day. Their natural moisturizing properties will help to maintain the Ph balance of your skin.

  1. Apply a good sunscreen when you step out

It’s a common misconception that you don’t need sunscreen in the winter. Snow glare combined with the winter sun can damage your skin and reduce its moisture. Always apply a sunscreen of more than 30 SPF when you step out. Choosing a sunscreen with moisturizing properties will help your dry skin.

  1. Wear gloves and socks

Hands and legs are more susceptible to winter dryness. You can wear wool socks or gloves to stay protected and retain the natural moisture of your skin. Avoid wearing gloves and socks that are wet, as this can cause irritation. Stick with gloves and socks that are comfortable and warm.

  1. Use hydrating masks

Choose DIY masks that can help naturally moisturize your skin in the winter. You can use natural ingredients such as almond oil, vitamin E oil, honey, glycerin, and yogurt in your masks. All of these ingredients help to lock in your skin’s moisture.

  1. Use a humidifier

Heating systems dry out the air, and that can affect the moisture of your skin. Set up a humidifier in your bedroom to help add moisture to the air, which will in turn keep your skin hydrated.

  1. Use lukewarm water

If you’re a fan of hot water in your baths during the winter, you should stop. Hot water actually makes your skin dry and reduces the natural oils in your skin. Instead, bathe in lukewarm water to help retain the natural moisture of your skin and prevent dryness.

  1. Exfoliate your skin once a week

Exfoliate your skin at least once a week to remove dead skin cells. Use natural exfoliates like oatmeal and sugar, and skin products that prevent dryness and wrinkles. Dermology anti-aging cream can naturally help hydrate your skin.

A good diet plan and exercise can also help your dry skin in the winter. Take care of your skin and feel great!

This article was contributed by guest author Melissa Mellie.

 

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5 College Winter Break Survival Hacks

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You have made it through the fall semester, well done! Finals are practically over, and you’re thinking of home – more importantly, rest and relaxation. Many colleges and universities across the country are preparing for a long winter break, some even spanning all the way til the end of January. Yes, it’s a much-needed break, but how can you spend all this free time?

If you are like us, always needing to be doing something fun, we’ve got some ideas for you! Take a look at these college winter break survival hacks that will prepare you for the long winter break.

Find a short-term job

We know this can be tricky because employers don’t want to hire somebody for such a short period. So, what can you do? If you have a summer job that you return to each year, call your boss early and ask if they need more help during the winter. Getting a job will be much easier if you have an existing relationship. The fact that you are familiar with the work will bode well for you.

Other great options are babysitting, house sitting, dog walking, or even snow shoveling. These jobs are not glamorous, but that only means people will pay you to do them! Also, check out sites like Upwork and Freelancer. If you don’t like the idea of a job, think about all the money you’ll have when you’re back at college!

Apply for scholarships and internships

This is a great time to sit down and get some applications done. Don’t waste your entire winter break applying for scholarships and internships, just use your time wisely. Devoting a few hours a week will be plenty of time – think of them as the hours you would usually be spending studying or hanging out with friends at college. Planning and organizing can make a world of difference. Organizing Your Scholarship Search has lots of great tips to get you started in your search for a great scholarship.

The same goes for your internship applications. Stay focused on your internship search throughout the year and try to get in early. Get online and read about what companies are looking for. Always try to stand out in your interview. If you want, try to organize a job shadow to learn about career prospects and do a little networking.

Take a trip

If you have some expendable cash, use your time away from college for a little holiday. This winter break is the perfect time to hit the slopes! There are so many great ski resorts scattered around the country. No matter where you live, there is somewhere close by. Don’t know where you should go? Head to Snowpak for all the best ski resort information. You could also try to find work at a ski resort so you can make some money and brush up on your skiing at the same time.

Do you have family in another state? Maybe you can stay with a friend? Visiting people will help you save cash on your vacation.

Take an online class

Why not get ahead with your studies? Most colleges and universities offer online classes throughout the entire year. This gives you the option to get a subject done from the comfort of your own home. Check if there’s a winter term class available. It will most likely cost extra money, but it’s great idea if you want to graduate a little early.

Volunteer locally

There are plenty of great things to do during a winter break, and one of them is helping others. You have many opportunities to get involved by volunteering during the break. Not only does it feel great to help others, but it can add a great point of difference to your resume. You may pick up a new skill, discover an interest, meet a new friend or even somebody that could give you a job in the future.

Remember, your winter break is what you make it. Don’t sit around the house and waste precious time. Get out there!

This article was contributed by guest author Savannah Wardle.

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6 Habits That Prevent Pests in Your Dorm Room

The unnerving truth is that pests are a common thing in dorm rooms. You’ve got a lot of young people starting to live on their own for the first time, and without the supervision of their parents, this is where cleanliness often becomes an issue. So you can come across anything, from ladybugs and flies, to the more problematic cockroaches and mice. A lot of students inadvertently bring pests onto campus along with them. Here are 6 habits that can help you prevent pests in your dorm room.

Wash and dry the dishes

When it comes to dishes, even the people who are generally pretty careful about cleanliness tend to leave dirty dishes in the sink. Some think that rinsing the dishes off and leaving the washing for the next morning is good enough. The truth is that dirty dishes have pieces of food on them, be it small or big, and these leftovers are an invitation for various pests. This includes ants, mice, and a bunch of other crawlers.

Seal and put away your food

Pests are obviously attracted to food, so it’s no good leaving leftovers around for them. You need to put away food as soon as you’re done with it, and the best way to do it is to seal it properly. A simple plastic wrap won’t cut it. The fact is that you need to think about the food that isn’t cooked as well. For example, mice eat cereal, pretzels, and noodles. Store these things in containers that have tight lids, and keep them up on high shelves.

Vacuum and dust

Regular vacuuming and dusting are a necessity. It takes care of all the crumbs and little bits that might attract pests, and it also takes care of webs, insect eggs, and other things that pests need to survive and multiply. Dusting is important, because some insects, such as the hearty cockroach, eat dust and dirt. Keeping your room clean makes it easy to spot pests on time.

Declutter

Students often get lazy about decluttering their room, because there is no one there to remind them to do it. You may think that all those stacks of paper on your desk and junk in the corner is not much of a problem. The fact is that critters and bugs just love clutter. Spiders pretty quickly spin their webs in piles of papers. Rodents love to find their home in piles of clothes or paper. So, in order to keep your room pest-free, make sure it’s tidy.

Empty the garbage

Emptying the garbage regularly not only takes care of the smell, but also makes sure that any leftovers are out of your dorm room and no longer an attraction for pests. You should have a garbage can with a tight-fitting lid. You shouldn’t just empty it on a daily basis, but clean it often as well.

Get rid of standing water and moisture

Standing water is what attracts a lot of bugs and rodents, and warmth and darkness are perfect for cockroaches. Silverfish are attracted to moisture in places that are 21.1 to 26.7 degrees Celsius. Wet spots are also an invitation for gnats and flies. Mice and rats are always on the lookout for food, water, and shelter. According to the experts at Pest Works, pest and termite inspections are necessary in severe cases of pest infestation. So, in order to prevent these pests, mop up spilled water, make sure there are no leaky faucets, and throw out pet water at night.

Conclusion

Pests can be a real problem for your life in the dorm. But if you stick to these practices and keep your room clean, you shouldn’t have any issues. Remember to remove anything that might attract pests into your living quarters.

This article was contributed by guest author Hannah Thomas.

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7 College Health Tips They Won’t Teach You At Orientation

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When we plan on going to college, we think about so many things related to it, including education, campus, and independent life. However, not all students actually have time to focus on the things that may seem less significant – for example, health care.

It might seem irrelevant at the moment. You’re going to start a new life, you have to make new friends, study new courses, manage your finances, and so on. Many students find all of these things already overwhelming enough.

However, learning to take better care of your health is also important. It’s even easier to get sick in college than in high school, because there are so many people living there permanently. If you catch a cold, you’ll have to recover on your own and then struggle to catch up with your classes, so naturally, it’s better to avoid getting sick. But how exactly can students do this?

While it’s impossible to protect yourself from everything, it’s still possible to minimize the risks of getting ill. Here’s how you can do that.

1. Wash or sanitize your hands as often as possible.

As you know, every surface touched by many people is full of germs. You pick them up when touching these surfaces and they accumulate on your hands when you don’t wash them for a long time. If you touch your face with dirty hands, this might cause acne or some kind of a rash. If you don’t wash your hands before touching your food, this might lead to you catching an illness, ones that could range from minor to serious.

Always make sure you wash your hands before eating. And if you don’t have the time or opportunity to do so, try carrying sanitizer with you and use it as often as possible.

2. Clean your room.

Some students don’t put much effort into a clean dorm. However, if you want to take better care of your health, you shouldn’t settle with basic cleaning. Picking up clothes from the floor will make your room look cozier, but it won’t help you avoid germs.

Proper room cleaning means wiping all the surfaces, sweeping the floor, and vacuuming the carpets. Sure, this might be a bit time-consuming, but still, try to do this at least once every couple of weeks.

3. Avoid sick people.

This might not be an easy thing to do, especially if you care about your sick friend or partner. Visiting them with a bowl of hot soup is okay – as long as you don’t stay for long. Avoid sitting next to visibly ill course mates to avoid catching a virus from them. And if you do catch a cold, do your best to stay in your room so you don’t infect others.

4. Take a first-aid kit to college with you.

Sure, this might seem like an unnecessary thing to do, especially when you have so many other things to pack. However, this will help you avoid the unpleasant experience of walking to the nearest drugstore when you’re already feeling sick.

Make sure you have everything you need, from flu treatments to meds that treat stomach diseases. Stock up when you’re running low on certain medications so you’re ready for next time.

5. Be careful with food and drinks.

If you can’t remember how long a certain food has been in your fridge, it’s better to throw it away than to eat it. Be careful when going shopping, too: pay attention to expiration dates and try to remember that some products spoil more quickly than others. This will help you avoid unpleasant stomach diseases and food poisoning.

Also, pay attention to your drinks. When you go to parties, don’t share your cup with anyone. Otherwise, you’ll be sharing all the germs and viruses along with them.

6. Don’t drink if you have antibiotics prescribed to you.

Mixing alcohol with antibiotics will have two unpleasant effects on your body. First, alcohol makes the antibiotics less effective, so if you drink, there’s a big chance you’ll take longer to recover.

Second, taking antibiotics is harmful to your liver as it is. Alcohol affects the liver too, so when you drink, you’re basically doubling the negative effect, making it harder for your body to recover from it.

Avoid drinking until you finish the whole course of your prescription. This will help you get better quicker and minimize the negative impact on your body.

7. Try to build a healthy lifestyle.

College life is overwhelming for many. When you find new friends, go to parties, and try to combine being social with studying, things like sleep and nutrition can seem less significant.

However, a healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to prevent illnesses, feel more energized and increase productivity. Getting enough sleep helps you stress less; moreover, getting enough rest is one of the best ways to stay motivated to study. Eating properly ensures that your body gets enough nutrients. Working out makes you stronger, more energized and strengthens your immune system as well. So try building a healthier lifestyle or at least some healthier habits, as this will benefit your health greatly.

Taking care of your health is not easy. It requires paying attention to your surroundings and your lifestyle. However, doing so will help you prevent illnesses and feel more energized during college years. Good luck – stay healthy!

This article was contributed by Lori Wade.

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Top 5 Healthy Snacks You Must Try

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In the view of constantly increasing obesity and general lack of time in everyday life, many people have already turned to consuming healthy food and natural snacks, which is now a popular trend. You’ve probably heard of that dietary rule that eating after 8 o’clock in the evening could have a negative impact on your weight. This is only partially true! What really matters is what you eat. No one can resist snacking on something tasty while watching a movie, comfortably seated in their bed, but you have to be aware that it may create consequences. While our attention is focused on the film, we do not feel that we are full and we don’t stop eating. These are foods that you can nibble on for hours which are healthy and do not affect your overall health.

Nuts

According to current experts in nutrition, nuts are great for us because they do not increase our weight like processed snacks, and they are full of unsaturated fats that prevent blood clotting and maintain a normal heart rhythm. Nuts also give a feeling of satiety and do not cause a rise in blood sugar. Walnuts are rich in antioxidants and are a great night time snack. Since they are full of fiber, they will help you feel satiated longer and prevent an empty stomach from calling you to walk to the fridge in the middle of the night. These nut snacks also contain magnesium, protein, potassium, copper and vitamin E, which are great for your skin, helping it stay soft. A great advantage is that you can put them in your bag for a quick and easy, healthy snack. So, instead of sweets – use nuts.

Popcorn

Popcorn is a great choice if you are looking for something salty at night. Not only is it a good source of complex carbohydrates, popcorn also has few calories. Moreover, due to the fact that it is rich in fats, you will not feel bloated in the morning, nor will your stomach hurt. In addition to being a favourite snack, popcorn is good for your health. Of course, be sure to eat the butter and cheese free versions – and go easy on the salt.

Whole grains

As well as milk, cereals are rich in carbohydrates, which help the increase of the level of tryptophan in your blood (acids which stimulate the production of serotonin). Pure proteins are not only the cornerstone of the muscles, but will also maintain a longer feeling of satiety without expanding your waist. Whole grains have fewer calories than fatty and carbohydrate-rich foods. But be careful, because processed carbohydrates, such as pasta, chips and white bread, cause a jump in blood sugar levels, which can make your sleep less restful. Take, for example, oatmeal, high-fiber cereals or whole grain toast. You can search online for many recipes and delicious meals which contain whole grains. Simple, easy and healthy.

Dried fruits

Given that they are high calorie foods, dried fruits should be eaten because they provide additional energy for daily activities. Prunes are rich in fibers and sorbitol, and therefore have a greater laxative effect than fresh plums. They represent the real little treasure of potassium, vitamins C and K. Dried apricots are recommended for those who are physically active because they contain huge amounts of potassium, which is important for normal muscle. Figs contain important vitamins from the B group, vitamin C and beta-carotene, and contains calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron and copper. Raisins are a healthy and tasty source of natural sugar, so they can always be used to give you that sweet fix. They are also rich in calcium and iron. Dried bananas and pineapples are rich in magnesium, which is why they are great fighters against stress.

Dark chocolate

When the desire for sweets prevails, it is difficult to satisfy it with anything other than chocolate. Take care in choosing this kind of delicacy. Five cubes of top quality dark chocolate with less than 100 calories are just fine; and they do have other health benefits. Studies suggest that dark chocolate can help to lower blood pressure and protect you against heart disease and stroke, improve mental ability, help with chronic fatigue and even raise your libido. It is sweet, tasty and juicy, making it an excellent choice for a snack. It helps in the treatment of anaemia, fatigue, arthritis and rheumatism.

Nature has it all. You just have to listen to it carefully and it will help you. Enjoy these healthy snacks!

This article was contributed by guest author Vanessa Davis.

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Yoga, the Alternative to Partying on Campus

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Statistics on addiction in the U.S. are alarming. For example, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Addiction says that there are 17.6 million adults suffering from alcohol abuse or dependence. There are over 2 million adults suffering from opioid addiction which includes prescription pain killers and heroin. With such alarming rates of addiction, students going to college or universities are at a high risk.

The Campus Environment

Many universities are going to great lengths to protect their students from falling into an all too familiar college experience. With substance-free housing, help lines for addiction and many programs promoting health and wellness, it’s clear that an epidemic of partying too hard has shown to cause present and future problems for students.

Students are more at risk to develop substance abuse problems because the campus environment has long promoted it. With most students being away from home for the first time, there’s going to be some experimenting, but it’s when it becomes chronic that things get out of hand. The peer pressure to enter the party scene is the highest a student will experience throughout their life. Young and impressionable adults attending college away from home want to be a part of the culture. The problem is that you aren’t equipped to use substances responsibly. It’s not to say that you should never let loose and enjoy your college years, it’s just that to live a well-rounded life and get good grades, life should be more than a perpetual party.

Yoga for Anxiety

One of the reasons students tend to drink or take drugs is to relax. Studying full time can be a stressful experience, especially when you have big tests coming up. There are plenty of yoga poses that can ease your tension immediately. Instead of partying your stress away, go to bed early and do some yoga. You’ll be happy you did. When you feel anxious, instead of trying to run away from it (a common tendency), let yoga ease your stress.

One of the gentlest poses in yoga that will ease your stress and make you feel safe and secure immediately is Child’s Pose. Another alternative that offers you more of a physical challenge is Warrior III. If you can handle standing leg balances, you’ll enjoy this stress relieving pose that also strengthens and challenges you. You will stimulate your abdominal region which improves digestive functioning. This is an important way to stave off anxiety, studies have shown. Also, because you’re having to put all your efforts into a challenging pose, you’ll shift your attention from your minds’ chatter and can sit within yourself.

Yoga for Centering

In all aspects of your life, it’s important to center yourself. When you can effectively do this, you begin to understand your deeper workings. This allows you to make healthier decisions because you’ll practice more self-care. Partying constantly takes you out of your body and out of your mind so you can’t really tap into yourself any longer. Your reality is numbed and you lose yourself in a sense.

This isn’t healthy for your soul and it leads to unhealthy choices. Part of yoga is meditation, where you look into yourself. You focus on your body when you do poses and when you’re still, you focus on what you heart is truly feeling. Even if you’ve been heavily involved in the party scene at your campus, a few yoga sessions eill bring yourself back to center. For those with addictions and substance abuse problems, yoga has been a lifeline for their recovery. Yoga poses, combined with breathing and looking inwards, will shift your consciousness – which can be life changing.

Yoga for Clear Thinking

If you’ve ever attended a yoga class, you may have noticed that afterwards, you look at things in a different way. You are aware and awakened with an ability to think more clearly. Yoga promotes stillness in the mind so all that chatter falls away. When your subconscious mind isn’t filling your thoughts up with useless information, it allows you think in the present moment.

Yoga reduces restlessness, dullness, and inertia, and increases your purity. You allow thoughts to unfold in a more natural way when you practice yoga regularly. You fuss less about what people think about you and more about the conversation you’re in the middle of. You can train the mind to stop worrying about not being good enough or smart enough and just learn the material you need to learn.

Through breathing and poses that promote oxygen to surge through your body and into your mind, you will find yourself thinking more clearly. Submersing yourself into the yogic lifestyle as opposed to drinking will significantly increase your mind’s ability to retain important study information. You can promote a healthy mind or stunt it with partying. The results will be vastly different.

While there’s no reason you can’t enjoy your college years at parties, yoga does offer you another alternative. You’ll have less stress in your life and you’ll make friends that share similar values. Just as important as enjoying the freedom of college is molding yourself into the kind of person you’d like to be.

This article was contributed by guest author Meera Watts.

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4 Easy Ways to Maintain Your Health in College

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Going away to college is one of the most exciting times in your life. You have sprouted wings and left the nest, and now you must learn all about independence. One thing that you should have mastered by now is how to eat right. It will be quite difficult to remain healthy with all those late-night study sessions and lack of mom buying the groceries. Nothing goes better with studying than junk food. However, you must stay in top shape to be able to tackle the college life. Here are some tips on how you can remain fit and keep up with all your studies too.

Eat A Well-Balanced Diet

It is difficult to eat a well-balanced diet in a dorm room. From making grilled cheese with an iron to microwave dinners, it can all be a bit unhealthy. You can take charge of your health, even in the most difficult situations. First, you need to make sure that you have healthy snack choices around you. It is just as easy to grab a bag of apples at the supermarket instead of a box of snack cakes. Also, make sure you do your shopping at the grocery store and not at the vending machines in your dorm. These vending machines are made for late night snacking and those who are in desperate need of junk food. Try to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your daily intake.

College students who don’t eat healthy foods are more apt to have focus issues, a loss of energy and an overall poor quality of life. The only way to prevent these things is through nutrition.

Get the Proper Amount of Exercise

Exercise may be the last thing on your mind. It is so easy to be caught up in the demands of college that you forget your overall health. Even if it is just doing jumping jacks and crunches before bed, it can be valuable to your health. Many people enjoy getting out and taking some sort of exercise class. This can allow you to make new friends, feel accountable to a group, and it lets you have fun too.

If you love stationary bikes and music, you might want to lose weight spinning. Spinning classes are all the rage these days. It is a fun way to listen to some tunes and exercise too. You can bring along a friend to chat while biking, which will help pass the time. You may not even feel like you are exercising. The best part is because it is so popular, you will probably find a studio right near your college.

Only 43 percent of students get the proper amount of exercise. You should be getting at least 20 minutes of workout time, three times per week. If you are not getting at least this amount, you could become overweight and have other health complications.

Get At Least 8 Hours of Sleep

Your college years are fun, but they are rough. There will be many nights where you’re cramming late at night for an exam. No matter how big the test, don’t skip out on necessary sleep. Rather than become sleep deprived, you need to give yourself a bedtime. Though you’re not a child anymore, you need to just turn the lights out. Remember, sleep is essential to the body’s ability to rejuvenate.

It is recommended to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Anything less can cause health problems that can be as minor as headache and as major as a reduction in your immune system. When your immune system is not functioning correctly, you will get sick. No college kid needs to fight sickness, especially while trying to cram their brains with newly acquired information.

Take Time for You

You know what they say about all work and no play. While there are many responsibilities that come with being in college, there also must be some time for recreation. Keep in mind, drinking alcohol can have sedative effects that can hinder studies. Find clubs, sororities, hobbies, and other things to do around your campus. Mingle with people of like interests. It is always good to have a strong network of friends to surround you.

Make sure to call home and stay in touch with your family too. Nothing can be more comforting than a conversation with mom or dad. While you are busy sprouting your independence, you want to still include the people at home. They may be going through “empty nest syndrome” from your recent departure, and a phone call could do both of you good.

Conclusion

College is hard. However, you can improve your experience by eating healthy, getting enough sleep and exercise, and having plenty of time for fun.

This article was contributed by guest author Mike.

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Health Is Wealth: Sleep Is Never For The Weak

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It is never too late to make use of your bed because sleep has always been one of our necessities to maintain a healthy and wholesome lifestyle. Getting enough quality sleep at all times is vital. There are many health benefits you can get from having an adequate amount of sleep.

Your mood and feeling for the day depend on the number of hours of sleep you get at night. During sleep, our body is working to maintain our mental and physical health. Moreover, our body is repairing itself. Take note that a good sleep can also increase your brain function.

Experiencing repetitive sleep deficiency can harm you over time. It can increase your risk of developing health problems, and can also affect how well you react, work, learn, and think. Lastly, sleep deficiency can significantly affect your productivity.

Performance Maximization

Sleep affects not just your health but also your performance. Having the right amount of sleep can enhance your performance not just in work, but also in your day to day activities.

Sleep deficiency leads to functional limitation and reduced exercise performance. It may also affect your safety and security. For example, drivers who are drowsy have a higher risk of getting into car accidents.

Improves Immune Function

Our immune system is vital because it is the key to human health. It protects our bodies from substances that can cause sickness and diseases. Moreover, the immune system is sensitive to strenuous activities, a stressful lifestyle, change in diet and inadequacy of sleep.

A study found that people who slept less than 7 hours were more likely to develop a flu or cold than others who slept for a full 8 hours. Sleeping at least 8 hours may help lessen the risk of getting sick.

Increase In Productivity and Concentration

Sleep is important for reducing stress levels. It is also useful for increasing brain activity, thus, helping you finish your tasks quickly, effectively and efficiently. Without sleep, you tend to be unfocused and make more mistakes. It can also cause headaches at work and increase your stress level.

Takeaway

Most of us don’t put much importance on sleep because we don’t exactly understand the result of not having enough. Once you learn what happens to your body during sleep, you’ll understand its importance. Sleep is crucial to your physical, emotional and psychological health. At least 8 hours of sleep is critical!

This article was contributed by guest author Rachel Minahan.

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10 Easy Ways to Start Exercising and Sticking to It in 2017

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Everybody who’s ever tried exercising knows that it’s hard to stick to a daily routine, no matter if it includes running, lifting weights or yoga. The solution to this problem is to change the way you think about sport. Once you make it a part of your day, just like brushing your teeth, things will fit into place.

Until you’re good at it, chances are you’ll find a number of excuses to avoid working out. So here are some tips to help you get started and keep going.

1. Be Realistic about Your Goals
First of all, don’t mistake resolutions with goals. For example, your resolution could be to lose 10 pounds, but your goal is to exercise half an hour a day.

Don’t come up with higher goals than you can accomplish. This will only set you up for disappointment when you realize that you can’t handle them. Start slow and keep things real. If you only have 15 minutes, start with that.

2. Put Yourself First
Keep in mind that although we may be tempted to help out a friend that has a paper coming up, skipping on your workout is not the way to go.

If your school schedule allows you to fit all you want to do, that’s perfect; if not, always prioritize your own needs before everyone else’s.

3. Find What You Like
If you’re not used to working out, begin by doing something that you either love or you’re good at. If playing football is a hobby, make it a part of your day; if it’s swimming, check out the campus pool.

Step by step, you’ll start incorporating more and more types of exercises, but for now, do what you like.

4. Establish a Dedicated Workout Area
Although living in a dorm doesn’t offer too much spare space, see if you can’t place a yoga mat and some weights somewhere. As long as your brain perceives the space as a sport-friendly environment, it will be easier to stick to exercising.

A cardio machine in your home won’t take up as much space as you think and the health benefits are definitely worth it!

5. Take Your Friends With You
The same colleagues you go for a drink with could soon become your workout buddies as well. Exercising with a friend will be more exciting. Besides, you’ll support each other as you try to meet your goals.

Surely you have a friend who’s trying to lose some weight or get in shape, so make a team!

6. Don’t Stress Your Body
If a certain activity is too much for your muscles, take a step back. It’s possible that your body isn’t in the best shape, so if you lift heavy weights, you might hurt yourself.

Begin with simple exercises, and once your body gets in shape, switch things up a little. Just remember to adjust gradually to the intensity of the workout.

7. Include More Movement
Getting in shape doesn’t happen only in the gym; it can also be done between classes or during breaks. Instead of taking the bus, walk. Walking will help your muscles develop and have a more defined shape, especially your calves.

Another option is to have an afternoon at a pool instead of going for a movie. You’ll burn calories and have a blast with your friends.

8. Download an App
Nowadays, there’s an app for everything, and some of them are so much fun that you’ll grow addicted to them. Running will get your blood pumping, and your lungs will get more oxygen; still, running from an army of zombies will certainly boost things up.

If you’d like to keep track of how much time you’ve exercised today, or how many calories you’ve lost, there’s an app for that as well.

9. Keep a Journal
We’re not saying that you should start obsessing over how much time you’ve spent in the gym, or if you’ve eaten the exact number of calories today, but a journal will help you out.

Writing down your daily activities will make it easier for you to realize how far you’ve come and thus, you’ll feel better about it.

10. Find a Group
Sports groups are the way to go if you lack the motivation to stick to an exercise routine. Knowing that there’s always someone waiting for you will make it harder to skip training.

Plus, you’ll make new friends, and surely some of their energy will give you that extra strength to run another mile.

Like I’ve said, take things slow and see how much free time you can “steal” from your busy schedule to work out. Meanwhile, don’t forget to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables! These will keep you energized.

This article was contributed by guest author Evelyn Kail.

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