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Health

5 Tips for a Healthy School Year

October 15, 2021

Schools are centers of learning, but when so many students are in one space for the majority of the day, the student body’s health and wellness can take a dip. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to ensure the healthiest, happiest school year possible. 

Stick with Healthy Meal Habits

Significant strides have been made to ensure students receive a healthy and nutritious lunch while at school, and there are more nourishing, healthy meal options than ever. Still, students may fall victim to unhealthy snacking habits, skipping meals or swapping healthful side options for sugary or processed snacks. Organizations with wellness initiatives, such as USANA Refer a Friend, support students in eating a full, healthy breakfast and packing a lunch that focuses on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and very few unhealthy snacks. 

Practice Good Hygiene

Hand washing, sneezing in your elbow and regular cleaning of high-contact areas are invaluable habits to maintain while at school, especially during cold and flu season. Consider packing a small bottle of hand sanitizer and a pack of tissues along for the day. As well, students should avoid sharing food and drinks to avoid the spread of germs that could lead to more than a few sick days at home in bed. Nobody wants to get behind on homework, so prevention is the best practice to avoid getting a cold as well as a stack of incomplete history packets.

Take Physical Exercise Seriously

No matter the age group, it’s important for students to be regularly active during the school day. Everyone from a preschooler to a senior in college needs regular exercise to maintain a good bill of health, and all the hours spent seated at a desk school slow the movement momentum. 

Regular exercise is likely a part of the school day already, but fresh air and physical activities after school are great ways to further boost students’ physical health and wellbeing. After-school movement also helps to reverse some of the detrimental effects of sitting down and reading for most of the day, such as eye strain, posture issues, neck and back strain and muscle weakness.

Get a Good Night’s Rest

Sometimes, homework can keep older students up late at night. While it’s crucial that students get their work done, lost sleep guarantees that it will be tougher to focus and maintain high levels of energy and a positive mood the following day at school. An exhausted student is a less involved, concentrated and enthusiastic student. A good night’s rest is crucial for a great performance at school, and can improve immune function and help to fight off any bugs or illnesses that travel around the classroom. 

Minimize Stress

Because school is essentially a student’s job, it’s no less stressful than any other career. Deadlines, presentations, social engagements, peer influences, grades and extracurricular activities all come with a great deal of pressure. It’s important for students to make time to do things they enjoy outside of their schoolwork, and to talk openly about how they’re feeling about their course load and various school responsibilities. Things like deep-breathing, regular play, journaling, conversations over shared meals and dedicated down time can do a lot to relieve school-related stress, and when students feel healthy and happy, they’re more likely to achieve academic success. 

Health Student Life

Why College Students Should Exercise Regularly

October 14, 2021

College can be daunting and exhausting. For some, managing their time well has become a part of their daily routine. But for some students who can’t handle college life well, focusing on several activities at once could be an overwhelming process.

As a college student with more than one stressor, keeping a healthy routine that includes regular exercise is essential. It’s not only great for physical benefits, but it can also rewire your brain.

Here are seven crucial reasons college students should incorporate exercise in their daily life.

Improves Concentration and Focus

You may not know it now, but a workout can help improve your concentration and focus.

When you exercise, you allow your brain to stimulate new cells. This can help boost your overall well-being, including concentration and keeping the mind focused. Such activity can result in being more productive in your school work and could help you ace that exam you’ve dreaded since the start of the semester.

Relieves Stress

Stress is one reason some college students fail to get a passing mark. We’re not generalizing the scenario, but we all know how stress could affect students’ study habits.

While stress can do that to people, exercise can counter the decline in neurotransmitters. As such, your brain will produce endorphins that could generally make you feel happier or relaxed. It could even lessen your chances of experiencing heart attacks or stomach problems.

Enhances Memory

The brain cells found in our hippocampus are responsible for the formation of memories. It’s also where you dig up and recall memories that are in the past.

So when you study for a quiz, you use the cells in your hippocampus to store and form memories that could help you remember what you’ve read. It’s a helpful tool when you sit down on your chair and start taking the quiz.

But like every cell in our body, they tend to diminish. To avoid losing your brain’s power, use exercise to help build a better block for your memory. It boosts the creation of these important cells that could make an impact on your college life.

Stimulates Brain Cell Development

Our brain is a beautiful machine. It’s what keeps our bodily functions moving and fighting against external stressors.

However, the most exciting part of the brain is cell development that could help us improve our lifestyle.

Treat your brain as your physical body. To be able to function well, you have to feed it with essential nutrients. That includes maintaining a healthy exercise routine.

It’s essential to stimulate brain cell development at this stage in your life. That’s because it’s where you juggle school activities and the troubles of being an adult.

Builds Immune System Strength

At this point in your life, you’d want to avoid getting sick at all because missing one school activity can drastically affect your class standing. Building your immune system should be a top priority, especially because stress can attack your body in ways that you don’t expect.

Regular exercise is one way to boost your immune system. It will allow your body to fight off the common cold, flu, and sometimes even severe health conditions.

Improves Physical Health

Of course, the first thing you’ll notice when you start exercising is developing your physical health. You could quickly feel your muscles being pumped and improving your strength and endurance.

Exercising can include visiting the gym, doing home workouts, yoga, pilates, or even joining your school’s hiking club. Remember that you should pick a flexible regimen that could fit your schedule and match your physical capacity to move around.

We recommend making an outdoor trip once in a while to keep you inspired and to avoid the effects of burnout. You may not have the whole outdoor adventure gear, but to keep walking sticks for hiking in your college dorm is enough to last you an hour or two out in the wild.

Boosts Your Mood

We’ve mentioned earlier the effects of endorphins in our bodies. It’s essential to keep a positive vibe for most of the days during your college years. It’s a basic weapon to survive the most grueling tasks of beating deadlines, maintaining a grade, and learning from all your subjects.

You can improve your mood by doing light to moderate exercises at least three times a week. You may think that squeezing in a 30-minute exercise into your already busy day is hard. But you can achieve this without sweat with proper time management!

Health

How to Be More Mindful of Your Skin

September 21, 2021

As a student, your skin doesn’t always get the attention it needs. Studying, assignments, and your social life all tend to take priority.

But your skin is important, and looking after it when you’re young makes all the difference in the future. Clear, healthy skin is also a confidence booster, and as you make your way through college and into the working world, you’ll want all the confidence you can get.

One way of keeping your skin clear, clean, and healthy is to practice mindfulness.

What Is Mindfulness?

Practicing mindfulness is a concept that’s made waves in recent years. It encourages you to be fully aware of what you’re feeling and sensing in the moment. It focuses on doing things in the present wholeheartedly. Being more mindful of your skin means being aware of how you treat your skin, and the results of those actions.

Skin mindfulness is also known to assist in reducing stress levels that cause acne and other issues.

Know What You Put into Your Body

It’s no secret that what you put into your body reflects on your skin. Skin and diet are intrinsically linked, and practicing mindfulness means being fully alert of the type of food you eat.

For students, it’s not always easy to make healthy dietary choices, but it’s important to try.

When you eat:

●  Focus on how the food tastes and smells

●  How your skin reacts to specific food

●  The nutrients and minerals in the food

Check The Ingredients In Your Products

Learning about what your beauty products contain is an essential aspect for skin mindfulness.

Mindful skincare incorporates products that are:

●  Made from natural/non-harmful ingredients

●  Cruelty free

●  Packed in eco-friendly packaging

Certain products contain harmful ingredients that pose a threat to your health. Researching your skin products tells you what to avoid and steers you towards products that are best suited to your skin type.

Be Intentional About Your Skin Care Routine

The secret to having beautiful looking skin is incorporating a regular, thorough skin care routine. Skin care routines are often forgotten as students race to class in the morning or head to bed at the end of a long day. However, if your aim is to improve on mindfulness, don’t rush the process.

Take it easy and think about how you are feeling during your routine. Are you feeling happy, anxious, nervous, or excited about something? How does your skin look today? Does it look dry, oily, dehydrated?

Think about what your skin goals are.

Are you trying to hydrate your skin, shrink pores, clear up acne, or lighten dark spots? Having a relaxed routine helps you discover more about what you want, and what your skin requires.

Act Now For The Future

Cultivating awareness of your skin is key to practicing mindfulness, and part of this means preparing for the future. When you’re young, your skin is elastic and wrinkle free, but as you age this changes.

If you spend lots of time in the sun, enjoy outdoor sports like running, or love getting a golden tan, be mindful that this comes with consequences. Make applying sun block and moisturizing part of your routine. The way you look after your skin now will reflect in years to come.

Love The Skin You’re In

Creating a mindful skin care routine is a great way to look and feel healthy, even when you’re facing the stresses and pressures of studying.

You’ve only got one skin. Establishing good habits now will set you up for a lifetime.

Health Student Life

Avoiding Burnout: 11 Tips for College Students & Young Professionals

August 1, 2021

It’s easy to dismiss the possibility of burnout. When you’re young and firing on all cylinders, you feel like you can conquer the world. But burnout isn’t something that happens all at once. It creeps up on you and, before you know it, those cylinders are getting stuck.

Here are a few tips to help college students and young professionals keep that from happening.

Maintain Yourself & Your Stuff

Prioritize your health to keep yourself in shape for the long haul. Remember, this isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. And like any good marathon runner, you have to prepare ahead of time.

  • Set a regular sleep schedule
    • Go to sleep and wake up at roughly the same time every day. 
    • Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages or alcohol in the evening. 
    • Stay off electronics a couple of hours before bedtime.
  • Eat right. Carbs and sugar can give you short-term energy, but they can also cause you to crash. Mom was right: Eat your veggies.
  • Exercise. Shoot for 30 minutes a day, and it doesn’t have to be strenuous. A brisk walk, stretching, or a bike ride all work great.
  • Take care of your equipment. Just like your body and mind, it’s important to keep your most necessary tools in good condition. 
    • From your car to your computer to your clothes, cleaning your items regularly and according to instructions helps them last longer. 
    • Invest in protective cases for your electronics. 
    • Keep up with your car’s scheduled maintenance.
    • Assemble an emergency car kit, and keep it handy in case you need it.

Pace Yourself

  • Take breaks. The temptation to “power through” is real, but you’ll actually get your work done sooner if you take breaks periodically. Your brain can only focus for a limited time, and your body can only sit in one position for so long without getting antsy, achy, or both.
  • Set milestones. Don’t try to tackle everything at once. Mini-deadlines, or milestones, can help you feel like you’re making progress on your way to your ultimate goal.
  • Reward yourself. If you’ve accomplished a task, do something fun to reward yourself. It doesn’t have to be expensive — if you’re a student or just getting started professionally, you’re probably on a tight budget. Listen to some of your favorite music or watch an episode of your favorite show. Or get out of the house and go for a bike ride.

Set Boundaries

  • Focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking seems natural, but did you know it’s actually impossible to think about more than one thing at once? It can also be exhausting. Set priorities and focus on one thing at a time.
  • Make a schedule. If you’re working and going to school at the same time, it’s easy to let one interfere with the other. Plus, you’ll always have other interests competing for your time. Maximize your efficiency by making a schedule and sticking to it.
  • Avoid distractions. Once you’ve made a schedule, take steps to block out distractions so you can get things done:
    • Set up a home office and put a do-not-disturb sign on the door.
    • Let family and roommates know when you’ll be working and that you’ll be out of touch during that time.
    • Get a set of noise-canceling headphones.
  • Do something completely different. On your own time, recharge by doing something completely different than what you do at work or school. Learn something new, and switch things up.

Work and school are important, but your physical and mental health is important, too. Remember that, and you’ll be on your way to an even brighter future.

BIO: My name is Jessica Larson. I’m a married Midwestern mom and a solopreneur. I create online courses for students, and I’ve started and run several other businesses through the years. My goals are to support my family while still actually spending time with them, to act as an entrepreneurial role model for my two daughters, and to share what I’ve learned through The Solopreneur Journal.

Health Student Life

How College Students Can Utilize Telehealth in Post-Pandemic Life

July 22, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic was a terrible experience that most of us hope to never go through ever again. But while it was scary and sad for many, it also brought a few positive things to light, and the mainstream adoption of telehealth was one of them. This awesome technology offers many great benefits to those who use it, and in the college world, it can be a lifesaver.

Let’s talk a bit about telehealth, why college students should take advantage, and a few considerations to keep in mind along the way.

What is Telehealth?

In a nutshell, telehealth is a method of getting medical attention through your computer, tablet, or mobile phone. Due to its popularity, people can talk to just about any type of medical professional, from doctors to psychiatrists, for at least an initial assessment. From there, you will be advised if you need to go to an in-person consultation.

On top of speaking with a doctor, telehealth platforms also allow you to exchange information, including upcoming appointments and test results. All of this avoids extra visits to physical medical practices and emergency rooms so those who need the most help can get service without delay.

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of telehealth is that it allows those in rural areas without a hospital nearby to get the same care that those in cities can access. This is a great benefit for college students as universities are spread all over the nation, with some more secluded than others.

Great for College Students

Beyond having almost instant access to medical care regardless of where you go to school, there are many other perks of telehealth for college students. For starters, even if you don’t have a computer, you can also chat with a doctor face to face on mobile devices, and you may even be able to do it from the school library. Even better, when you can skip the waiting room and go straight to the doctor, you may be able to fit in a session between classes.

When you are in college, it is all about the budget, and unfortunately, even watching one’s health is subject to how much cash is at hand. Luckily, as opposed to doctor’s visits that can cost several hundred dollars, a telehealth visit is often less than $20.

Telehealth is also exceptionally easy to use and takes a lot less time than the effort required to schedule a doctor’s appointment, drive to the office, sit in waiting rooms and make your way home. This is why many people avoid going to the doctor. However, you must get help if you have concerns, and this ease of use should make those in college more willing to reach out for care.

Considerations

While telehealth is an incredible innovation, there are some considerations to take into account when using the service. For instance, you can only accomplish so much over video, and if you have a more significant medical issue, you will still likely need to see a doctor in person which will take time and money.

College students also spend a lot of time looking at screens for classes and homework, and telehealth is just another screen. The issue there is that prolonged screen exposure without adequate breaks can lead to blurred vision and nearsightedness, so protect your eyes by taking breaks every 20 minutes to stare at a spot 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

Finally, just like any online activity, what you do with telehealth is subject to theft by cybercriminals, so never share your telehealth password and make sure to always use a secure connection in a library or your dorm room.

For many college students, telehealth is a godsend. Use this resource whenever you feel ill and get the attention you deserve.

BIO: Dan Matthews is a writer with a degree in English from Boise State University. He has extensive experience writing online at the intersection of business, finance, marketing, and culture.

Health

How to Better Manage Your Sleep

July 15, 2021

Sleep is a vital part of success in life as well as an educational career. Many students fail to acknowledge or regard this fact when going about their day, and they can feel the consequences. Having a regular sleep schedule and getting enough sleep contributes to improved memory, happier moods, better coordination and higher academic performance. Without consistency in sleep, people tend to be in worse moods, have short tempers, be more susceptible to illnesses and more. If someone is experiencing trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, not being able to get up with an alarm, requires caffeine to stay awake, feels exhausted or takes long naps, they may be experiencing lack of sleep. Luckily, there are many different options to try and get a sleep schedule back on track.

There are a lot of things anyone can do leading up to bedtime to secure a better sleep pattern. A large influence of sleep deprivation is having caffeine in the afternoon. Even if someone does not feel the effects of the caffeine or feels that they will be okay if they don’t have it too late at night, consuming it at any point in the afternoon is detrimental to getting rest. Another contributing factor is an excessive use of electronic devices and looking into blue light. Blue light is what the eyes absorb when looking at electronics, and seeing too much of this before bedtime can affect the body’s circadian rhythm and disturb sleep. Avoiding falling asleep to the TV and using electronics about an hour before bedtime is a great way to steer clear sleep deprivation. Instead, one can read, journal or meditate before bedtime. Having an overly hot or cold room can cause a person to have trouble staying asleep at night. Making sure to cool off a warm room and have adequate heat in the winter time is beneficial to keeping the body comfortable and undisturbed. Decluttering the bedroom is also a small but important step in decreasing stress and distractions

It may be hard at first to start getting up early, but being awake in the morning increases productivity and sets one up to go to bed at an earlier hour. Staying up late doing homework is less effective than waking up earlier to get it done, so it is good practice to switch the habit of cramming work into late hours. Along with waking up early, it is important to establish a set sleeping schedule that can be maintained throughout most of the week. Going to bed and waking up at the same time, and at more reasonable hours, is best for the body’s rhythm and the brain’s productivity. Napping has both positive and negative effects depending on how people take them. Napping for less than an hour and before midday is the healthiest option, whereas napping for more than an hour and late into the day can decrease one’s ability to sleep and stay asleep. 

If these and other methods don’t seem to help, it is not a bad idea to consult a doctor about sleep medication or to try natural supplements. Melatonin is a common and useful natural supplement that helps people sleep well and establish a better sleeping pattern, however it tends to weaken the body’s natural production of melatonin if used too long and comes with some small side effects. 

When going through life and pursuing an education, keeping the body healthy is crucial to maintaining a balanced lifestyle. Getting enough sleep and having a set and habitual sleep schedule is one of the most important contributors to being happy and healthy. There are many simple methods to trying to improve one’s sleep, and the best reason to try any of them is that sleep plays into every other aspect of life, so why not make it better?

BIO: Alessandra Gluck is currently a student at the Honors College at Arizona State University. She is double majoring in English Creative Writing and Journalism and Mass Communication. She is also a Member Intern at Grad Guard Insurance Company. Alessandra enjoys writing and plans to pursue this passion throughout graduate school.

Health Safety Student Life

How to Stay Healthy When Heading Back to Campus

June 9, 2021

The thought of returning to campus after spending the last year learning from home is exciting, but might also seem a little overwhelming. It’s easy for flu and cold viruses to spread in school environments. How can you stay healthy when making your return?

Go Back Prepared

Travel-sized hand sanitizer can be beneficial. Hand sanitizer is great to have around if you use a bathroom that is out of soap or touch something in a heavily trafficked space and there’s no sink nearby. Also stay vigilant about washing your hands. Staying in this practice will keep you from spreading germs and keep you healthier overall.

Take Your Vitamins

Vitamins and supplements can do a lot to help you maintain good health year round.  USANA Health Sciences offers supplements that include important antioxidants and immune-boosting vitamin D and core minerals that your body needs for cell health. Antioxidants give your body the ability to protect against free radicals, which build up when your body breaks down food or takes in tobacco smoke. 

Develop an Exercise Routine

Exercise plays a huge role in keeping you healthy and your immune system strong. Exercise causes change in antibodies and white blood cells that affects the immune system in a positive way. Exercising regularly also helps keep you at a healthy weight which can fight disease. 

Plus, being active keeps you outside in fresh air, where viruses don’t spread as easily. To reap the benefits of exercise, you should workout three to five times a week for 30 minutes a day. This might seem tough when you’re busy with classes and extracurriculars, but it’s important to make exercise a priority. 

Make an Effort to Eat Healthy

It’s no surprise that in addition to adding exercise to your regime, a healthy and balanced diet will help keep you well as you head back to campus. You should eat a variety of foods and avoid processed foods. Processed foods are more likely to be high in saturated fats. Research shows that diets high in saturated fats may contribute to a less healthy immune system. 

Also eat plenty of veggies and fruits of all different colors. Eating greens like spinach have huge benefits to your health and wellness. Spinach is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, so you get double the effect in giving your body the nutrients you need. Foods like bell peppers, garlic and broccoli also have positive effects on health. 

Sometimes you’ll have to eat fast food or eat out. Try and look for healthy options on menus and make a point to add in greens. Green smoothies are a great way to incorporate a quick, healthy meal on the go.

As you head back to campus, there are many habits you can incorporate into your daily life to support your health. Being mindful of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health. It’s smart to protect yourself from an unexpected medical withdrawal with tuition insurance. Keep these tips in mind as you prepare for the fall!

BIO: Brett Clawson has a degree in Business Management and has started a couple of small businesses. When he’s not focusing his time on those, he spends time with his wife and two sons. His oldest son has entered the wonderful realm of college, and he now enjoys sharing tips that he and his son have found essential for college life.

Health Student Life

5 Alternatives to Reset Your Mind, Body And Career After Pandemic Inactivity

May 10, 2021

The pandemic caused substantial changes to our lifestyles. Stay-at-home orders and social distancing generally made us more sedentary and unhealthy, from many points of view. The average person probably put on a few pounds. More so, many people’s mental happiness may have declined due to a lack of socialization. Thankfully, we’re starting to see the end of lockdowns, and we can begin rebuilding our minds, body, and career. Combine physical exercise, healthy food, and meditation, and you’ll feel better, stronger, and more capable of advancing your career.

Let’s explore five alternatives to reset our system:

1. Combating occupational disease

Deskbound jobs are dangerous if left unchecked. And if office jobs were problematic before, nowadays, the issue is greater. The combination between the static nature of desk jobs and the pandemic’s general inactivity is highly detrimental to our health. Sedentarism, or lack of activity, can cause many health problems. Too much sitting can lead to chronic pain, cardiovascular problems, and metabolic issues. That’s why it’s vital to contrast it with regular breaks. As a general rule, you should take a 5-minute break every half an hour. This might be taking a few steps around your room, or even grabbing a cup of water or coffee.

Alternatively, people that spend too much time on their feet are also at risk. Standing too much can strain leg muscles, ligaments, and veins. Just as you would take a break from sitting down all day, take a few breaks from standing to sit for a few minutes.

2.   Sport, self-massage, and stretching

Apart from small work breaks, you should work out a few times a week and stretch daily. Physical activity is one of the best ways to replenish health, according to research. Workouts don’t have to be complex or take up a big part of your day. You can use your own bodyweight or opt for weights. Search the internet for beginner home workouts and get right into it. Put on some music and make a party out of it! 

Also, don’t forget to include heart exercises. Even in tight spaces, you can still perform jumping jacks, burpees, and similar cardio drills that will do wonders for your whole body.

Don’t forget how important it is to stretch and massage your muscles after a work out! Take 5 to 15 minutes to do a few stretches. For muscle soreness, using a foam roller will help with this.

3.   Plant-based nutrition, hydration, and sleep

The general eating trend of the pandemic is delivery food. We’ve all been there. Unfortunately, fast food damages our physical health and keeps us from being happy with ourselves. If you want to improve yourself beyond recognition, start integrating plant-based meals into your diet; this means little to no animal products. It may seem challenging, but the rewards are well worth it. Don’t know where to start? Here are the basics:

  • Fruits in a large variety. Incorporate a piece of fruit in meals or swap them out for an afternoon snack.
  • Vegetables should be your foundation. Eat them raw, boiled, and cooked.
  • Tubers like potatoes, beets, carrots will give your body energy for longer periods.
  • Whole grains like rice, grains, oats, barley help with digestion and balances your system.
  • Legumes such as beans, lentils, pulses are fantastic sources of protein without inflammatory components. 

Sleeping and drinking enough water are also fundamental. Generally, you want eight hours of quality rest. Furthermore, the “8 by 8 rule” is a terrific way of keeping count of your water intake: drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily.    

4.   Meditation and yoga

Just about everybody knows about meditation and yoga, but very few practice it. There’s a reason why similar disciplines became so popular even in the Western world – it’s because they work. For instance, Hatha yoga and Tai chi are excellent practices for newbies. Search online for a few simple routines, try them for a little bit, and see how you feel.     

5.   Mindfulness techniques

The last point of our list regards stress management. In this mind technique, the individual tries to rationalize the negative feelings as soon as possible. Becoming aware of harmful emotions can cancel the consequences of said sentiments. It takes a little practice, but the method can save you a ton of headaches.

For example, suppose you’ve received some bad news at work regarding hour reduction. Instead of feeling dreadful, try to become aware of your emotions and control them from the get-go. Sure, fewer hours mean less pay, but nothing fatal happened in the grand scheme of things. You’re not in control of the hour management, so why go crazy over it? Breathe in deep a couple of times and go on with your day stress-free!      

            The pandemic situation is harsh on everyone’s mind, body, and career. However, by eating clean, sleeping well, and drinking enough water, you’ve made the first step to a healthier lifestyle. Add in physical activity, stretching, and self-massage, and you’ll reinforce yourself with golden armor. Lastly, adding mindfulness techniques and frequent meditation/yoga will make sure your mind is ready for any challenge.    

BIO: Charlie Svensson is an experienced writer and content creator on topics such as education, marketing, and self-growth.

Health

Tips for Staying Active in the Winter

March 19, 2021

With gym closures and concerns for health during the pandemic, many students have been unable to exercise at their student fitness center or local gym. This has caused a lot of students to take up running and other outdoor activities. Cold weather can make it difficult to run outside and can decrease motivation for staying active.

Here are a few tips for staying active in the winter:

Turn to YouTube

There are many free exercise resources available on YouTube, from yoga to HIIT, you have many options to explore. Channels such as ​Yoga with Adriene​ and N​atacha Océane​ provide quality exercise videos. You can also check out apps like Peloton, Nike Training Club, and ClassPass that offer free training programs, or at least a free trial for one.

Invest in some equipment

It can be worthwhile to invest in some equipment such as resistance bands, a jump rope, and dumbbells. It can be expensive to buy certain items new, but you can always find second-hand equipment on platforms such as Facebook Marketplace and eBay. If you don’t want to buy online, check out discount stores or look for sales at major retailers.

Bundle up and embrace the outdoors

If conditions are safe, you can still run outside. Make sure to bundle up and be aware of ice. Here are some​ tips ​for running in the cold such as keeping yourself well lit with limited sunlight. Layers are crucial!

Be mindful of your movement

If you are busy with school work and feel that you don’t have enough time to dedicate to workouts, try to incorporate more movement into your daily routine. This can mean a few jumping jacks between virtual classes or a bit of stretching before going to bed. Try to remain aware of how long you have been sedentary and stand frequently. If you’re running errands, park farther away or opt for the stairs over the elevator or escalator as much as possible.

Repurpose household items

If you don’t have access to workout equipment be creative and repurpose items around your house. This can mean using some textbooks, water jugs, wine bottles or cans of food as weights. Try running up and down your stairs, or using a chair to do some step-ups or tricep dips.

Don’t let gym closures and a loss of your former routine keep you from sticking to your fitness goals. There’s a lot of creative ways to stay active. For more tips on college life make sure to follow us on social media @gradguard.

Health Student Life

Returning to Campus Without Regrets

March 5, 2021

After a surge in early winter, COVID-19 cases have begun to decline. Seasonal factors, an increase in mask wearing and social distancing, partial immunity, and the vaccine rollout have combined to stem the tide — at least for now. With more variants popping up, however, nothing is certain. 

Despite ongoing uncertainty, more colleges and universities are reopening, or preparing to reopen. What does that mean for you as a college student? How can you return to campus with confidence? Here are some ideas on getting back to class without regrets. 

Don’t let up on healthy habits

Even with vaccines becoming available and new case numbers dropping, the Center for Disease Control says it’s essential to stay vigilant. Keep taking the standard precautions:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water.
  • Use hand sanitizer.
  • Disinfect shared surfaces — like desks, countertops, appliance knobs, light switches, etc. — with antibacterial wipes.
  • Wear face masks. Double-masking is even more effective.
  • Maintain social distance of at least six feet between yourself and others. In classrooms, this may mean keeping an empty desk between yourself and your nearest classmate.

Be aware of the externals

As you return to the classroom, be aware of external risk factors that can affect your safety.

  • Time — How much time are you spending around people? The less, the better.
  • Space — The more space you can keep between yourself and others, the safer you’ll be.
  • People — Large numbers of people in small spaces increase the risk of transmission.
  • Place — Outdoors is best. But if your classes are indoors (as most are), classrooms should have adequate ventilation and room for social distancing.

Take precautions on the road

With more people returning to school and work, more vehicles will be on the road. Be aware of how this affects you as you return to school.

  • Stay vigilant. People who haven’t been driving might take a while to get their skills back up to speed.
  • Leave enough time for your commute. Don’t put yourself in a position of rushing to get to class.
  • Check the weather and drive cautiously. This winter has produced some of the craziest weather in memory, resulting in icy roads and lots of wrecks. 
  • Know what to do in case you’re in an accident.
  • Be sure you have the proper auto and injury insurance.

Take charge of your finances

  • Set a budget that allows you to remain free of financial worry as you focus on your classes.
  • Begin building your credit. Consider a card that’s secured by an account deposit so you don’t charge more than you can afford.
  • Cut back where you can. If you get a job just so you can afford a video game system, you’ll have less time to focus on your studies: You’ll either be at work or playing.

Don’t be afraid to request safety measures

  • Ask your instructor to be sure your classroom is properly ventilated.
  • If you’re uncomfortable in class, see whether lectures will be available online.
  • Request that personal protective equipment (PPE) be available in class. Bring your own anyway, just in case.
  • Most schools have long since pivoted to turning in assignments online. Make sure it’s an option for you.

Resuming classes is stressful enough without the added anxiety of dealing with health risks. Fortunately, if you take these precautions, you’ll be more likely to return to campus with confidence that you’ll be safe. Then you can focus on your studies, rather than worrying about things that can get in the way. 

BIO: My name is Jessica Larson. I’m a married Midwestern mom and a solopreneur. I create online courses for students, and I’ve started and run several other businesses through the years. My goals are to support my family while still actually spending time with them, to act as an entrepreneurial role model for my two daughters, and to share what I’ve learned through The Solopreneur Journal.