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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.


A Healthy Student Is a Successful Student

October 23, 2020
The importance of your mental and physical health in college

Physical and mental health are just as important as academic achievement when you’re a college student. Considering the health crisis that our world is currently in, college students should realize the importance of good health and how it can impact their academic performance. Here are some ways to make sure you’re staying healthy.

Mental Health and Academic Performance

Many college students can probably recall a time in which they underestimated the impact of mental health and clarity when it comes to their academic performance. While many college goers focus heavily on making good grades, often times, this includes pulling all-nighters to study and finish big assignments and not participating in other activities outside of school. What they don’t realize is how these elements could potentially hurt their grades rather than helping them to succeed. Implementing these habits will add on unnecessary stress in the long run and make it harder to focus on your assignments, which may result in unsatisfactory academic performance.

Perfection isn’t always possible

Remember that it’s okay to miss a few points on an assignment or exam. What’s important is that you completed the work to the best of your ability and made sure to include all pieces of information your professor or instructor requested.

Utilize a calendar

Use a calendar or planner to keep track of your daily tasks, assignments, and exams. Many of the phones and computers that students use today have apps with the ability to track and manage their schedules and set reminders. Write down what the assignment is, its due date, and when you plan to have it completed. If possible, always try to complete an assignment before its due date, just in case any last minute changes need to be made.

Don’t skimp on sleep

Rest! Getting the proper amount of sleep as a college student is crucial. With the help of a calendar or planner to track your assignments, you’ll find that those all-nighters and late night study sessions will become few and far between.

Make time for friends and get involved in extra activities outside of class. Having a great group of reliable friends throughout college is more beneficial than you may think. Take time to enjoy things you like to do, meet new people, and get involved in campus clubs or activities.

Physical Health and Academic Performance

For most students, being away from home for the first time can pose a challenge in making sure their physical health is a priority. If you’re not taking care of yourself, your academic performance may begin to decline. One of the most relevant challenges in regards to physical health as a college student is eating habits. Chances are, there aren’t many healthy options on college campuses when it comes to dining. Another challenge college students often face is finding time to exercise and stay active.

Choose healthy options

This may seem easier said than done considering that many college campuses do not offer a variety of healthy options. Lighter snacks and meals will help keep you focused and ready to learn. Sometimes eating heavier meals throughout the day will cause fatigue and make it harder for you to focus.

Move your body

Find time to get active and exercise. This doesn’t necessarily mean spending hours in the gym everyday. Students can stay active by taking walks around campus, spending a half hour in the gym on different days throughout the week, and maybe getting involved in sports teams or clubs on campus.

Look good, feel good!

Take a few extra moments in the morning before class to make sure you look presentable, rather than rolling out of bed and showing up to your lecture in the same clothes you fell asleep in the night before. Getting ready will you give you an extra boost of confidence!

When you’re in college, it’s up to you to take care of your mental and physical well-being. Start with small changes in your everyday life and see how you feel.

Health Other

You’re Responsible for your Health in College

July 11, 2016

College can be some of the best years of your life. You get to try new things, meet new people, and most of all, eat whenever you want! For some, the meal plan going into freshman year might be the biggest highlight of going to college. No longer will you have to depend on your family’s schedule and food preferences. Instead, you’ll now be able to go to your local campus hot spot and be fully in control over what you want to eat.

Cereal for dinner? Go for it! Hamburgers and pizza for breakfast? Why not?

Along with these new freedoms to eat what you want, when you want, comes the responsibility of keeping yourself healthy.

That breakfast pizza? It could cause you to experience what we all know as the Freshman 15.

You're responsible for your health in college... here are some good habits to get into.


Eating healthy is definitely an important part of the equation for staying healthy and fit in college. It’s important to make sure that your dietary decisions take into consideration your overall activity level and the way your body deals with certain types of food. For example: if eating fries results in you feeling greasy or bloated, only indulge once in a while, rather than making a habit of it.

For more ways to eat better at school, check out this guide about how to beat the Freshman 15.

Another important component to feeling your best is exercising and being active. In order to establish and maintain good exercise habits, start with just 30-45 minutes a day. Being in college gives you considerable free time. Although some of your time will already be spoken for (class, studying, hanging out with friends), carving out under an hour per day to stay healthy will have you thanking yourself in the coming weeks, months and even years!

A simple way to increase exercise may be by walking to class. You don’t always need to take the bus or shuttle… instead, get a friend to tag along and take the long route to class on foot. Another way is to ride your bike to class or even to take a bike ride off campus to explore the area around your school. And on days you’re crunched for time, you can multitask and do your reading for class while riding a stationary bike at the gym.

Need more ideas to help you get your daily exercise in? Check out this guide to exercising in college!

Other Student Life

Exercising in College

July 14, 2015
exercising in college

It’s almost time for school to start back up! It’s crazy how fast this summer has flown by. For incoming freshmen, I’m sure you’ve heard of the “freshman 15”. Well, sorry to break it to you, but it is not a myth. But it isn’t just a thing for freshmen, it can happen to anyone in college no matter what year! Working out probably isn’t the first thing on your mind in college, but it is extremely important for your overall health… and your grades. Studies show that students who exercise regularly at college get better grades. For many students, it’s difficult to balance working out with college life. Here are some helpful tips on how to make working out in college easier!

Taking the Long Route
Most people walk to class, which is already great exercise. However, a lot of people take the shortcuts to get from here to there. Making small changes in your schedule like skipping the shortcuts or not taking the bus are great ways to increase your daily exercise. Another great way is to take the stairs instead of an elevator.

Wearing Gym Clothes To Class
One of the biggest problems while being at college is lack of time. Not enough time to study. Not enough time to sleep. Not enough time to get to class. Well I have a fix for the common saying, “I don’t have enough time to workout!” Wear your gym clothes to class! It is a huge time saver! Instead of needing to go back home to get your clothes, you have it with you. If it is colder or you don’t feel comfortable wearing your clothes to class, you can pack your clothes into your backpack before leaving for class. This provides you more time to schedule in a workout! Plus, if you’re already dressed for a workout, it’ll be harder to make excuses not to do it.

Register for Exercise Classes that Count as Credits
There are a ton of extra curricular activities that can be added into your class schedule. Some of these include swimming, yoga, basketball, weight lifting, self-defense, and others! They basically have everything you can think of and many classes can be great stress busters, thanks to the great breathwork in a yoga class or even the heart-pumping cardio of a step aerobics class, to help you blow off some steam. My school at Indiana University even has a rock climbing class! This is great because they are usually 1 or 2 credits and basically automatically requires you to get exercise in your schedule. Getting class credits for this is also a major plus.

Make a Reward System
Getting yourself to workout is always tough for some people including me. A lot of people have different systems that help them work out. A system that I like to use is a reward system. If I workout at least 3 times a week, I reward myself with something I never get. Usually it is a meal at one of my favorite restaurants! Having something to look forward to, like your favorite latte from the campus coffee shop, helps a ton when you’re starting to do something you don’t exactly like to do like working out or waking up for those 8am classes.

I can’t stress enough how important exercising in college is! Not only does it help your physical body but it also helps your mental health! College is stressful enough and working out helps reduce some of that stress and can help you get better grades.