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health and wellness

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 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.