A healthy lifestyle can function as an attribute to overall well-being for students.
Campus Recreation dietitian Stacie Ellis said living on campus may benefit students and their time, but it can play a significant role in weight gain.
Poor diet and lack of exercise are detrimental to overall health, but a proper eating plan and a sense of self-control can be effective, Ellis said. Rapid weight gain and portion control are some of the main issues students struggle with.
“If you’re someone who eats a lot of processed food for instance, a lot of sugar or fatty foods, more than likely, you might not feel as energetic as someone who eats cold foods with lots of fruits and vegetables,” Ellis said.
The transition between high school and college can mean a decrease in daily activity, potentially leading to poor health and food choices. Lack of daily activity, poor snack choices and larger meal consumption are all factors of packing on pounds, Ellis said.
The daily minimum for fruit and vegetable intake is 2 to 3 servings, she said.
“If you do not get proper nutrition while you’re in school, you’re more likely to feel more tired and more fatigued while you’re studying,” Ellis said.
Exercise is significant for students to maintain because it can release endorphins. Making bodily health a priority can also serve as a boost in self-esteem and individual perception, Ellis said.
Business senior Ismail Aboukar finds time between classes to go to the gym about three to four times per week, a tradition he’s carried over from summer.
His overall fitness goal is to maintain a healthy weight while gaining more muscle, Aboukar said.
“I try to do at least a little bit of cardio and weight lifting every workout,” Aboukar said. “I’m trying to get more fit, more lean.”
While doing cardio workouts, he’s experienced reduced stress and an improvement in memory, he said.
“I feel like it helps me absorb more study material,” Aboukar said.
He said he struggles occasionally with his dietary choices, finding himself having multiple cheat days each week.
Students should think about how certain foods make them feel and how energy levels and self-esteem correlate with what you eat, Aboukar said. Staying hydrated and eating protein helps him balance his diet.
Baylore Walker, exercise science junior and personal trainer said nutrition and exercise come easy to him.
“Everything’s about moderation,” Walker said.
Making a meal schedule is beneficial to students planning and balancing a healthy diet, he said.
Being prepared is what helps guide Walker throughout his daily food choices, he said. He does so by keeping a log to track his daily calorie intake and exercise. This method helps balance nutritional habits, he said.
The food guide pyramid is a guideline that may work for some, but it’s a starting point, Walker said.
Doing small things such as vacuuming keeps you moving which can play a role in weight management, Walker said.
“Move around as much as possible,” he said.