Every year during the first week of spring semester, the Turner Center is packed with students. But by the third week of school, the gym is back to normal with just the regular visitors. we all make new year’s resolutions to workout more, eat healthier and cut out bad habits, but the routine never seems to stick. Here are some motivational tips to help you be consistent with your healthy habits.
Many students on the University of Mississippi campus feel compelled to exercise on a regular basis, but constantly exercising is not the only way to live a healthy lifestyle. Personal trainers of the Ole Miss Turner Center say that there are three imperative health choices commonly overlooked by college students.
Every college student is deprived of it and each of them knows this. What students may not know are the long-term health side effects of sleep deprivation and how much better their lives could be if they just got more sleep.
Even the trainers at Ole Miss admitted to faltering when it comes to getting a healthy amount of sleep.
“I can see the difference in every aspect of my life when I am sleeping properly and when I am not; class is easier, I am not grouchy all the time,” said Joe Campodonico, accountancy senior and personal trainer at the Turner Center.“I feel better about having to go to work because I am not tired.”Also, be careful when it comes to naps.Napping can be good to recharge yourself, but only when you are catching up on lost sleep. Otherwise, you’ll mess up your body’s sleep schedule, lowering your quality of sleep at night.
If you find yourself getting tired after meals and in the middle of the day, get up and try to do something stimulating to avoid the temptation to nap. You could wash dishes, do laundry, call a friend or go for a walk.
One goal to set for yourself is to pick one week and during that week, try to go to sleep 30 minutes earlier than you normally would have. Most importantly, have a schedule and stick to it.
Drinking water is the same concept as with a diet: If your body does not get enough of what it needs it holds on to whatever it has (fat, sugar, water). So, if people avoid water in order to not look bloated, their bodies will hold on to whatever water they have left, creating the very thing they tried to avoid: a swollen, bloated body.
Drinking water regularly will help keep the right amount of water in your system.
Most students on campus have already done this, but buy a reusable water bottle. Ole Miss has free water refill stations all over campus; you have no excuse to go thirsty. Drinking more water will improve your hair, your skin and even speed up your metabolism. If you go out to eat, do not give into the temptation of soda. Order water and try to drink the entire glass before you get your food. That will not only hydrate you, but also prevent you from overeating.
You can’t lose weight in a healthy way by solely cutting down the number of calories you intake. For instance, banking your calories for the end of the day to indulge in a double cheeseburger won’t help you out in the long run.
Your body will hold on to this bad fat. Eating several healthy snacks throughout the entire day will make you happier and much better off.
If you make any resolutions this year try to improve each of these three areas, take one small step at a time. Do not try to quit bad habits cold turkey. It just doesn’t work, and in the end it may be detrimental to your mental state.
Easing into new habits will help them stick.
“Just do a little something to improve each of those areas, and I think (students) will see a huge improvement across the board,” Campodonico said. “So if you do not exercise at all, just make it a point to work out for 20 minutes three times a week.
“And if you only get five hours of sleep a night, just say ‘I am going to go to bed 30 minutes early every day this week,’ or ‘I am going to eat one more salad instead of something unhealthy.’” Theater senior Angelica Spence works at the Turner Center as a group fitness instructor. She said there are substitutions to fight that sweet tooth.
Greek yogurt and Greek frozen yogurt are alternatives to ice cream. They’re really high in protein and contain a lot less fat and sugar in comparison and can still be sweet.
“Sometimes I will take a regular yogurt and add granola or almond shreds,” Spence said. “If I want something super sweet, I will add mini dark chocolate chips in it, to get that chocolate craving.”
Cookie lovers can try out “Who Nu?” cookies. They contain a lot of vitamins and fiber, which is critical for keeping your body full and satiated.
“They have chocolate chip and Oreo versions, and those have been my life savers when it comes to cookies because you can eat three or four and not feel bad, because it is only 120 calories,” Spence said.
If you have a sweet tooth, which most humans do, don’t stress about it. You know the right thing to do; you know whether you should eat that third cookie or save it for later. The key in this case is self-discipline. Push yourself mentally and set a goal ahead of time.
Another trick when it comes to sweets is to try not to bring any junk food into your house or apartment. If a whole bag of cookies is sitting next to you, it is understandable to indulge, but if they’re not there to begin with, overeating is no longer an issue.
A large misconception about changing eating habits is that you only see results in your weight, but what people may not realize is eating healthier can change almost every aspect of your life. This goes for modifying your water intake and sleep habits as well.
Making little changes in a healthier direction will start good habits that will carry through into your adult life and in the end will help you to live a happy and healthy life.