Healthy living

Going away to university is a great opportunity - you’ll meet new friends, become more independent and learn more about yourself, your limits and your abilities, but make sure you remember to live a healthy lifestyle too.

It’s important to know what lazy habits you could fall into and this section is all about how to counteract those unhealthy trends and lazy attitudes. Your course may only last four years, but a poor diet and lack of exercise will linger around for many years to come in post-university life!

It’s easy to fall into lazy habits and a poor lifestyle. Takeaways, pizzas and ready meals tend to be seen as the miracle answer but they are really unhealthy if eaten on a daily basis, and can be really expensive in the long run. Socialising is a major part of uni life - with loads of clubs and societies to join, each holding social events, as well as nights out with friends, you can find yourself staying up all night. It’s amazing how you can become susceptible to a less healthy routine once you go to university.

Here’s a guide to health and well-being at uni:

  • Relax and unwind - Learn how to balance your work load and leisure time. Give yourself time to relax by perhaps taking a long bath, reading a good book or watching some TV. This will help avoid you getting too stressed and worn out.
  • Daily exercise - Most halls or student houses aren’t too far from the main campus, this gives you the ideal opportunity to walk or cycle to uni. It will become more of a routine rather than a chore.
  • Meal times - Planning your meals is a great idea to buy the right amount of food you need and make sure you’re eating 3 regular and varied meals a day. Make sure to include your 5 a day!
  • Breakfast - It is the most important meal of the day as it will enable you to think and pay attention in lecture. Take 5 minutes to have a bowl of cereal or some toast.
  • Drinking - Alcohol puts a strain on your liver and other organs. Make sure you drink water at regular intervals and give yourself a break from drinking too much.
  • Keeping fit - We’ve already mentioned how to get some exercise into your daily routine but that’s not enough to stay fit and healthy. Your SU will offer a wide range of sports club and teams to get involved in. You could always joint your uni gym & sports centre as membership will be reasonably cheap. Or you could even start jogging round your local park or area.
  • Sleep - Regular, good sleep during term times means you won’t be pale, grumpy and tired. It can be difficult to keep to a routine of 8 hours’ sleep a night, so here is some advice to give you a good chance to get enough sleep: buy blackout curtains to keep daylight at bay; try studying at the library instead of your bedroom - your bedroom is a place for relaxing; buy some earplugs or an eye mask if light and/or noise is bothering you.
  • Naps - If you need to nap in the daytime, take a 20-30 minute power nap. This gives your body just enough time to recharge and you’ll be surprised how fresh and vitalised you feel after. 2-3 hour long daytime naps can cause you to feel grumpy and can give you a nasty headache when you wake.