Everyday student health tips


For college students surrounded by fast food and temptation, living a healthy lifestyle is not easy. But there are a few things every student can do to shed a couple of pounds and be more energetic during the long semesters.

A change in diet is one of the first things people think of when they want to lose weight.

Trafalgar Health Centre nurse Laurie Ritchie says, “Everything is good in moderation, have a little not too much.”

Ritchie recommends bringing lunch from home instead of buying food every day. Eating campus fast food once in a while is fine in small portions. Preparing lunch ahead of time saves money and allows students to control what goes in their bodies.

Most people don’t know what is in the food they’re buying at fast food restaurants. According to Harvey’s website, an original cheeseburger is 460 calories and regular fries are 320. With a soft drink, one meal can exceed 1,000 calories.

Second-year student Alexis Lopez is a good example for others trying to make a change.

I usually get something like a Subway oven-roasted chicken sub, whole grain bread, minimum sauces, lettuce and no cheese or anything,” said Lopez a Visual Merchandising Arts student.

Next time you’re in a grocery store, buy a few things for school Ritchie said.Try to avoid high-fat, greasy food, high sugar, and junk food.

According to Ritchie, the Real Canadian Superstore at Dundas and Trafalgar has a dietitian who teaches students how to shop. This is especially useful for first-year students who have never lived alone before.

Another thing to consider is the amount of water you’re drinking. With many studies debunking the eight glass a day theory, there isn’t a specific number. Try to drink water instead of other sugary beverages. Making the switch will help cut down calorie intake.

Moving on from diet to exercise, staying committed to a workout schedule during the year is hard. Nilson Tang has struggled with finding time to exercise since attending Sheridan.

“Right now I don’t work out but I usually work out five times a week. School just keeps me busy all the time,” said Tang, an Applied Science student.

A tip for students in this situation is to do small activities during the week rather than long workouts.

“Walking, jogging, home DVDs, online 30-day challenges are all good alternatives,” said Ritchie.

Instead of spending an hour in the gym every couple days, get active once or twice a day.

Go for a jog in the morning or play a sport after class. This will give your schedule more flexibility but also eliminate the excuse of not enough time. Every day there is an opportunity to do something active, even as simple as parking farther away and walking to school.

The objective is to make progress each day. According to Ritchie, 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise is enough.

Those lacking energy throughout the day may need to adjust their sleeping pattern.

The average student should be getting seven to nine hours of sleep,” said Ritchie. This is the ideal amount to help get through a three-hour lecture. According to webmd.com lack of sleep dumbs people down by impairing attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning and problem-solving.

Sleep also helps weight loss by eliminating late-night snacks. Plan your day ahead of time to make sure there is enough room for sleep afterward.

With hundreds of students in the same building we are always exposed to different germs and sicknesses. Ritchie said students should be washing their hands at every opportunity.

Not every five minutes but after classes and during bathroom trips. This will help prevent illnesses from passing along illnesses.