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Student Health: 7 Ways To Maintain It At University

For most students, starting at school is the first time in their lives when they won’t have their parents to help them. 

Although the freedom can be exhilarating, it’s easy to forget to upkeep some of the things your parents did to take care of you.

A significant thing students can overlook is the importance of taking care of their health.

Here are seven simple things students can do to ensure they don't put themselves at risk of illness, or harm, while they get used to taking care of themselves.

1. Maintain your diet

When you're finally out of your parents' home, it's easy to give in and eat whatever you want- whenever you want it.

Even though this can be fun and feel like a huge life step, it's vital to keep in mind that what you eat affects every part of your life.

Enjoy your food, but make sure you're getting enough fiber, greens, and protein as well. Please pay attention to portion sizes, and be careful that you're not overdoing it.

Although the school cafeteria may be easier to get to, and the options can be tasty on occasion - look into getting your groceries. 

Not only are there healthier options in stores, but they'll also be cheaper than having to eat cafeteria food the whole time you're in school.

2. Cleanliness is everything

To avoid almost every viral illness, keep up on personal hygiene.  Wash your hands, carry hand sanitizer, and try to touch your face as little as possible.

If you feel like you're coming down with something, respect other people's health by sneezing or coughing into your shirt rather than your elbow or hands.  

This tip also comes down to where you're living.  If you're in an apartment, those are usually more sanitary than dorm rooms. 

Use a mattress protector for keeping a dorm bed clean to keep yourself from being in contact with whoever slept on it last, and deep clean your whole dorm room when you first move in.

Shower after using public pools, and bring hand sanitizer if you use public transit.

It may seem overwhelming at first, but small changes can add up and ensure you don't have to go to the hospital.

3. Listen to your body

Despite having lived in your body for at least sixteen years, you might not notice every warning sign of illness. 

If you start feeling warmer, losing your appetite, losing weight- or sleeping more (or less) at an extreme, talk to a doctor.

If you're, understandably, worried about the cost of a doctor's visit, consider going to a low cost clinic instead.  Not only are they less expensive, but the wait time is also shorter, and some offer student discounts.

Any extensive and sudden changes in vision, headaches, joint soreness, can mean a significant problem if they get ignored.

4. Exercise

Burn off some energy, and ensure your body stays as sharp as your mind!  Working out can decrease stress, and will let you focus and feel better.  Do what feels best for your body.

Consider joining local sports teams; camaraderie makes working out more relaxed and more rewarding.  You won't have to feel like exercise is a chore when you're doing it with friends.

5. Socialise healthily

College is known for parties, and although these can be great for boosting emotional health, they can wreak havoc on your physical health. 

It's better not to drink heavily, but if you do, be sure to hydrate regularly during and after.

Aim for socializing in a way that helps build a bond with your friends. Take up a hobby class together, or drive out to a beach together every other week.

6. Mental health

Your brain is a functioning organ, just like any other.  Socialise with friends to keep it healthy, make sure that if you're thinking dark thoughts, or feeling upset most of the time that you talk to a professional. 

Some colleges have therapists, but most counselors on campus are only there for your educational woes.

Check your insurance to see if it offers things like online chat-based therapy since this is less likely to take time out of your busy schedule.

7. Regular visits

Keep up with your doctor's visits.  Your parents might not be scheduling them anymore, and if that's the case, that means you need to take it by the reigns yourself. 

Regular visits will ensure your health is up to par and can catch illness early.  Being regular also stands with dentist visits, which are just as important.