Going Back To School: 3 Tips For Getting Back To A Balanced Lifestyle



"We hope you enjoy this guest blog from Natalie Hawley, a University of Kansas senior, discussing her outlook on balancing a healthy lifestyle and tips for staying fit in college.” 

Now that I’m a college student, I’ve learned that summer break doesn’t mean what it used to. The days of sleeping in, staying up late and filling the time in-between with whatever you want, are over. For someone caught in the middle of childhood and adulthood, my summer months consisted of working a full-time job from 8-5 and still wanting to seize the joys of summer until heading back to school. These joys included baseball games filled with BBQ and beer, late-night ice cream runs, sitting on lake docks, bike rides and catching up with old friends. Unfortunately, these summer pleasures took up the majority of my time that I should have set aside for frequent exercise and healthy eating. I’ve heard time and time again that living a healthy lifestyle is all about balance, but I found the little things I did, like packing my lunch, taking the stairs, and playing recreational softball ultimately didn’t cancel out the indulgences.  I fell to the temptations of donuts at the office, having one more drink at happy hour and staying up late with friends. Now that it is time to start packing up the boxes and moving back to college, I need a change in my routine to get back on track with staying active.

Figuring out how to balance a healthy lifestyle while in college is like trying to solve a never-ending algebra equation.

(Pizza + Beer)^2 – sleep + studying – free time – money X (pressure + stress) = ERROR

Below are my first three steps to try and get closer to solving the equation and live a more balanced and active lifestyle. The following are simple instructions to boost the beginning of my journey back to being fit and healthy.  

  1. Make a grocery list– Although you may think a college budget only allows for fast food, many grocery stores offer coupons and customer rewards cards. Finding these deals will allow you to get a lot of healthy foods for a low cost. Start by writing down a list of items in a variety of food groups. Only get what is on the list and never go food shopping when hungry to avoid buying unnecessary items! Here is an example of my grocery list.
  • Yogurt
  • Granola
  • Strawberries, peaches, grapes, bananas
  • Spinach, zucchini, sweet potatoes, cherry tomatoes
  • Skim milk
  • Eggs
  • Whole grain bread
  • Hummus
  • Carrots
  • Pretzels
  • Chicken
  • Black bean burgers

2. Make time for physical activity- Going for a walk around campus is perfect for students getting             familiar with where their classes are at the beginning of the semester. Grab a friend and your class schedule and get your steps in. Most college recreation facilities offer fitness classes. If you need extra motivation, see what the rec offers. Usually they offer free classes at the beginning of the school year, so go to as many as you can and see what you like. If you don’t have time to go to the gym consistently, try biking or walking to class instead of taking the bus or driving.

3. Get on a sleep schedule– Sleep is so important! Not just for avoiding under eye circles, but it can be beneficial for your weight, mind and overall health. If you are too tired, and lack energy, you may be tempted to skip that workout you planned on getting in. Lack of sleep affects your hunger and fullness hormones, so when you don’t get in an adequate 7-9 hours at night, it signals your brain to eat more food. It’s as simple as going to bed earlier for early morning classes the next day and pressing snooze on the weekends after a late night.

These small tips are easy enough to implement into my daily life. It is the jumpstart I need to get my active and healthy lifestyle back in balance. I will record my journey and share my challenges, triumphs, progress, and even more tips and tricks. 


The post Going Back To School: 3 Tips For Getting Back To A Balanced Lifestyle appeared first on Garmin Blog.

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