From High School Athlete to College Student: How to Stay Healthy and Active

Aug 14, 2021

Michelle Bogert

by Michelle Bogert
PT, DPT | Paradise Valley Location

Transitioning from high school to college is a big step in a person’s life. College is filled with new opportunities and new challenges that make it difficult to stay healthy and active. Whether you’re starting college soon or have already begun your collegiate journey, there are plenty of ways to stay healthy and active while pursuing your degree. Within this article, we’ll look at four of the best ways to be active and promote your health in college and beyond.

Tip 1: Eating right

Everyone knows that it’s important to “eat right,” but what exactly does that mean? Two of the easiest ways to “eat right” are to watch your calories and where they come from. There are lots of calorie counting apps available on IOS and the Google Play Store to help you keep track of what you’re putting in your body. Features you should look for include calorie counting, nutrition breakdown, and custom goals. Additionally, not all calories are created equal. It is important to consume calories from the right sources. For example, 300 calories from pizza is not as good as 300 calories from nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, or lean meat. Finally, drinking enough water is an important part of eating right and dieting. Water makes up a large percentage of our body and plays an important role in digestion. The Mayo Clinic recommends that men drink 3.7 liters per day, and women drink 2.7 liters per day. These values also depend on factors such as exercise and climate. If you exercise or live somewhere hot/humid you should drink more than the recommended amounts.

Tip 2: Exercising

Exercise is an important part of staying healthy and active while in college. Studies show that exercise is not only beneficial for your body but your mind as well. Taking a full load of college courses can be tough. However, your class schedule is typically the same from week to week. This means that you can schedule exercise before, between, or after your daily classes. Find a friend or gym buddy with the same schedule to help keep you accountable. Another option would be to join a club or intramural sports. This would allow you to get active while competing with your peers. If regimented exercise and team sports aren’t quite your style, then try walking more. Walking is an effective, low-intensity form of exercise that can be done all day long. Walk to class, walk to the store, or walk to get food. The steps will add up very quickly!

Tip 3: Sleeping more

Sleep plays an important part in staying healthy and active. Without sleep your body and mind function at sub-optimal levels. You can suffer from a lack of energy, mental fog, and weight gain. By sleeping 7-8 hours per night, you allow your body and mind to refresh and prepare for the next day. You’re more likely to exercise and eat healthy when you feel well-rested versus when you’re tired. The best way to ensure you’re getting enough sleep is to follow a specific bedtime routine. Additionally, going to bed and waking up at the same time each day also helps establish a healthy sleep schedule that sets you up for success each day.

Tip 4: Managing stress

Let’s face it, college is much more stressful than high school. Living with greater independence, more difficult classes, and tougher choices brings a new level of stress that makes high school look easy. Luckily, there are several healthy strategies you can use to combat the stresses of college life. Exercise is a healthy outlet that many students choose to help them cope with stress. Exercise has a double benefit because it’s good for you and it helps reduce stress. When you get stuck working on a difficult assignment, don’t be afraid to step away and take a break. This can help you reframe your thinking and bypass the problems.
College is a stressful time that provides many obstacles when it comes to staying healthy and active. There are a few strategies such as eating right, exercising, sleeping more, and managing stress which can help you deal with college life. Using these strategies can help ensure that you are healthy, active, and successful in your college career.
Schedule a free injury assessment today with a Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy Clinic near you! We want to help you Get Your Move Back!

+ Share this content…


Related Articles

Subscribe to receive our latest Dr. written content (solutions and wellness tips) delivered fresh to your inbox. It's FREE!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

We are Medical HIPPA Compliant and will not share your information with anyone.