By Melissa Beneke
Between busy schedules, homework, jobs and other activities, wellness can easily be placed on the back burner by students.
Wellness contains three major components: a physical component, a mental component, a social support component. All three of these components are crucial, yet it can be difficult to really take time for our health.
Mary Jo Leggett, Wellness Center nurse and Cheryl Block, Wellness Center director offer a number of tips for staying healthy.
Leggett says that breakfast is the most important part of the day. Without breakfast, your body does not have the necessities for the day.
“You wake up in the morning and your tank is empty.” Leggett said. “You need to fill it.”
Block suggests stopping by La Carte and grabbing some fruit or cereal.
Drink Less Sugar
When it comes down to it, soda, Gatorade, and other sugary drinks are almost entirely pure sugar.
According to the American Medical Association, the average American sugar consumption is 150 lbs a year. Drinking up to an extra 150 calories a day can lead to 15 lbs of weight gain a year.
Let me break it down by drinks:
1 can of Red Bull equals 6 tablespoons of sugar
1 20z Gatorade equals 8 tbs. of sugar
1 20z bottle of Dole Orange juice equals 13 tbs. of sugar
1 20z can of Pepsi or other soda equals at least 16 tbs. of sugar
One easy way to cut back on some of the sugar is to swap a sugary beverage with a glass of water. If you do not like the taste of water, you can always add a lemon, orange, lime or even cucumber slice to give it some taste.
Control Portion Size
One way to really help stay healthy is to control your portion size. Many times, we forget how much a portion size really is. Measuring out your portions is actually really important or at least knowing how much an approximate portion size is.
“The portions [that we take] are massive” Leggett said.
Block and Leggett offered a few quick tips for knowing a good portion size.
The size of a pancake is the size of a CD
1 serving of M&Ms is one small handful equaling 250 calories.
“Eat what you want, but know what you are eating.” Block said in response to healthy eating. You don’t have to make a change, but at least be conscious of the changes you can make.
Take some time to relax
Block says everyone needs to think of “relaxation as a practice”. Many people do not take enough time out for themselves. This is why the Wellness Center offers a relaxation station in their office.
Fitness is also another important part of health. Taking simple steps to improve your physical fitness can be as easy as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, grabbing a friend and going to the Fitness Center of a Yoga class or just walking more.
Block suggests that it is better to do one thing at a time though. Don’t get stuck doing “too much too soon.” Choose one or two things a month to change about your habits and tell someone or ask someone to do it with you. That way, you can have a solid support system.
Also, check out the Wellness Center and grab a food journal or a pedometer. The Wellness Center is a great resource for students who are looking to stay healthy.