Tips for practicing healthy habits and managing your health at university

Student sitting outside using laptop

Starting a new chapter at university is an exciting time. There are lots of new things to learn academically, new things to try, and new people to meet. You also might be new to managing your health. There are many things to consider to keep yourself healthy. Keep reading for our top 10 ways to stay healthy while at university:

  1. Get some sleep – Make sure that among all the excitement you still take time to get your daily zzz’s. Studies show that 7 to 9 hours a day is important to keep your immune system functioning optimally, and also improves your ability to focus on your studies.
  2. Stay physically active – Physical activity has been shown to increase energy, improve concentration, reduce stress, and help you maintain a healthy body weight.
  3. Keep well hydrated – Drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water daily to keep your brain and body working well.
  4. Wash your hands often – Washing your hands with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of illness.
  5. Connect with friends and family – Studying is important, but making and maintaining your social connections is also important. Make sure you set aside time to connect with friends and family for non-academic activities, or just to let them know how you are doing.
  6. Eat healthy – Balance, variety, and moderation are key things to remember when it comes to eating healthy. Choose foods from all the food groups, including lots of vegetables and fruit, whole grains, lean meats and meat alternatives, and low-fat dairy or milk alternatives.
  7. Keep your vaccinations up-to-date – Protect yourself against communicable diseases like Meningitis, Hepatitis B, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Influenza, and HPV by making sure your immunizations are current.
  8. Practice safer sex – Use condoms to protect yourself and your partner from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or unplanned pregnancy.
  9. Drink responsibly – If you choose to drink have a plan. Pace yourself and always have a safe way to get home.
  10. Schedule time for self-care activities – Find whatever makes you happy and relaxed and make sure you set some time aside in your week for that activity. Whether it is drawing, practicing a musical instrument, running, knitting, or taking a walk in nature, make time for whatever brings you a little bit of joy and happiness in the week.

If you find you are having trouble managing your health or are struggling with your mental health, consider contacting a Campus Wellness office. Health Services (519-888-4096) and Counselling Services (519-888.4567 ext. 32655) are here to help you with your concerns.

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