By Maggie Zeng, UC Davis Nutrition Peer Counselor
Happy New Year Aggies. Welcome to 2020!!!
We are all excited about the new year and new quarter and making time for a few healthy habits can help keep you from getting the winter sniffles. Keeping a healthy lifestyle and getting plenty of nutrients from a variety of foods are important to staying healthy and energetic. As college students, though, it can be hard to accomplish due to packed schedules and the stress of rigorous academics.
Here are a few quick tips that will help you establish some small healthy habits
- Eat vegetables.
Nutritionists recommend consuming around 50% of the total volume of food from vegetables and fruits each meal. Dark-green, orange, red, purple and yellow vegetables and fruits contain numerous antioxidants, vitamins such as vitamins A, C, E, and beta-carotene. These nutrients help the immune system stay nourished to fight off infections. Try keeping a container of baby carrots and other cut veggies in your pack for midday snacking or to make up where a meal is short.
- Exercise regularly.
Regular exercise helps build a stronger immune system. Running/walking and biking are all great ways to get exercise and boost your body’s ability to fight the many winter viruses. Some studies show that “moderate-intensity” exercise may cut down the number of colds you get; this includes walking briskly and bicycling to school. Take an extra loop around campus while biking home after class!
- Get plenty of sleep.
Sleep is crucial to staying healthy. Many college students sacrifice sleep to stay up late for schoolwork. Most adults need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Adequate and high-quality sleep can keep students energetic throughout the day and help them build a strong immune system to prevent illness. Do you need to rethink your sleep routine to hit that 7 – 8 hours?
Do any of these three habits need your attention now to help prevent illness later? If so, take a moment to strategize strengthening them. Let us know in the comments and stay healthy this quarter!