More than an apple a day – Maintaining your health on campus

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Maintaining and prioritising one’s health should always be a priority, but there are some circumstances where an individual can find themselves overwhelmed with the responsibilities of their life all around them. University or college happens to be one of those times. The course load of the average university student spans over four courses every semester, and with each of those courses comes lectures, tutorials, study time, revision, research, and readings.

Amid the chaos of being a university or college student, you need to be able to find a balance that leaves you feeling better equipped to deal with the constant waves of information. Whether you need to get a suitable mattress to ensure you can get a comfortable night’s sleep, or you need to ask for professional assistance in the form of a campus psychologist, it is important that you understand where you stand with your health, so that you are able to strengthen it and ultimately perform at your peak – on all levels.

Your physical health

Something that students often sacrifice in the name of committing themselves to their studies is their sleeping pattern. While it may not seem like a big deal, your sleeping pattern actually has a far greater impact on you than you may realise. The body needs sleep (and a comfortable sleep, at that) to perform at its best, and anything less is doing your physical health a disservice.

Additionally, irregular sleeping patterns can have a negative impact on the body. For example, if you stay up until the early hours of the morning and sleep in until midday, only eating in the afternoons and late at night, your metabolism will be affected and you could potentially gain weight.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you must fuel your body correctly – especially if you are out of sync with your usual habits. Without fuelling the body properly, you will lack the energy to perform well in all aspects of your life – school included.

Your mental health

Mental health is a massive concern among higher education schools around the world. The average workload of a university or college student is borderline insane, and so inevitably mental health becomes a primary concern. In short, when we are stressed or in a chaotic head space, it is difficult to register normality and, as a result, some students experience a lack of mental stability that keeps them aligned with their usual mindset.

This is dangerous for obvious reasons, but most importantly it is crucial that you understand that even if your school does not openly advertise them, there (should) always be avenues to reach out to for mental help. Speak to your friends, your family, and your school to get an understanding of what those assistance channels are, even if you are not yet experiencing mental health problems. There is nothing wrong with knowing where to go for help before you need it; it is better to be over prepared than underprepared.

Your emotional health

Emotional health is somewhat like mental health, but the aspects and such are quite different. When you begin university or college, you either spend far more of your time on campus than at home, or moving away from home entirely to pursue your academic career. Go out and do things you enjoy to heighten that emotional stability balance.

Moving away from your usual support systems can be a shock to the system, and it is these support systems who are usually the ones that help you with you emotional balance the most. Make friends at school because it is these people who will become your new support network. There is also nothing wrong with calling home as often as you want to, or even visiting – your family will be happy to hear from you and happy to know you are safe.

HIIT – Is it overhyped?

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As impressive as fitness and health happiness sounds, it becomes discouraging when long hours of workouts that initially helped you shed a few pounds do not work anymore. HIIT(High intensity interval training) has set a rage in the fitness world due to its effective strategies that help in shredding stubborn fat. Fitness fanatics are giving high credibility to this new fitness regime and they swear by this rising fat loss technique. World leading fitness trainers are now incorporating HIIT in their personal training programs. While steady cardio routines like jogging and running on a treadmill might help you lose some inches but the results aren’t always visible. Traditional methods of workout have always been a go-to solution when your bulge wouldn’t budge but what most of us are unaware of, is that our bodies are machines that quickly adapt to regular routines and signal the brain towards progressive familiarity. Progressive familiarity is a process when the body sinks into a comfort zone due to a lack of new challenges and as a result, weight loss hits a plateau.

In today’s fast paced world where time constraint is an extremely challenging factor for battling stress and health issues, HIIT promises to combat all problems in just 20minutes.There have been a lot of debates and discussions on this topic to conclude if it really works as it promises or if it’s just another trending hype. To clear this doubt, researchers have proven that 15 minutes of HIIT can help a person burn more calories as compared to 35 minutes of traditional cardio workouts. Following a regular workout regime and sticking to the same exercise schedule seems nearly impossible for busy people. Complexity of modern world is eating into the fabric of our mindfulness and to top that, busy work life schedules are just making lives more difficult. Setting aside time to hit the gym or waking up early to go for a jog is quite challenging and it’s not only time but boredom, lack of motivation and low self-confidence act as barriers to personal fitness. HIIT has lately been making rounds in the health and wellness world, the top most reason being that it can be done at the comfort of one’s home without the requirement of any equipment. 20 minutes in your living room or your bedroom is all you need to perform an HIIT workout.

You can find an array of HIIT workout routines online that you can personalize and fit it into your schedule. A time saving, short and an effective exercise is what all of us are looking for and HIIT just seems to fit into the wish list.

Extensive studies have shown that HIIT induces a higher and longer afterburn effect than steady state cardio. This effect lasts up to 24-48 hours post an HIIT workout, which means you will be losing fat while sleeping or simply when at rest. HIIT involves quick and short bursts of intense exercises followed by less recovery periods. For example, intense sprinting for 30secs followed by a 10secs rest with 2-3 repetitions and then altered by a different exercise in a similar manner. A usual HIIT session lasts for about 15-30 minutes which involves an array of exercises like jumping jacks, burpees, mountain climbers, jump squats etc. that not only make the exercise effective and challenging but also make the workout interesting, unlike the regular jog. It has undoubtedly earned the winning title for improving sluggish metabolism and heart health. If you suffer from a slow metabolic rate then HIIT is the answer to all your problems.

However, with the goodies comes the bad side too, if you suffer from injuries and joint problems then HIIT might not be for you. HIIT workouts are to be limited only 2-3 times per week that is because your body needs rest to recover. So, if you are thinking how a 20 minutes of quick exercise done only twice or thrice a week can possibly help in weight loss, then here’s what you need to know: Although the workout is said to be effective and a time saver, some people are making the mistake of doing HIIT too frequently and not allowing their body to rest and recover. This results in muscle fatigue and injury.

Moreover, if you are a newbie in the field of fitness or suffer from any kind of injury that restricts your physical movement then you might not want to jump onto the bandwagon of this workout trend. Fitness experts recommend taking things at a slower pace before your mind and body is completely accustomed to this form of intensity training. Since physical and mental fitness have increasingly become a necessity to cope with everyday stress and health complications, following simple forms of physical activities such as yoga too can benefit you in the end. It is very important to understand the overall aspects before you leap into any kind of trending workout modules.