How to Stay Healthy Without Obsessing Over It

September 6th, 2017 at 2:00am

College is back in swing! That means that so are our unmonitored sleep schedules, fraternity parties, and late night pizza runs. With so much excitement starting up again, you may already be setting goals to stay healthy and fit this semester. While some people interpret staying “healthy” as not gaining weight, this can go in the other direction as well. No one wants to pack on the freshman 15, but losing it can be just as drastic.

In order to stay true to your fitness goals without going overboard, here are some healthy habits you can implement.

PHOTO: Kelly Rogowski

Make sure there is flexibility in your workout plan. A good way to do this is to set ranges, rather than rules. Instead of saying you will work out four days a week, set a range. A good range could be two to five days a week or four to six. Make sure the maximum number is achievable for you and that the minimum allows you to back down when necessary.

Be mindful of what you are gaining from the experience of working out. While exercising can be a healthy way to relieve stress throughout the week, over-exercising can indicate an unhealthy body image or that you are avoiding something in your personal life. If you find yourself missing out on social gatherings or constantly beating yourself up about your physique, chances are your schedule could use a little wiggle-room.

PHOTO: Kelly Rogowski

Try yoga. Yoga is a great form of exercise for people who are looking to be more mindful about their approach to working out. The practice of yoga combines strength, stretching, and balancing, with a heightened awareness of one’s physical and mental state. It is a practice of acceptance as well as improvement.

When setting goals regarding your diet, be responsive to your body’s needs. Ask yourself if you are feeling hungry and if the food you are craving will satisfy that hunger. If the answer is yes, then go for it!

Remember to stay hydrated during a workout and to eat before and after. You may also want to refrain from categorizing food as healthy or unhealthy. While some people like to stay away from certain fats or sugars to lose weight, doing too much of this could feed into an obsession similar to that of working-out too much.

Additionally, nutritionists say that withholding food from your body when you are hungry has the potential to slow down your metabolism and rev up your cravings for later.

Still, it is important to ask yourself what you are considering eating and why. Eating a few cookies is painless, but that doesn’t mean we’re advocating for you to eat the whole box. You can write down your meals in a planner to make sure you are not eating too little or too much.

PHOTO: Kelly Rogowski

Ultimately, as long as you are in tune with your body, you can do your best to make good decisions with your food and exercise routine in college.

How do you create healthy habits in college? Let us know in the comments below!