3 Ways to Stay Healthy in College and Not Drain Your Bank Account
When you go away to college, you don't have to sacrifice your health in order to save money. There are plenty of creative ways to stay healthy without draining your bank account.
Affordable Ways to Stay Healthy in College
College is so expensive that you simply don't have the money to lead a healthy lifestyle, right? Organic foods cost more than microwave food, and that gym membership is just so expensive! Not to mention, you're stressed and keep getting sick because all your friends are sick. Now is the time to turn that all around. Follow three simple steps and you'll lead a healthy and cheap lifestyle in no time.
1. Eat Better
Ramen may be a college student's best friend cost-wise, but that sodium level is not. You don't have to buy fatty and artificial microwave food in order to save money, and the health benefits from other cheap foods can be far greater.
Beans and rice are two of the cheapest things a student can buy in bulk and there are numerous ways to turn these into delicious, filling and healthy meals. You can add cream soups to the rice, make your own burritos by putting the beans in tortillas, make casseroles, add spices or just mix in a little butter. The possibilities are nearly endless, and the price of just one bag of beans is lower than what you'd have to pay to get the same amount of microwavable food.
A fresh apple is an easy and green way to get a quick snack and a good way to stay healthy. Fresh fruit is cheap at any grocery store and can sometimes come in bulk. Picking up a piece of fruit rather than microwaving a frozen burrito will also reward you with more vitamins.
Cut out fast food. It may be cheap, but your body will pay for it in the long run. The artificial foods, the high fat content and salt can gain you excess pounds and can stick with you in your arteries as well.
To stay fit, all it's really going to cost you is time. While gyms may have nice equipment, the membership costs may keep you from getting the exercise you need to stay healthy. Lucky for you, the biggest treadmill in the world is right outside. That's right, the road.
Go out jogging or walking once a day regularly, even just for ten minutes. It will keep your muscles working, your heart pumping and of course burn off extra calories you might have gotten from that party last night. Being out will also get you some vitamin D from the sun, which can assist with step three of this list.
To work on arms and chest you don't need an expensive machine. Push-ups, pull-ups and lifting weights work just fine. Don't have a set of weights? You don't need to go out and buy anything. Find some things in your room that are heavy to pick up and just practice lifting them and doing curls. They may not be shaped like barbells but they'll work the same way.
3. Get Sick Less
Believe it or not, this one is actually in your control and a lot of it comes from steps one and two. Sometimes a bug is going to go around and there will be nothing much you can do. But for the rest of the time, there are some simple habits to fall into that are going to save you money by keeping you healthy.
First, wash your hands regularly. Not just after you use the restroom but also before you eat, after you get up in the morning, after classes where you have labs or group work and even after being in elevators or on escalators. Make it a good washing, too. Apply soap, rub until you get a good lather and then wash for however long it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice.
A major tip is not to hang around with your sick friends. You may want to show support, but a simple e-mail or text message should do. Giving a friend with a cold a hug is just as likely to give you the sniffles later as it is to make them feel better.
Get a good night's sleep whenever you can. Even though you're stressed and you have a million things to do, a good night's sleep keeps your body working efficiently and makes you less susceptible to getting sick.
You may notice that all the tips in this section cost you no money at all. Think for a moment how much it costs to buy tissues, Nyquil and other cold or flu remedies. Isn't it easier and cheaper to just take the steps to keep from getting sick in the first place?
Want to figure out some more cheap foods? Try beefing up your ramen while cutting down costs!