Typical Health Issues Among College Students

While it may seem insignificant to focus on nutrition and exercise when you’re young, developing a routine of healthy habits now will pay off later on. Try to stay away from the following problems that a lot of students run into when juggling their schoolwork with other obligations and responsibilities:

  • Bad Eating Habits: Overeating fast food and other comparable meals deprives you of the nutrients you need to stay mentally and physically awake, even though they may appear like time and money savers.
  • Sleep Deprivation: Students regrettably experience sleep deprivation when they schedule study and social activities. Staying up too late or pulling “all-nighters” harms your energy and drive levels.
  • Stress: Throughout your scholastic career, assignments, tests, and other tasks may cause you to feel anxious. In addition to other obligations and a demanding work schedule, stress levels may escalate to previously unheard-of levels in your life. It takes time and effort to learn stress management techniques, but doing so leads to a more positive approach to achieving your objectives.

Do these worries sound like you?

If you have never given your health and fitness any thought, consider the benefits of starting today. Consider how you can alter your present habits and take a more constructive action.

Mental Wellness

One of the biggest concerns for college students is their mental health. Problems can have a major and detrimental influence on students’ lives, ranging from eating disorders and addiction to sadness and anxiety.

Thankfully, many support services and related resources are offered by schools and universities; more resources can be obtained from independent groups in your neighborhood as well as state and municipal agencies.

Physical Condition

Maintaining physical health entails taking care of your body and ensuring it functions as it should. Getting enough exercise and developing healthy sleeping habits are the two main areas of concentration for maintaining your physical health.

Look below at the advantages of these pursuits and the tools at your disposal for support.

  • Lowers Stress: Engaging in physical activity can aid in lower stress. While it is impossible to totally prevent stress from entering our lives, we may actively lessen its effects by engaging in physical activities like yoga, running, and walking, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
  • Makes Your Body Stronger: While weight loss, improved physical strength, and endurance are some of the more evident advantages of exercise, there are other benefits as well that make it imperative to incorporate into your daily routine.
  • Enhances Sleep Quality: According to research cited by the National Sleep Foundation, engaging in physical activity can help you sleep better at night and stay awake during the day.
  • Boosts Metabolic Rate: One of the main strategies to speed up your metabolism and burn more calories is to exercise.
  • Enhances Brain Function: Do you want your memory to get better? Recent research from the University of Texas at Dallas has shown that engaging in physical activity, such as riding a stationary bike or treadmill, enhances not only memory but also other cognitive abilities and overall brain health.
  • Enhances Mood: Exercise, according to the Mayo Clinic, enhances mood by causing your brain to generate endorphins and other chemicals that impact your general sense of well-being. You can become happier and more self-assured through exercise.

Americans can enhance their general health by following the physical activity standards provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Adults should aim for 150–300 minutes of moderate-intense or 75–150 minutes of vigorous-intense physical activity each week, according to HHS recommendations.

Select Your Degree of Intensity

The following are some instances from the Department of Health and Human Services:

  • Moderate Intensity: Doubles tennis, walking at a moderate pace, swimming and water aerobics, cycling at a speed under ten miles per hour, housework or gardening, ballroom dance, and active yoga
  • Effortless exercise: sprinting or running, swimming laps, cycling at a speed of 10 mph or more, tennis singles, leaping rope, heavy yard labor, hiking uphill, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), intense dance or fitness programs

As you assess where and when to raise the frequency and intensity of your efforts, use your current level of exercise as a benchmark. When exercising, pay close attention to your breathing and heart rate to gauge your degree of activity and fitness. You can converse and have fun throughout mild activities. You can say fewer words when engaging in intensive activities before you have to pause and catch your breath.

Employ the Resources at Hand

Make use of the resources provided by your college. Student access to fitness centers and gyms on campus is typically free or extremely inexpensive. Look for planned fitness classes, one-on-one training sessions with an instructor, and open hours for equipment like weights and treadmills. Students interested in outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking may benefit from more recreational alternatives.

Programs for intramural sports allow students to form teams and play at various ability levels. Although the programs offered differ from school to school, most involve sports like badminton, basketball, flag football, and kickball.

Meeting other students is another advantage of using the recreation center at your school or joining an intramural team. This can be an excellent environment for both socializing and exercising.

Make Wise Decisions

Office workers must become more aware of how much time they spend at their desks. Sitting is a passive activity that, when done excessively, can result in a variety of issues, including elevated blood sugar and cardiovascular illness, according to many research. Students who study for long periods encounter comparable difficulties.

Try to find ways, even modest ones, to include more physical activity in your day. Every now and then, get up from your desk and go for a walk. Consider taking the stairs rather than the elevator when traveling to work or class. If you only go a short distance, consider taking your bike rather than your automobile.


The majority of Americans need more sleep. We pack our schedules these days and typically sleep less, according to a Better Sleep Council survey that revealed 82% of participants would “find one extra hour of sleep at night somewhat or extremely valuable.”

Regrettably, too little sleep leads to many difficulties, including low energy and productivity, elevated stress levels, and health complications. The following are the implications of extreme sleepiness as listed by WebMD.com:

  • Mishaps in the workplace and when driving
  • Decreased speed of cognitive functions, including focus and reasoning
  • Impaired intellect
  • Elevated susceptibility to health conditions like heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and depression
  • Heightened consequences of aging
  • Gaining weight
  • Loss of memory

How Much Rest Is Necessary?

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers recommendations about the amount of sleep each day that vary depending on age. Teenagers should receive 8 to 10 hours of sleep every day, while adults should aim for 7-8 hours.

Periodically losing a few hours of sleep won’t harm you in the long run. For instance, changes in our work and class schedules result in adjustments to our daily routines and sleep cycles. But when sleep deprivation persists over time, adverse consequences may start to show.

How About Sleeping?

Naps can be tempting when you are not getting enough sleep at night. Power nap and other such terms seem good, but that’s only sometimes the case. For example, if you slumber for too long, you may wake up feeling worse than when you went to sleep.

The Mayo Clinic suggests to:

  • Sleep for less than half an hour.
  • Find a peaceful, distraction-free spot to nap.
  • Consider taking a mid-afternoon nap. Taking a nap too late in the day can make it difficult to get to sleep at night.

Consumption of Coffee and Its Impact on the Body

Many college students depend on caffeine as part of a daily morning routine or during an “all-nighter” to help them get through class, homework, and work. Caffeine can enhance mood, increase alertness, and possibly help prevent some illnesses and disorders when used correctly and in moderation.

However, excessive caffeine usage can have a detrimental influence on the health of college students. It can have physical and psychological side effects, such as headaches, nausea, elevated blood pressure, anxiety, and nervousness.

Most adults can safely consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, which is roughly equal to four cups of brewed coffee or two “energy shot” drinks, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The source of your caffeine intake may be even more crucial because sources such as soda, energy drinks, and coffee drinks with added sugar have a lot of extra complications. The World Health Organization recommends a daily maximum of 25 grams of sugar intake for those with a normal body mass index. One or two sweet, caffeinated beverages can quickly push your intake above that amount. Choose less sugar-sweetened coffee and tea in favor of safer sources of caffeine, such as black coffee.


Your physical and general well-being is significantly impacted by what you eat and drink. Just like with exercise and sleep, you can proactively enhance your nutrition by giving your body the right nutrients to support healthy growth and avoid disease. Change your eating habits and increase your awareness of the negative impacts of inadequate nutrition to begin your positive health effort right away.

Implications of Inadequate Diet

Poor nutrition can refer to a variety of things. Eating too much or too little might have a detrimental impact on your health. The body suffers when you eat a diet that is adequate in calories but deficient in nutrients.

Achieving a balance between the kinds and amounts of food you should eat varies from person to person and is influenced by gender, genetics, and present health.

Some of the most common problems associated with inadequate nutritional health are listed below:

  • Absence of Energy: To get you through your hectic day, your body requires sustenance. A diet lacking in essential nutrients can make you feel exhausted and listless.
  • Impaired Mental Function: Eating an extremely low-calorie diet or skipping meals can negatively impact your alertness and focus, making it more difficult to work and study.
  • Sickness and Disease: Inadequate diets can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and other nutrition-related disorders.

Your Immune System and Diet

One advantage of a healthy diet is that it can boost immunity, which helps to prevent disease. The foods and beverages you consume affect how well your body fights illness and infection. Colds and the flu are common illnesses that can spread quickly on college campuses and close quarters like shared apartments and residence halls.

A diet rich in these nutrients will provide your immune system the best chance to keep you healthy, according to Harvard University’s Health Publications:

  • Vitamin B6: Fish, poultry, potatoes, organ meats, and non-citrus fruits
  • Vitamin C: Broccoli, tomatoes, red and green peppers, citrus fruits and juices
  • Vitamin E: Nuts, green veggies, and vegetable oils
  • Sources of magnesium include whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and some dairy products.
  • Zinc-rich foods include oysters, red meat, chicken, fish, beans, nuts, complete grains, and dairy.

Following a diet offering these and other essential elements might be difficult. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and herbal elements, supplements are a convenient way to supplement your diet, but students need to be cautious.

Side effects can happen, for instance, if pupils take these supplements in addition to prescription drugs or if they already have a medical problem.

For additional information about dietary supplements, see the Federal Drug Administration. Before incorporating new supplements into your diet, consult a healthcare provider.

College Dining Choices

Do you avoid processed meals and eat abundant fruits and veggies daily?

These are the two actions you can do right now to start improving your diet. Maintaining a healthy diet is important whether you prepare for yourself or dine in the on-campus dining hall at your school.

Campus-Based Choices

At a dining hall, you can typically choose healthier food. During the day, these establishments frequently provide a cafeteria-style experience with various options.

Use these suggestions to help you make wise decisions and take advantage of the fact that you can fully personalize your meals and snacks in the dining hall:

  • Seek out hues. Bright hues abound in fresh veggies, ranging from purple eggplant to scarlet peppers. Generally speaking, darker greens—like those in broccoli and spinach—offer more nutrients than, for example, iceberg lettuce. Limit the amount of beige and brown foods typically found in processed foods.
  • Never skip a meal. You might want to miss breakfast if you’re in a hurry, but doing so could leave you feeling lethargic when you need energy for classes later in the day.
  • Consume A Lot of Water. Pick water over soft drinks when given the choice. The traditional recommendation of eight glasses of water daily is a fine place to start. Still, the Mayo Clinic suggests adjusting this according to your level of exercise, the local climate, and your overall health.
  • Ignore the line for fast food. Pizza and hamburgers are nearly always available in dining halls, but healthier options exist. You may control portion sizes and improve your intake of beneficial nutrients by using salad bars and sandwich stations.

Making Your Own Food

Another strategy to enhance your overall nutrition is to prepare some or all of your meals. These recommendations from the United States will help you eat well, even on a budget:

  • Organize your shopping. It saves money and time to plan ahead. Make a list of the groceries you need to buy and decide which meals you can prepare for the upcoming week.
  • Prepare a lunch. Prepare meals ahead of time so you can quickly grab a nutritious snack if you have to leave early in the morning or arrive home late. Lunchtime temptations from fast food options will be lessened if you prepare it in advance. To save time on preparation the next day, try preparing extra servings for dinner so you can eat them later.

Check out these suggested resources for additional details on a healthy diet:

  • Choose My Plate: Use this tool with the U.S. standards to plan nutritious meals and snacks. Agriculture Department.
  • Nutrition for Everyone: This page provides valuable recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on food groups, water consumption, fats and carbs, fruits and vegetables, and other nutrition-related issues.
  • What Specific Foods Do: Learn how certain foods, vitamins, and minerals contribute to general health and wellness and the avoidance of disease from the University of Minnesota’s Taking Charge of Your Health and Well-being series.
  • gov. Dietary recommendations, interactive tools, and health news are all available from the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • It’s About Eating Right: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advises on various topics on this website, including food safety, grocery shopping, and weight control.
  • gov. Department of Agriculture, this website guides supplementation, reading food labels, and more.

Things to Think About for Online Learners

Although taking classes online is convenient, it can also lead to students developing a bad habit of spending too much time at a computer desk. As an online learner, what steps can you take to enhance your well-being?

You’ll be able to avoid the problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle and become more active with these tips. In order to do so:

  • Establish a Timetable
  • Choose Your Hours. Make an effort to follow a daily plan that allows time for family, job, school, and other obligations. Remember to factor in sleep. Even though it’s occasionally important, staying up late to study all the time is bad for your health and will reduce your ability to learn.
  • Have Frequent Meals. The nourishment your body needs to get through the day is necessary. Make a meal plan and stick to a regular eating schedule. Relying too much on snacking or skipping meals might result in bad behaviors that impair cognitive function and deplete your vitality.
  • Get moving. Schedule some time for exercise, even if it’s just brisk neighborhood strolls. You’re more likely to lead an active lifestyle when you schedule specific activities, like a walk with friends or a class at the gym.
  • Adhere to It! Even if your schedule might need to be adjusted occasionally, having a plan gives you a starting point. Create a calendar that makes sense for you, and try to stick to it.

Meet Other People

Schedule social events with your loved ones. Online learning requires sacrificing your free time, particularly if you do it while working. In order to help you achieve your goals, keep up your social relationships with people in your life. It would help to take occasional breaks from your job and study schedule.

Take Pauses

The opportunity to walk from building to building to get to classes is not available to online learners. Although practical, it diminishes the health advantages of physical activity. Instead, online learners should remember to schedule brief intervals so they can get up from their desks and move around.

Every thirty minutes, Forbes suggests mixing up your routine with some exercise. This may be as simple as adding a few stretches to enhance oxygen and circulation in the body and brain.

Try Different Setups

If you use a laptop, consider getting a standing desk or working at a counter. Another alternative that promotes physical exercise while working is a treadmill desk.

In summary

Your general health and well-being are strongly impacted by how you care for yourself. Maintaining your health involves more than just the things listed above. Developing healthier behaviors and improving your health take time and effort. Ultimately, getting enough sleep, eating healthy food, and exercising can simplify your college time by giving you the energy and nutritional support you need to succeed.

If you have any issues concerning your health or the decisions you need to make to enhance it, don’t hesitate to consult medical professionals. Additionally, find out how fitness centers, nutritionists, and student health services at your institution or university might support your efforts towards health and well-being.

Resources and Classes for Online Health and Wellness

Free Health Courses Online:

  • Science of Exercise: This University of Colorado Boulder course is perfect for those just starting in fitness. It covers the physiological reactions to exercise and how environments, choices, and behaviors affect one’s health and ability to train for fitness.
  • Food for Thought: This course, from EdX and McGill University, teaches you how to assess food-related claims in the media and the essential nutritional elements of a balanced diet.
  • Sit Less, Get Active is a brief course that the University of Edinburgh created for Coursera to assist you in creating and implementing realistic, practical goals for physical exercise in your daily life.
  • Superfoods: Myths and Truths: Designed for anyone interested in superfoods, this course was created by EIT Food and the University of Turin. Consider so-called superfoods from the perspectives of psychology, nutrition, and health.

Online Resources for Fitness:

  • Tara Stiles Yoga: This American model-turned-yoga instructor provides hundreds of free yoga poses on YouTube suitable for all skill levels, from novices to experts.
  • Net: Exercise Prescription is what ExRx stands for. Exercise libraries, fitness calculators, and a forum are free tools for fitness lovers and experts.
  • Fitness Blender: Daniel and Kelly, a husband and wife team, provide simple-to-follow exercise routines on YouTube. Their 350+ submissions range in difficulty, level of fitness, and type of exercise.
  • Zombies, run! App: Playing zombie chase music could make you feel more motivated to run if the music doesn’t. You become a hero in this all-encompassing audio adventure and encounter missions at every turn.
  • The Noom app, also called “Weight Watchers for millennials,” lets users keep track of their exercise, food intake, and fitness objectives. Personal coaching is one of the extra features available with optional premium subscriptions.
  • com: Boasting a vast collection of free articles, workout routines, and tools for dieting, weight loss, and muscle building, BodyBuilding.com is not just for the fit gym rats.
  • Fitness Girls of Instagram: Follow an Instagram fitness professional to get daily motivation for your social media account.
  • FitStar Yoga App: This free edition of FitStar Yoga offers users one full-length session and multiple freestyle sessions each week, making it perfect for those new to yoga.
  • College students who want to make interval training easier only need to look as far as the Seconds app, which has a large, fullscreen timer and completely configurable activities.
  • Couch to 5k: In 9 weeks, this fitness regimen transforms those considered “couch potatoes” into 5k runners. Visit the website for a range of information, or just download the app to get started.

Additional Sources:

  • American Psychology Association: Articles and information sheets on stress management, relationship management, and investigating possibilities for mental healthcare for college students are among the self-help tools offered by the American Psychological Association.
  • Nutrition Data: Creates databases with information compiled by the USDA. Access a wealth of dietary resources, such as daily needs calculators, nutritional target maps, and food comparisons.
  • Why is that? software: This software uses cognitive behavioral therapy and acceptance commitment therapy approaches to assist users in managing anxiety, depression, anger, and stress; nevertheless, it is not a replacement for professional student healthcare.
  • Madeleine Shaw: If you’re looking for stress-relieving, diet, health, and lifestyle videos, check out Madeleine Shaw’s YouTube channel. It’s a great place to start, whether organizing your grocery shopping or unwinding before an exam.

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