When you’re surviving on a diet of takeaway pizza, discounted beer and never-enough sleep, it can be difficult to keep your health in check, let alone to maintain a decent level of fitness.
One envious look at your university’s football team, rugby team and cheerleading squad proves it is possible – but can it really be done without giving up the nights out and while still fitting in your studies? It can and Student Discount Squirrel is here to help you understand how. And remember that if in doubt, get in touch with your local health service.
EXERCISE – GET MOVING TO FEEL BETTER
Despite the thousands of activewear adverts and gym promotions that fill your social media feeds through January telling you otherwise, you really don’t need to splash out to join a premium gym or buy the latest support leggings to work out and improve your student health. There is a growing amount of budget gyms throughout the UK, with cheaper membership rates than standard gyms as they function with less staff and fewer machines. Many are open 24-hours a day and you enter using just a custom code and don’t have on-site staff. If you know what you’re doing, this set up is ideal. Check out PureGym who offer a great service.
If you’d prefer not to go to a gym or not to commit to a contract, home workouts may be more for you. There are loads of tutorial videos available online to help you with (non-bedtime) bedroom exercise and to guide you on your fitness journey. If videos aren’t for you, try a brisk walk or a runout and about. Running for ten minutes is better than no minutes, and you can build it up over time to improve. If you feel that you have an injury, make sure to consult your local health service and use their contact us section if you would prefer to email them.
MINDFULNESS – A HEALTHY MIND IS ESSENTIAL
Your mental health is as important as your physical health, and your overall student health can never comprise just of one. It’s important to take some time out of your day to just clear your head and breath – even if this is just a few minutes rather than a full meditation session.
Yoga beautifully combines physical exercise, breath and mindfulness to chill you out while giving you a tone-up and good stretch. Failing that, the internet may again prove your saviour, with courses available for all levels. It’s a brilliant practice that you can spend just minutes on per day and will soon see the benefits. Give it a go for a week, and see how it works for you! Don’t be afraid to speak to your GP or local health service or even the Samaritans. There is lots of help out there for you. Adidas do great yoga attire: check them out now.
NUTRITION – BE KIND TO YOUR INSIDES
It can be difficult to eat healthily on a student budget but fear not, there are options to improve your student health nutritionally. Avoiding buying snacks while out and about and instead of packing something from your store cupboard in your bag can make a huge difference… as long as it’s a fruit or something not too calorific.
Something important to consider for your student health and wellbeing that often goes unnoticed is your balance between your university work and the rest of your life. Of course, your studies should require a degree of effort and should be a priority – after all, if you fail your course, then your coming to university will have been wasted. But it’s also important that you find time to eat, sleep, socialise and enjoy the experience that being at uni presents. Your time should be managed well enough that although you may need to make the odd sacrifice, you don’t have to give up every event or night out in favour of bashing the books. You need challenging, yes, but you don’t need defeating.
A good night’s sleep can make any sticky situation feel better and gives your body and mind time to restore and rejuvenate. You don’t want to be known as the bore for social situations but don’t give up sleep if you feel you really need it and hit the hay: everyone loves an early night once in a while. If you’re still having problems sleeping then it might be worth talking to your local health services and use their ‘contact us’ function.
Going to university can be a wonderful time to explore your sexuality. Whether it be with a new boyfriend or girlfriend, a friend with benefits or a one night stand, you should always bear your sexual health in mind. Condoms are one of the best ways to prevent the transmission of STDs and regular trips to the health service or your GP surgery are recommended. You can search your university website and use the contact us link to find out more. Don’t be embarrassed either, STDs are a lot more common than you think and there is no shame in having one.
Reading is so important, not just for studies for relaxing and also your mental health. However, sometimes after a long day studying you don’t want to read yourself… so why not check out some audiobook options? A simple way to relax and enjoy a book, read more about Audible audibooks.
STUDENT HEALTH SERVICE FAQ
The most commonly asked questions about health we get asked are below but we will add more as they come in:
What health services are available to me?
You will have local health service options and a GP surgery available to you just like at home. You should register with a GP and don’t forget your pharmacist is a type of health service too. NHS 111 (just call 111 from your phone) is a phone-based health service and for more serious cases your local walk-in centre or emergency room should be the health service you turn to.
What if I think I have covid 19?
If you think you have covid 19 you need to follow professional advice and contact your local surgery for guidance and advice. This changes all the time so it is best to consult professionally qualified NHS workers.
Summary of Health for Students
Being at university and student living is fantastic but it can tough physically and mentally, so you need to look after yourself. Our tips above should help but if ever you need more support there are lots of support groups as well as the NHS – always reach out – there is always support out there.
Much love you lovely students xxx
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