We all know how busy our college schedules can get, and how absent-minded that can leave some of us. In the middle of all the hustle and bustle, a lot of college students tend to either pick up or make the first and quickest thing that comes to mind (Ramen for most), eat really late, or not at all. And the next thing you know, you’re out of breath after taking that small flight of stairs on campus!

It’s easy to forget about our overall health while we’re young and on the move in college. For one, we’re young, so we think we have more than enough time to develop better eating and health habits, so for now we can continue feeding our bodies whatever we see fit, and the only exercise we get is running from class to class around campus. You’d be wrong.

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Fitting a consistent exercise routine into the daily hustle and bustle of classes and a social life can seem near impossible; but most campuses make it easy for students to squeeze in that daily workout. Besides the gym that most schools provide, there are other ways to burn those extra calories. Taking the stairs and walking to class are great starts.

Depending on your daily schedule, this could add anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour of daily exercise.

Most campuses offer free weekly physical fitness classes, so make sure to take advantage of those opportunities to stay healthy and be your best self! Choosing to adjust to better eating and exercising habits now is key in helping your body to adapt and get used to your future health while it’s still young and flexible. But “staying in shape” doesn’t stop there.

Apart from eating right, drinking water, and being sure to drink enough water is more important than you think. I know the college students that live off of Red Bulls are looking at this like, “water? What’s that?” But I promise it helps more than you know.

I remember growing up saying that I hated water because it had no flavor and was “nasty”. Now days I’m scolding myself if I’m not drinking it throughout the day. Staying hydrated helps with your concentration and keeps you from overeating. It also helps with replenishing your body and giving you more energy throughout the day. Unlike energy drinks that give you energy for a few hours and then leave you crashing when it’s all out of your system.

Getting enough sleep (which can be nearly impossible for some) while in college is a habit that everyone should form. The first two years of undergrad for me consisted of late, late nights and early mornings. I thought I could go on like this and not experience any changes, I was sadly mistaken.

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I was tired all the time, depending on Starbucks to get me through the day. I didn’t have nearly as much energy as I should and I avoided staircases at all costs, and it actually became a lot easier for me to gain that “Freshman 15” that everyone talks about.

I had never seen myself like that, or felt as miserable as I did. So, I made changes; I began eating better, exercising frequently, and getting no less than eight hours of sleep every night, if I could help it.

I know that among classes, studying, homework, and trying to maintain a social life, students can sometimes forget to maintain their health and well-being. But I promise, your future self will thank you for making these changes now.