Summer: The Perfect Time to Try Something New

Well, we did it. Summer is nearly here and we’ve made it through another semester. In January, I posted about ways to start the semester stress-free, the benefits of sleep and how to eat healthy while busy and on a budget. Hopefully, you used some of my tips this semester and made your life just a little bit healthier. If not, no hard feelings – summer is a great time to get a new health plan started.

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Schedule Your Stress Away

The time has come for spring semester classes to start, and like most students, I have spent the week denying winter break is over.

 Professors and instructors often use this week to read syllabi and outline course requirements. Students, in turn, put off buying books and reading assignment schedules. While chances are nothing will be due until the next week, or maybe later than that, I want to encourage students to get organized now to avoid stress in the future.

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Avoiding the Freshman Fifteen

The “freshman fifteen” is dreaded by most incoming college students. However, I foolishly thought I would be immune to such a cliché thing. I mean, how hard could it be to stay semi-healthy at college? I found out the hard way that it is beyond difficult. I am going to avoid mentioning, just as any girl would, exactly how much weight I gained in my first two years of college, but just know extra pounds definitely appeared. Almost all of my weight gain happened within my freshman and sophomore years.

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A Healthy Body Leads to a Happy Mind

College.  The time and place to meet people, socialize, party, find yourself, and discover new ways of thinking.  Oh, and there’s that whole class part.  Some students devote their time intensely to either one of these endeavors.  The tricky part, which few have learned to master, is to balance school with the rest, while still maintaining a healthy and safe lifestyle.  A well-balanced lifestyle, which will lead to a happier and more fulfilling life, is not difficult to practice once the proper steps are taken

Taking Charge: Your Education, Your Career, Your Life devotes a chapter to health and safety.  The chapter covers all the basics including diet, exercise, sleep, sex, and campus and work safety. Helpful tips on mastering these health practices create a smooth transition into the healthy lifestyle. Quotes from experts drive home the importance of proper health and the long-term benefits of its use.

Most people cannot face the harsh truth about the consequences of ill health.  They fill their own heads with justifications about being too busy to prepare a healthy meal or too tired to exercise.  It becomes a vicious cycle, constantly growing until it is nearly impossible to pull out of the tailspin.  The good news is starting is the hardest part. After you take the initial leap, it’s smooth sailing from then on.

Discipline is hard.  If it were easy, everyone would be fit and successful.  The few who pull it off are not born special, but they have the determination to master themselves and the discipline to stick to their plan.  Most people know what they must do, but they refuse to do it or talk themselves out of it.  Sorry to break it to you, but there is no special pill.  A good diet, proper exercise, and plenty of sleep are the cornerstones of a healthy individual.

“Health must not be sacrificed for learning.  A strong body makes the strong mind.”  Thomas Jefferson was onto something.  Regular exercise releases endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemical.  It reduces stress, increases sleep quality, and makes you feel more powerful.  If there was ever a magic bullet, this is it.  The problem lies in the fact that it takes work to reap the reward.  In that way, exercise is a lot like life.  The idea seems difficult and its execution even more so, but once you have started, feelings of power overtake you, pushing you harder, making you work harder, and it goes on.  This is a better cycle.  This is the cycle of living.

Many people struggle to find the balance between what is easy and what is right.  Plenty of online resources exist to give ideas and motivate.  ConstantlyHealthy provides all around useful information, Tips on Healthy Living lives up to its name, as does tips4health.net.  The Taking Charge book contains heaps of information on bettering yourself, and the “Health and Safety” chapter provides plenty of tips to begin the journey to a healthier, better life.

-John


Better Safe than Sorry

TSTC Human and Organization Development Associate Cindy Volney understands there is safety in numbers. Since 1997, she’s been involved with safety, retirement, and insurance for TSTC employees, and she said solving issues in these areas is a group effort.

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