Freshman 15: 15 Ways to Live a Healthy Lifestyle at JMU

Story by Haley Quinn

Photo Courtesy of The Breeze 

Fun 5Ks like the glowrun in 2015 are a good way to stay healthy and happy.

Living a healthy lifestyle is something we all should strive for, but sometimes college can make that tricky. There are so many things going on all the time that we often fall out of whack with our bodies. Here are 15 tips to encourage the happiest and healthiest lifestyle at JMU!

  1. Cooking Classes at UREC

Cooking classes at UREC? Yes! And the best part — they’re free! Just like the group fitness classes that UREC offers, it also o ers a wide variety of cooking classes that aren’t only fun to attend, but also quite informative. Go to www.urecregister.jmu. edu to sign up for one today!

  1. Meditation

Center your focus and personal well-being with introductory meditation classes. e Koru Mindfulness meditation program was developed by JMU psychiatrists Holly Rogers and Margaret Maytan to teach the bene ts of mindfulness to students. e program utilizes a curriculum targeted toward meditation and stress management to college students. Visit the student activities website for further details, as well as information about Madison Meditates.

  1. Wellness Passports

Not just for health class! JMU o ers wellness passports in all di erent categories that can teach you a thing or two. The passports focus on the six dimensions of wellness: intellectual, emotional, social, occupational and spiritual. You can nd a list of passports at wellness.cisat.jmu.edu/ passport.html to see an events calendar.

  1. Alcohol Education

This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of college. Knowing your limit is important to remain healthy and stay safe. Alcohol can have negative e ects on your physical, emotional and mental well- being. Visit the University Health Center for further information on alcohol use to examine potential risks and learn strategies for change.

  1. Join an Organization

Making friends is a big focus at the beginning of college. A healthy way to meet new people is through JMU organizations and clubs. JMU o ers hundreds of tness and sports clubs, social organizations, religiously affiliated clubs and interest-driven clubs. Go to student org night and the club fair during the rst weeks of school to learn about organizations JMU has to o er and talk with leaders. Visit https:// www.beinvolved.jmu.edu for a full list of JMU’s organizations.

  1. Learn Your Dining Halls

Believe it or not, all food served at JMU has nutritional facts to see the ingredients of each item served. Don’t be oblivious to the signs by the food at the dining halls — it has all the information you need! It’s easy to keep eating when it’s bu et style, but be mindful of portions. Most servings should be about the size of a deck of cards.

  1. Nap & Sleep Schedule Patterns

If you must nap, keep it short! Longer naps are proved to make you even more tired. Make sure you are getting a good night’s rest — most college-age students need 7-9 hours. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day can also regulate your body for a happier and healthier you!

  1. Clean

For some college students, cleaning is a new responsibility that’s necessary for a healthy atmosphere. Pick a day to tidy your room and get laundry done, so it doesn’t pile up. Having a clean space can keep your mind clear, and can de nitely help with stress.

  1. Get Outside

A benefit of living in the Shenandoah Valley is the abundance of parks and trails that are a short drive away. e Edith J. Carrier Arboretum o ers running and walking trails right by East Campus across from E-Hall, and Purcell Park is on Main Street, right o the Quad. Hiking trails, such as Kaylor Knob, are less than a dozen miles away.

  1. Walk To Class

Avoid the buses! Getting your steps in should be one of the most important aspects of your day. If it’s not frigidly cold outside, take in some fresh air and embrace what’s around you.

  1. Take a Break From Electronics

College students are notorious for being on their cell phones all the time. Look up from the screen and see what’s around you. If you’re looking for a class that digs deeper into why you should stray away from electronics and social media, ISAT 160 is a course that will have you wanting to leave the phone at home.

  1. Drink More Water

We all know we’re supposed to drink water every day, but some don’t drink enough. Staying hydrated can boost your concentration and prevent you from overeating. Make sure to always carry around a jug with you, as JMU has easily accessible water stations that allow you to ll up your bottle without tilting it at the water fountain.

  1. Be Aware of Sexual Health

Sexual health is a huge aspect of college life. Being proactive about getting tested, staying protected and being transparent with your healthcare provider and partner will ensure a healthy lifestyle. Don’t forget that communication is key.

  1. Eat Breakfast

Eating breakfast stimulates your brain to get you thinking for the big day ahead. Breakfast eaters are also more likely to maintain a healthy weight than breakfast skippers, so don’t forget to eat your eggs!

  1. Give Yourself a Rest Day!

Simply put, rest is the best medicine you can give your body. Pushing yourself too hard will only run you down. A er all, it’s the only body you’ve got — shouldn’t you take care of it?

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