Moving to another country is a big change. A change that impacts almost every aspect of your life. Especially, and unavoidably, it can wreak havoc on your food choices & habits.
But, just as you take charge of your life & studies abroad, you need to take charge of your health as well.
Late night partying, cramming, bingeing on all the free food on offer around the university campus, as well as the perpetual hurry can take a toll on your body weight, mental health & self-esteem.
We bring you a few tips on staying healthy – physically & mentally. These are a few ways for you to have your cake and eat it too.
Watch What You Eat
The opportunity of studying in a new country provides a brilliant opportunity for trying out new cuisines. Watch your portions. Also, feel free to try everything, but in moderation. So, if you’re in Scotland, say no to the second deep-fried Mars bar. Or that big bag of kettle chips, if you’re in Pennsylvania.
Just think of what your mother or father would say!
Cook at Home
If you buy all your meals – you will not only add to your expenditure, but also to the digits on the weighing scale. Cooking is an essential skill whether you’re a man or a woman. Learn to cook so you can keep a control on your money & your nutrition.
Always keep a sizable stock of fresh fruits & vegetables that grow locally. Loaded with vitamins and natural sugars, fruits can be digested faster than any other processed food item. Whenever that midnight craving strikes, fight it with fruit. Your body will thank you for it.
Maintain a light physical fitness routine. If you can’t make time for gym, use alternative ways to incorporate any physical activity in your day. Use your bike instead of a bus, walk to classes and take the stairs instead of elevators.
You’re in a new city, so explore. Often university towns are perfect places for walking tours. Cities like New York are also great for seeing on foot.
The stress of making a life on your own can be significant. You have the freedom & responsibility of managing things on your own initiative. Often students can respond by stress-eating or taking to substance abuse.
But you are not alone. As Prof. Jenny Dixon told BrainGain magazine, “[D]on’t hesitate to get help. There’s a lot of help available. But don't leave it for later”
Join clubs which are related to your hobbies, attend events organised by the university, make friends. This will expand your horizons and help you feel good.
The importance of a good night’s sleep cannot be emphasized enough. Yet not many people realize how important it is for a healthy body & mind. Try to get 6-7 hours of sleep every night. It will refresh you mentally. People who sleep better, remember better. They also have better metabolism.
So, get some rest.
And there you have it, a few simple steps to achieve a healthy body & mind in a foreign country. You can always cut yourself some slack every once in a while, but make sure you take care of yourself too!
How To Stay Healthy and Fight the Freshman 15
How to Fail in Your Freshman Year
7 Cheap, Easy and Delicious Meal Ideas For Students