Friday, August 8, 2008

How to Prepare for Back to School

     You know what supplies to buy for your courses. You know to find your classrooms before the first day if you don't want to show up late. But do you know how to prepare your body for the shock of college starting up?

Adjust your sleep schedule. Study after study reminds us that lack of sleep is associated with weight gain. If your body is used to sleeping until noon every day, start preparing yourself for the change. Set your alarm for a little earlier each day, and get in bed a little earlier every night. Stop using the computer a couple hours before sleep. Turn the lights down in the evening as you wind down for sleep. The first weeks of school will wreak havoc on your body if you're not well-rested.

Go grocery shopping the weekend before. Purchase cereal and milk for the mornings, healthy snacks to take with you to class and dinners that don't take a lot of time. For snacks, trail mix/mixed nuts are satiating and nutritious. For dinners, stick to fish, chicken, brown rice and lots of vegetables. Buy things you can use for more than one recipe. Purchase lettuce and other ingredients for a salad, chop everything up the weekend before and store in containers in the fridge. Then you can quickly throw a salad together throughout the week. 

Buy good shoes. If you can, I highly recommend walking to class. And if you can't, having comfortable shoes will make you more likely to take extra steps during the day.

Buy some dumbbells. Between studying and other activities in the evening, pick up your weights and do a few reps. It's convenient, and it's good for your body.

If you're out of the dorm, clean your place up. It will be one less thing to worry about during the week and will leave you time to go to the gym.

Finally, when school does begin, enjoy catching up with your friends. Don't worry about skipping a trip to the gym or going out to eat this week if it means a chance to catch up with friends you haven't seen all summer. You're going to want a supportive social network to combat stress, and it's only one week. 

Any other tips, college students?

Photo by H is for Home

1 comment:

Michael said...

The sleep schedule is definitely what I'm having trouble with :P. For me, my best writing happens at about 2 in the morning, which is bad news for my sleep.

2 weeks left though - need to get on that!