Every January most of us make the unattainable commitment to completely change our lives around. This sometimes means health wise and becoming a brand new version of ourselves. Although good in theory this isn’t always sustainable, ultimately being dropped and resulting in feelings of guilt and failure. This article will suggest ways alternative ways in which you can slowly adapt to a new lifestyle – making small choices which will lead to a healthier and happier you, without completely consuming your life.
To start the day, take a big swig of water and vitamins. This will instantly make you feel refreshed and create a positive start to your day. Moreover, you’ve also got a bit of your water goal ticked off (everyone should aim for around 2L a day depending on activity!). Breakfast should aways be a priority. This doesn’t have to be difficult to make but can be packed full of vitamins with slow release energy, helping to prevent that mid-afternoon slump as well as creating a healthy eating schedule. Some quick and easy options could be –
- Peanut butter and banana on toast
- Fruit and yoghurt
- Overnight oats
Aim to do this in the morning, creating a routine allows stability, leading to decreased stress and allowing you to balance both university and fitness goals! Mental health is just as important as physical health however… so, no matter what time of day you wake up, ensuring you complete these few feel-good steps will mean you set a positive start.
Taking a water bottle with you reminds you to drink water, I like to frame it as a competition, seeing if I can finish my water by the end of the lecture (for example). There are numerous water fountains available on campus for free. Whilst also saving you money, having water around constantly will mean you’re more likely to drink it!
With the spontaneous nature of university life, it may seem that your fitness plans are put on hold in favour of a quick meal deal or takeaway for lunch. Instead I suggest meal planning and if you can, meal prep or taking a packed lunch with you. As well as saving money this means you still have healthy choices and aren’t pressured into a non-nutritious meal due to lack of options. The campus has many spaces you can eat that are open all day.
Although exercise may seem hard to fit in, especially around exam season, it doesn’t have to occur everyday, as long as you’re taking every opportunity to improve your fitness it’s a win. Going to the gym once a week is better than nothing, every positive choice is incrementing fitness more naturally into your lifestyle. Small steps could be taking the stairs instead of waiting at the train crossing for the barriers to come up, or committing to a class at the sports centre once a week. I enjoy committing to go to the gym after my lectures, so I’m already close by and don’t need to go out of the house more than once. Wearing my gym gear also makes it easier and more likely for me to go!
Another tip – writing down accomplishments at the end of the day! Even if it’s something like finishing all of your water, or hitting 10k steps, it’s something to look back on and be proud of, especially in moments where you feel like you’ve let yourself down. Doing everything in small, moderate steps ensure it’s as enjoyable and easy as can be!