Staying healthy when you’re super busy

Source: Matt Gibson via Flickr

By Beth Griffiths

University is an incredibly busy and stressful time for all students, and with the threat of encroaching deadlines it’s likely that the thought of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the last thing on your mind. However, failure to maintain a healthy lifestyle can in fact lead to an increase in stress, and can lower your productivity. Therefore, I have compiled a list of five simple tricks that you can employ in order to help you live a healthy lifestyle without taking too much time out of your busy schedule:

  1. Everyone knows the importance of eating five fruit and veg a day, but do you actually stick to this rule? Swap cakes and chocolate for oranges, apples, and bananas, and raid the vegetable aisles for the tastiest (and cheapest) veg.

  2. Stock up on carbohydrates such as noodles, whole-wheat pasta, and rice, as well as spices and sauces and get creative. Make stews, pasta, and noodle dishes from scratch quickly and easily simply by combining with your favourite vegetables.

  3. Pack a lunch. We all know that a day in the library can lead to binge eating via the vending machines, which only fills your body with unnecessary fats and drains your pockets. However, taking a packed lunch ensures a filling, substantial lunch, and doesn’t cost too much! Peppers, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bananas, pumpkin seeds, oranges, and apples can all be eaten on the go and are brilliant sources of energy. For sandwiches try wholemeal bread packed with cheese and spinach for an extra boost!

  4. Walk. It seems simple, yet walking is one of the key factors of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It may be tempting to hop on a bus or get a taxi, yet walking ensures that you are getting exercise – rather than just being sat at a desk all day. What is more, walking is also proven to be good for your mental wellbeing as well as physical.

  5. Plan meals in advance. Organise a time in your busy schedule to plan your week’s meals in advance. You could write a list of what you will be having each day, and ensure that the cupboards are stocked with the required ingredients – look online for delicious and healthy ideas. Or, prepare meals, such as stews, and freeze them. You could also dabble in some soup making, which is a whole lot easier than it sounds, and reheat bowls of it throughout the week.

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