Some helpful tips on healthy living from a local student
1. Eat a balanced and healthy diet
If you are a first year and moving into a hall, be ready for an onslaught of carb dominated foods, buffet-style meals, and living in an environment where you can eat whatever you like. Not a parent in sight to make sure you eat your broccoli.
If all you want at dinner time is a plate of roasted potatoes, you can do that. If it is two helpings of dessert, you can do that. Still hungry after this? You can head to your local and grab whatever snacks your heart desires. You have freedom at your fingertips, but it can come at a cost.
Your body is not going to love you very much if all you are giving it to live off is carbs, sugar, alcohol, and 3am Maccas or kebabs that are consumed after a night out.
Make sure you are eating a balanced diet (yes this means vegetables other than roasted potatoes). Our bodies love vegetables, fruits, fats, carbs, protein, and fibre. All of this is in fact provided in those buffet lunches and dinners - just make sure to grab the salads and consume a piece of fruit or two. Your body will be thanking you for giving it some goodness.
For those of you who are flatting, a diet that consists solely of two-minute noodles, toast, baked beans, and alcohol is also not ideal.
There are some easy flat meals that can be made for you or your whole flat with a healthy twist. You can jazz up basic nachos and put some frozen veggies into the mince/bean mixture for added goodness. Pasta makes a great base to add vegetables and protein, and some supermarket pastas are even made from protein-rich legumes! You can still eat a balanced diet on a budget!
2. Drinking Priorities
The Plain Jane of the liquid world - WATER. No one really loves to drink it, but you know you should - you really should. We are 70% water and much like all living things, staying hydrated is important for our health.
Water may be the first listed ingredient in some alcoholic beverages but that doesn’t form part of your 8 glasses a day. Do yourself and your body a favour and consume water, it may be boring, but it is your best friend when it comes to staying healthy and hydrated.
Long story short, drink plenty of water.
3. Get adequate sleep
‘Sleep is for the weak’ is another common saying you may come across - going hard on the weekends and then making up for the lack of study by pulling all-nighters. Amongst students, it can become a conversation of bragging rights, where how much sleep you did not get is seen in a greater light than getting an adequate amount.
Sleep is very important, and you need it to function properly. Without sleep your body cannot fully recover, it is working overtime, just like your computer when it has 20+ tabs open and sounds like it is about to take off. All of this accumulates to you feeling run down and can make you more susceptible to some illnesses.
Do not treat sleep like a commodity when it is necessity. Aim for 7-9 hours a night and prioritise those well-needed beauty hours.
4. Wash your hands
Now more than ever is it a good time to practice good hygiene protocols, such as washing your hands!! Stop the spread of germs and wash them, it is that simple.
5. Keep your living space cleanYes, as we all know, Dunedin students are notorious for living in quite frankly disgusting, run down flats. However… washing your clothes, not letting that dirty cutlery accumulate for weeks on end, and cleaning your sheets can go a long way.
Keep your living space clean so that nasty bugs and bacteria do not have the opportunity to thrive. No one wants to get sick, and by having a clean-living area you are decreasing that chance.
6. Listen to yourself – if you feel super run down, skip the night out
If you're feeling crap, don’t force yourself to go out, or attend your three-hour lab, stay in, chill, eat some healthy food, drink water, and relax.
7. If you feel sick, do not soldier on
Tying into the last point, if you have a cold, your body’s giving you a sign to slow down and take it easy. Do not soldier on as if nothing is wrong. It is totally okay to take it easy until you feel better and prevent the spread of the sickness to your hall mates or flatmates (especially in halls as sicknesses spread like wildfire).
8. Take probiotics
Finally, look after your immune defences and take a probiotic supplement. Probiotic supplements such as UltraBLIS are scientifically backed probiotics to support your immune system.
UltraBLIS is an oral probiotic that provides three unique strains of probiotics, two specifically for the gut and BLIS K12 for your oral cavity. All three work together to provide good bacteria to your gut, where 80% of your immune system resides, and your oral cavity so that you have probiotic support at the gateway to the body as well.
BLIS Probiotics. Increase the Good.
Read the label and use as directed. See a healthcare professional if symptoms persist. Blis Technologies Ltd, Dunedin. TAPS PP7140