Nutrition and exercise
Food can affect how you feel and think, it can influence alertness and the ability to concentrate. Therefore eating a healthy, balanced diet not only helps us look and feel good, it can help you to be able to study more effectively.
Benefits of a well balanced diet include:
- increased energy and stamina
improved sleep and concentration
a positive impact on your mood and wellbeing
helps you to maintain a healthy body weight
lowers your risk of developing chronic health risks such as heart disease and cancer
- Try and eat at regular times each day
- Work out an eating routine that works best for you - some people feel better on three full meals a day, whilst others may prefer 5 or 6 smaller snack-sized meals instead.
- Have your five a day fruit and veg. Remember, dried, canned and frozen portions count as well, so you don't need to spend a fortune on fresh fruit and veg.
- Keep a bottle of water with you (you will find yourself drinking it without noticing). There are plenty of water coolers to fill up around campus, and using a refillable bottle is better for the environment.
- Make sure you get a full range of vitamins from your food.
- Eat fruit and veg with their skins still on, to up your fibre intake.
- Consider how much caffeine you are consuming, especially around assessment deadlines. You might feel that it gives you the energy you need, but it can have an impact on your heart and anxiety levels.
Exercising can help keep you calm, increase the rate of blood flow around your body, and to the brain as well. This can really help you to think more clearly, and to learn better, not to mention the physical health benefits!
- Aim to do 30 mins of exercise 5 times a week if your physical capability allows you to. This doesn't always have to be vigorous, sweaty activity - even a brisk walk around campus is good for you.
- If you have a physical disability that impacts on your activity levels, consider what you can still do that makes you feel good - such as stretching or desk exercises.
- Make an exercise schedule to fit around your plans, so that you are more likely to be able to fit it into your schedule.
- Try out different sports and exercises to see what you enjoy - if you enjoy it you are more likely to stick to it.
- Clean your house or car in a speedy fashion - it's good way to fit exercise into your daily life, and having a clean environment can improve your mental health.
- Get a friend or join a club so you can exercise with others - this can help as you can encourage each other.