You know how the end of the semester goes — when suddenly everything is more important than staying healthy. First goes your nightly gym routine, and then your morning green smoothie.
Soon, you're eating last night's mini tacos while you run to class 10 minutes late because you stayed up too late studying and you can barely catch your breath.
Especially during exam season, nothing seems quite as important as maintaining that 3.7 GPA. You know it's been a rough semester, but you think, if you can just study one more hour and kick that B in economics to an A, you just might be able to pull a 3.8.
And that might be true, but your grades should never come at the price of your health, short term or long. Most likely, if you're sacrificing your health for that one extra hour of studying, that hour is likely not very productive.
Rather than pushing your mind and body too far, take a few minutes to keep your body healthy with these fit and healthy tips for the last few weeks of the semester:
1. Always put your health first.
It's so easy to skip a meal or those few extra hours of sleep, but especially when you're stressed, you need the extra food and sleep to keep your body running at peak performance.
Aside from the immediate effects of mind fog, distraction and fatigue, you're more likely to suffer from depression, heart disease, and weight fluctuations in the long run when you consistently skip meals and slack on sleep. One tough semester is not worth risking your long-term health.
2. Put your budget on the back burner.
When trying to stick to a budget, sometimes it can be much easier to pick up a cheap snack from the corner store rather than picking up something healthy from the grocery store. This is one of the times your body needs nutrients and good fuel to keep it running well.
Take time to continue eating properly because now more than ever, your body needs that extra fuel to keep running well.
3. Keep up an exercise schedule.
It doesn't have to be as vigorous as the routine you're used to, but getting your heart rate up will keep your body responsive and capable. If you're just not feeling the gym, try a yoga class or a brisk walk around campus. Nothing will make you feel less like studying than feeling cramped and shut off from the world.
Even worse than feeling cramped up is the potential for depression onset caused by lack of physical activity. If you're prone to an endorphin high when you exercise and do so regularly, it's so important to keep your body on that schedule and use your exercise high to put that extra oomph into your studies.
Even if you feel like you just don't have the time, take some school reading and do an hour on the treadmill. Listen to a professor's lecture while you bike.
4. Don't forget your friends.
Because human beings are social by nature, we need some camaraderie to make us feel loved, accepted and happy. Just as eating healthy and exercising is important to maintain physical health, hanging out with a buddy helps us maintain our emotional health. Schedule a study group or gym sesh with a friend to stay connected and refresh your brain.
Stressful times call for healthful measures, so don't forget to take care of yourself when everyone in your world is freaking out (including you).
Your body needs to refresh sometimes, and the best way to keep it going for the long run is to make sure you take care of it and treat it with respect, starting today.