7 Tips To Help You Stay Strong and Healthy In College
College can be a tough time. Besides the existential crisis of trying to figure out who you are, your time is also mostly taken up by classes and trying to excel in those classes.
Hence, it can be hard to find time for self-care — to keep yourself strong, fit, and healthy.
Since you tend to be slammed with school work, it is important to keep yourself sharp, physically and mentally.
You might think it’s gonna be hard to squeeze in your schedule, but it can actually do wonders for your overall well-being.
So, here are 7 tips to help you stay strong and healthy in college:
If you want to get stronger, then you’ll need to pump iron. When it comes to eliciting maximal strength and muscle gains, nothing compares to lifting hard and heavy.
You can use weight gain supplements to aid your strength and mass gain pursuit. Plus, they’re quick and easy to prepare so you can take them with meals.
Intensity is the name of the game when it comes to resistance training. So, to keep the intensity of your workouts high, I recommend performing compound exercises.
This way, you work multiple muscles at the same time. Plus, you can lift a whole lot heavier with compound lifts.
The heavier you lift, the easier you progress, and, thus, the quicker you get stronger.
A lot of concentration and mental toughness goes into finishing a one-rep max on the bench press. You’re literally putting everything on the line.
This is why lifting heavy also builds mental fortitude. Something you need if you want to keep your sanity during your university run.
Cardio is one of those things you can easily do during the weekends or on your off days from the gym. It’s a great activity to take a breather from your dorm or the library cubicles.
Working your muscles for prolonged periods makes the heart and lungs work harder to increase your oxygen supply.
And, over time, your body will be used to a higher blood oxygen concentration. You’ll be able to last longer not only during cardio but also lifting sessions.
Besides that, cardio also improves memory and thinking.
When your heart rate rises, blood flow to the brain is increased. Hence, your brain receives more oxygen and nutrients that make it function better.
More than improving heart and lung health, cardio can also burn a ton of calories. You can end up completely depleting your glycogen stores and burning muscle.
Since we want to get stronger, we don’t want this to happen.
Thus, you can opt to supplement with mass gainers. They contain high amounts of carbohydrates to fuel your lifting and cardio sessions, as well as protein for muscle-building.
Eat Healthy Food
You’ll be throwing all your efforts in the gym away if you do not eat macronutrient-dense and micronutrient-rich foods.
Calculate your total daily energy expenditure, or TDEE, to determine your baseline calorie needs.
Since the goal is to get strong, you’ll have to add muscle mass. And, to add mass, you have to bulk up.
How do you do this?
Simply add 300 calories to your TDEE and that’ll be your daily calorie goal. If your baseline is 2000, then you would shoot for 2300 calories a day.
Now, you might be imagining how much food you’d have to eat to reach that number. But, don’t worry if this intimidates you. There’s a simple solution for that.
You can use a mass gain supplement like Naked Mass to help your calculated daily calorie goal.
Also, you should consume 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight to maximize muscle protein synthesis, aka muscle growth.
If you live in a dorm or are on a tight budget, stock up on cans of tuna, packets of jerky, oats, lentils, beans, and the indispensable protein powder.
These are inexpensive sources of the essential nutrients you need to stay strong and healthy.
Consistency is key to progress.
Crushing one workout won’t make an impact if you don’t train on a regular basis. What matters is your average intensity over a long period of time.
The same applies to your nutrition intake. Eating clean for one day won’t get you results if you proceed to eat donuts, fried chicken, and down cocktails the rest of the week.
When you feel exhausted from a long day, remember that a workout done at half your usual intensity is far better than a skipped workout. Slow progress is still progress.
Establish a Routine
Achieving a strong and healthy mind and body lies in your day-to-day routine. So, when you design your routine, make sure that it will keep you aligned with your goals.
Creating one is like mapping out your road to success. And, every day you successfully follow your routine, you are taking a step closer toward your goals.
Without it, you’re just wandering aimlessly and only do the things that excite you or when you’re motivated.
Sounds like you? Don’t worry, because there’s a simple way that can help you start being consistent.
Establish specific times in your day for exercise, study, and sleep. Follow that schedule until they become a habit.
As Jocko Willink puts it, discipline equals freedom.
Do what needs to be done now, so that you don’t have to cram later on. Do what you must do now, so that progress comes quicker.
Make a To-Do List
Getting things done is satisfying. But, most people get distracted easily and rarely get things done no matter how important they are.
I know, you already make checklists. But, when was the last time you accomplished everything you’ve written down on that piece of paper of yours?
Here’s how to make an effective checklist.
The first step is to do a brain dump. Take note of every short-term task you need to do on a piece of paper. Just write everything and anything that comes to mind.
This declutters your mind and helps you focus better on the important tasks.
Next, rank every task on the list from most urgent to least urgent.
Then, cut out every task that can wait until tomorrow or the next couple of days.
For the important list, break down the tasks into several basic parts. This is especially helpful for difficult tasks like writing an essay or doing detailed research on a subject.
Let’s take “write the essay” as an example.
Break it down into smaller tasks like research on the subject matter, create an outline, write down main ideas, etc. You get the point.
This way, you don’t get anxious about the gravity of the task at hand. Doing this gives you manageable chunks that you can wrap your head around and make the difficult tasks less daunting.
Limit Social Media Use
According to social media, everybody is shredded and strong, besides you. Also, that everybody is successful and has their life together… but not you.
No matter how you look at this, it will motivate you to do better. And, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The problem lies in constantly relying on motivation before you start working on yourself.
You swipe from one post to the next, looking for the right post to light a fire under your butt.
Next thing you know, you’ve spent 3 hours staring at your screen having accomplished nothing.
Hey, at least you’ve saved a dozen motivational quotes and videos you’ll never view again, right?
The less time you spend on social media, the more time you can spend becoming stronger and healthier.
When you train your body, you also fortify the mind. The more mental fortitude you have, the harder you can train. It’s a complementary process.
Hence, staying strong and healthy takes a holistic approach. An approach that will benefit all aspects of your college life.
Follow these tips, create structure in your life, and diligently work on yourself. You can be not only the best student, but also the best version of yourself.
So, what’s the first step you’re going to take?
7 Tips To Help You Stay Strong and Healthy In College