The transition to college life can be stressful and terrifying. Oftentimes, we forget to take care of ourselves and do the little things that we enjoy. COVID-19 was another transition during college that made life 10 times harder and that much more stressful.
I soon realized how important it is to instill healthy habits now, in college, to ensure that they are able to stick with us post-graduation.
Going back to school my junior year, the hybrid year due to COVID-19, it seemed to be the most daunting year of school, yet I saw a slim opportunity to make it a clean, fresh slate. I knew it was time to adjust my routine and break old habits that I wasn’t satisfied with. And, despite already being halfway through my college career, I knew that it still was not too late to start becoming a happier version of myself.
I turned to the gym to relieve my stress and anxiety. The REC Center was temporarily closed, so I went and signed up for a Planet Fitness membership in Sewell, New Jersey.
I made a strength training schedule with push/pull days and incorporated cardio, whether it was the treadmill, bike or elliptical. A schedule can be a great way to stay motivated and inspired, but don’t forget to take a rest day and let your muscles recuperate.
Spotify has some great playlists, so I always downloaded a good playlist for my gym sessions. But always make sure that your headphones are charged, because a workout without music is like coffee without cream and sugar.
Currently, the REC Center and Fitness Center are open for Rowan students, and yes, masks are still required. Other local gyms include Esporta Fitness (1.1 mi. from campus), Four Seasons Fitness (0.8 mi. from campus) and Edge Fitness Club (4.6 mi. from campus).
Walking to class and declining a ride from classmates was another routine I started. Many students underestimate the exercise that they receive while walking across campus for their classes. It is a great starting point. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is another simple workout that’s easy to incorporate into your daily routine on campus.
I also went on to discuss nutrition and food options with one of our campus dietitians, Melissa Eaton, and her intern. We made achievable wellness goals – one being to drink four full Hydro Flasks of water each day. Our meeting was eye-opening, allowing me to understand that making small, but healthier decisions, while still maintaining balance, was key.
Melissa Eaton and Nicholas Mazza are very friendly and helpful resources on campus. Those looking for guidance can discuss their everyday wellness concerns with them, and create a custom plan that works for your needs. They can be contacted by email at RUdietitian@gourmetdiningllc.com and their office is located in Prof’s Place.
I live in an apartment with a full kitchen, so I’ve continued to find ways to improve my cooking skills. I also have more control over what I purchase in the grocery store, often buying more fruits and vegetables and eating more protein.
Creating an enjoyable and healthy routine has been one of my hardest struggles during my college career, but gaining knowledge from the experts available has allowed me to make the right choices – choices that enabled me to be the best and healthiest version of myself.
Starting is always the hardest part when trying to create positive habits. But, soon enough, it becomes a routine. One day, hopefully, it even becomes a passion. Take advantage of your resources and do what makes you feel your best, so that you too, can become the healthiest and happiest version of yourself.
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