Staying Healthy This Semester

by Riley Sugarman

photography courtesy of Vanya Kohlweg

With only one day until the start of classes, summer routines are officially coming to an end. Don’t fall prey to the elevator lines, BU Bus mobs and 3 a.m. Mugar study sessions. Instead, add some physical activity and healthy choices to your daily routine.

Avoid the fall semester slump and make your days a little bit healthier with the following tips and tricks.

Take the stairs

Taking the elevator may seem convenient and easier, but it’s also an easy habit to fix. Harvard Health Publishing reported that taking the stairs burns calories two to three times faster than walking at a brisk pace, and those who walk at least eight flights of stairs per day have a 33% lower mortality rate than those who do not.

Taking the stairs to class can help you live longer and help burn some calories. Take it one step at a time; you can grab the elevator at any point during your climb, so don’t sweat it.

Walk to class

On the same note, walking to class can add a little boost to your day, mentally and physically. According to Medical News Today, exercising for as few as 10 minutes can increase “attentional control, cognitive inhibition, inhibitory control, working memory and cognitive flexibility.”

Walking to a scenic study spot (or the third floor of Mugar) will help you focus longer and retain more information during study sessions. Instead of taking the BU Bus, get in some physical activity with a brisk walk to class.

Meal prep

Busy schedules leave little room for nutritious meals on the go. Instead of stopping by Subway in between classes, plan next week’s lunches over the weekend to make sure you can eat well in a time crunch.

Check out Rachel Paul’s blog, The College Nutritionist, for inspiration. Paul gives realistic advice to college students living busy lives, including weight loss tips, food recommendations and on-the-go meal plans.

Set a bedtime

It may seem impossible with a packed schedule, but getting enough sleep is essential to living a healthy routine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults ages 18 to 60 years old need at least seven hours of sleep per night.

No one is perfect, and no college student is foreign to a midterm study session extending into the early morning. With that being said, striving for a mostly regular sleep schedule—with at least seven hours of sleep—is possible with time management and setting a regular bedtime.

iOS 12’s new Bedtime setting can help iPhone users remember to get enough shuteye. By tapping the Bedtime tab in the clock app, users can set a bedtime reminder and morning alarm, in addition to Sleep Analysis.

Join an active club

BU has more than 450 clubs on campus, with active organizations such as Ski & Snowboard Club, Running Club and Outing Club. Joining an active club is a great opportunity to meet new people while getting active.

Attend Splash on Nickerson Field on Saturday, September 8 to check out all of the clubs and organizations BU has to offer (and to snag some free goodies).

Get a workout buddy

Kiana Carver (COM ’21) recommends having a regular workout buddy during the semester to make exercise a part of her routine.

“I find it helpful because the other person motivates me to work harder—and I won’t go to the gym alone,” Carver said.

Whether going to FitRec, taking a stroll down Comm. Ave. or running around campus, having a workout buddy is a great way to catch up with friends and stay healthy.

Setting a bedtime and walking to class may seem overrated and insignificant, but keeping a balanced and healthy routine during the semester goes a long way in terms of mental and physical health. Try these tips and tricks to stay healthy and on top of your game this fall.