Minor changes majorly influence health



    Out of shape? Overweight? Not feeling too great? Now that classes have started and eating regular meals and getting eight hours of sleep each night is not always a possibility, students sometimes have a difficult time staying healthy.

    Fortunately, having a healthy body doesn’t necessarily require hours of cross-training or a steady diet of rice cakes.

    According to the Center for Disease Control, 30 minutes of accumulative exercise throughout the course of a day is a great start to maintaining good health.

    When some people think of exercising they envision miles of running or numerous hours in the spa.

    “Simple things like walking instead of driving to class or taking the stairs instead of the elevator can all count towards the required 30 minutes of daily exercise,” said Connie Blakemore, a BYU physical education trainer.

    Studies on the importance of daily exercise have even proven that exercise can increase academic performance, Blakemore said.

    Elaine Marshall, associate dean of nursing, said sleep is also important for maintaining a healthy body.

    “A common misunderstanding is that students think they can catch up with sleep on the weekends if they fall behind during the week, but in reality it’s the sleep that does the catching up in the end,” Marshall said.

    Marshall said power napping is a great way to stay on top of sleep, as long as the nap is kept under 30 minutes.

    “If you’re going to take a power nap, make sure you find a nice place and just do it,” Marshall said.

    Eating right also contributes to a healthy body. The principle of moderation is extremely important because too much of anything isn’t good for the body, Marshall said.

    “It’s important to maintain a pattern of healthy fads. Even if you binge every now and again, make sure that your overall eating habits are healthy,” Marshall said.

    “The best thing to do for those who have difficulty finding time to eat is to grab a piece of fruit. Not only is fruit cheap and easy to find, it provides the body with a good source of carbohydrates that can give you an energy boost because of natural sugars,” Marshall said.

    If students make minor adjustments to their eating, exercising and sleeping habits they will probably feel better about themselves and most likely do better in their academic performance.

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