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How To Stay Healthy In College - November 4th 2021

How to Stay Healthy In College

(Note- Most college kids who reach out to me equate “staying healthy” to preventing the body fat gains that are so common in college. Health can mean a lot of things and I am not attempting to equate health to looking good in the mirror.)

My college experience was cut short due to my own idiocy; I had a little too much fun and, at times, forgot I was also there to get an education. I ended up living at home, working in a gym and commuting to Stockton for the remainder of my college years. It worked out well for me in the end; I figured out that I wanted a career in the fitness industry and I finished school. It is kind of weird to think what might life could have been had I not partied a little too hard my freshman year. So, if you want to stay healthy in your college years, you should party yourself out of your current school, move back home and enroll in your local college while getting a job at your local gym. Problem solved, question answered.

If I could do it all over again I would start with some way to objectively measure my health. You cant stay healthy if you don’t have a way to track your health on a day to day basis. Most college kids equate health to how they look so, for the sake of simplicity, we will go with that. If I wanted to make sure I wasn’t packing on bodyfat I would use the fit of my clothes as a simple measuring stick. Pay attention to how your clothes feel when you are getting dressed each day. If your pants are a little harder to button, if your stomach is starting to push out a little further than your chest, you might be putting on some body fat. This might seem too simple but I am a very simple person and I cant survive without simple solutions to problems.

The next step is to follow the 80/20 rule, or something close to that, with your nutrition. (Stick to healthy foods 80 percent of the time and indulge in whatever fattening crap you want 20 percent of the time, 80/20). You know what the healthy stuff is; veggies, lean/minimally processed proteins like poultry, fish, red meat, eggs and protein shakes, heathy fats from olive oil and avocados, and carbs like rice, potatoes and yams. This stuff should not be breaded or fried or coated in yum yum sauces. Oh, and water, drink a ton of water. Depending on your activity level and genetics, you might be able to get away with more of a 70/30 or even 60/40 split, but you should always try to eat a little healthier than not. If your clothes start to feel a little bit snug, maybe stick closer to 80/20 or 70/30.

On the weekends, do whatever you want. Just make sure you drink plenty of water.

Your workouts shouldn’t change, regardless of what is going on with your clothes. You should be lifting 3-4 days per week and either walking a ton or playing an intramural or club sport. It doesn’t matter where you are in life or what your goals are, strength training and extra physical activity will always deliver superior results.

That’s pretty much all you need to stay healthy in college. You need to be able to objectively track what you consider health, you need to follow some variation of the 80/20 rule and you need to stay active.

If you have any questions or if you want to set up some sort of coaching program to help you stay true to your goals, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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