Pro tip number 1: Minimize processed carbs
You know that delicious looking muffin staring into your soul at the coffee shop before your 9 am class? It promises that it will make you feel better but don’t believe the lies! Muffins, bagels, pastas, etc. are what we would call processed carbs. These are bad, bad, bad (especially now during flu season). I will say that they will make you feel better and give you energy BUT this is for a very limited time. These foods, the second they are put into your mouth start to get broken down into sugar that spike your blood glucose levels and give you a “sugar high”. And we all know what happens after that- you crash. It is normally during this period that we begin to crave more of those processed carbs to give us back that sugar high and if you give in it turns into a vicious cycle. Before you know it you are eating a diet that is way high in fats. This is BAD. A diet that is high in fats lowers your immune system’s ability to fight off infection, this leaves you susceptible to winter illnesses like influenza and the common cold. So during your late night study sessions, don’t reach for that bag of chips (tempting I know); instead, grab an apple or some carrots and hummus. These foods provide you with vitamins to help your immune system, healthy fats for energy, and take longer for your body to break down- keeping you fuller for longer.
To find more information on healthy eating you can visit www.foodpyramid.com
Also, UHS has some great resources about healthy eating as a college student! Check it out here!
Pro tip number 2: Exercise!!
Elle Woods said it best “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t kill their husbands.” We’re going to focus on the endorphins part (even though she has a point about the ‘happy people don’t kill part’, but I digress). Endorphins are these wonderful chemicals that our body produces during exercise. These chemicals interact with specific receptors in our brain that help to reduce our perception of pain and trigger a positive feeling in our body. Once our body starts to produce these lovely little chemicals it will give you a “euphoric” sort of feeling- this euphoria is what makes you happy! Endorphins are nature’s opiate- only better because you can’t get addicted to them and they’re free!
The best part about exercise endorphins is that you can get you “fix” really easily!
Visit www.recsports.umich.edu to get information on the CCRB, IMSB, NCRB, and club and IM sports.
Along with endorphins exercise also has countless other benefits. It helps to reduce stress, improves sleep, lowers blood pressure, strengthens your heart, prevents obesity, improves learning and builds self-esteem. This is just a short list of the benefits that come from exercise.
The bottom line is that exercise and a healthy diet are the best ways to fight off the winter blues. So give these tips a try- I guarantee they’ll help!
Surviving the winter,