Today, Maria Alonso from Birmingham, AL (a junior at MC) is sharing a little bit on staying healthy in college. Over the past few years, she has fallen in love with wellness & pilates all while being in college. Click the button at the bottom of the page to follow her journey via instagram.
Living a healthy lifestyle can be difficult, but doing so in the busyness of college can prove even harder sometimes. There are countless blogs and books giving tips for living clean on a college schedule and budget, and I’ll list those, but more importantly I want to give some real reasons, some legitimate motivation to take those tips and make them a lifestyle instead of a phase.
You’ve probably heard these tips a million times, but I promise, they work. It really is this easy:
1. Don’t just watch, CHOOSE what you eat.
Getting in shape/staying in shape is 80% due to your diet. Many girls read that and immediately feel the need to diet, but I urge you not to think like that! Instead, think about choices. Each time you go to eat you make a choice. Approaching each meal with intentional (yes, INTENTIONAL) decision making is a simple way to make a world of difference. Just take it one meal at a time.
2. Find exercise that you enjoy and commit!
There is no excuse not to exercise these days, especially in college. If you hate running, try a spin class! If you hate weights, try Pilates! More chill? Yoga! Like to party? Zumba is a blast! There are a million different machines, classes, styles, and options. Just get moving! Find something you enjoy, something you look forward to, and then stick with it! Schedule it in like any other mandatory class. You’ll have more energy, more fun, and be more consistent, which is when change starts to happen.
3. Grab a friend!
Getting healthy takes a lot of discipline, but that is made so much easier with a friend! Grab a buddy and do things together! Keep each other accountable. Drag each other to the gym. Smack that box of Krispy Kreme away. Push and encourage each other to keep going. These are the kind of friendships that will grow in strength as much as you do.
4. Drink your water and go to sleep!
If you do nothing else, please just stay hydrated and rested! Not drinking enough water or getting enough sleep can cause so many other health issues that you don’t want to deal with, and the solution is so simple. Carry a water bottle; go to sleep. Just do it.
Now that I’ve covered the somewhat obvious, I’d like to offer you a reason to actually follow through. A real reason. The world will tell you that you should be healthy because it will make you look good, or even make you feel good. And those things do happen, but I think we can all agree that they don’t serve to motivate to a life changing degree. Here are just a few truths that I hope will transform the way you think about health and, hopefully, encourage you in your clean-living journey:
1. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. The Heavenly Father has called you worthy and loved and that means you are worth taking care of, so take care of yourself. Don’t make bad health choices due to low self-esteem. You are worthy.
2. In Genesis, God commands us to tend to and care for His creation. That includes ourselves. When we neglect to nourish and attend to our bodies’ health, we act in disobedience. Not only are you worthy of care, but you are called to it.
3. When you accept and proclaim Christ as your Savior, you become a temple for the Holy Spirit. That means that how you keep your body, your temple, has the opportunity to be form of worship, an offering to the King who resides in it. Take that seriously.
4. Gluttony and laziness are both sins. It’s not just something to joke about. Over eating and indulging, lying around all day, these are sins. That doesn’t mean that you have to starve yourself and constantly stay on the go. Food and rest are good things! Just remember that good things only remain good in moderation. Don’t let them become idols.
5. On a happier note, realize that this is something that God cares about! He adores you and yearns for you to know and love Him more intimately. When you give him your eating habits, your workouts, your health, you give up the control and invite the Lord into yet one more area of your life. And I can promise You that He will be faithful in holding your hand and strengthening you through every step of the process offering grace and encouragement. Your God cares for you!
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).