Health important for students

New college students often hear about the “freshman 15,” when students put on 15 pounds during their first year of school. Sadly, it seems this phenomenon continues throughout the college years. This is understandable since students often eat late meals, grab food on the go, and get little to no exercise. However, as studies prove the benefits of living a healthy life, college students must realize the importance of paying more attention to their health.

According to a CNN report, Colleen Doyle, the director of nutrition and physical activity for the American Cancer Society, said about 186,000 lives a year could be saved if people changed their living habits because, as she said, “One third of (cancer) deaths are related to diet and inactivity.”

Students should make an effort to become aware of the many benefits of being healthy. They can begin to lead a healthier life by making some small changes in their daily routine.

Eating breakfast daily is important. Whether it is munching on a granola bar on the way to class or dining on pancakes and sausage, eating breakfast is vital to starting the day right. It provides energy for the rest of the day.

Students can make use of the facilities at the campus recreation center. Even 20 minutes of exercise a few times a week can help a student become healthier. Another way to become more physically active is to play intramural sports.

Yet another way to keep fit is by walking to classes instead of driving to each one. This will also eliminate the annoyance of having to find numerous parking spaces during the day.

Students can take healthy snacks with them to eat between classes or when they’re on the go. These can include granola bars or snack bags of pretzels. Another benefit of this method is that students will spend less money on fast food if they have something to hold them over to their next meal.

The American Cancer Society is sponsoring a Great American Weigh-In on March 5, encouraging people to calculate their body mass index to see if they’re overweight. Many Web sites allow people to calculate their BMI. Students can join the Weigh-In on Wednesday to see if they need to improve their living habits. If they find out they do, students should consider taking steps to lead a healthier life.