Starting University can be daunting, looming and require blood, sweat, and tears during the initial few weeks. However, you must consider your health. So, are you fresher’s fit? Or do you need to make some lifestyle changes before the semester begins?
There are numerous ways to measure your health, although online searches are not the answer – nor is asking social media. Some outlets suggest the less you weigh, the healthier you are – INCORRECT. So, kick-start your academic year with accurate research and go back to the basics.
Body Fat & Body Mass Index (BMI)
We all come in different shapes, sizes, and sexes – meaning our weight, shape and body fat mass will differ. Weighing yourself on the bathroom scales can be a misleading way of establishing a healthy lifestyle. Scales do not take into account your height or muscle mass (which weighs more than fat), resulting in inaccurate figures.
For a more accurate result, work out your BMI. Simply divide your weight (kg) by your height (m), and then by your height again. Generally speaking, a result between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy, but if you have any worries – chat to your local doctor.
As stated before, muscle weighs more than fat, therefore gaining muscle mass may lead to dramatic figures, but don’t worry! Most gyms will have qualified trainers who can measure your body fat – make the most of your membership and ask. This will give you an overall view on your current fitness/lifestyle levels.
Nutrition & Diet Plan
While many celebrities and fitness models advocate diets based on exclusion and restricting plans, this is not sustainable long-term. every meal should contain the three main macronutrients – protein, carbs, and fat.
Each macronutrient is essential for you body to function effectively. It must also be noted that a variety of fruit and vegetables should be incorporated into your diet plan to ensure vitamins and minerals are consumed.
Fresh is best. Stay away from processed food, you need to maximise your nutrition – especially if you’re planning to party all night long. Refrain from added salts, sugars and other sneaky ingredients- even if your hangover is begging!
Oh No, Cardio!
If you’ve been accepted at University, you should already know that your heart pumps blood and oxygen to your vital organs, therefore you must look after your internal motor. Stick to the old fashioned Bleep Test to gain an insight to your cardio fitness, you can find the audio online or on your smartphone. Average results are between 7-9 for men and 6-8 for women. If you’re struggling to meet these guidelines – make sure cardio is part of your workout plan more often.
This is key – especially when you’re at University. Freshers is fast approaching and it’s totally normal to feel anxious, nervous or even excited – who wouldn’t want to party all day and dance all night? However, if your emotions are preventing the party atmosphere or stopping you from socializing, seek help. Make friends, and confide in them – bottling your nerves up won’t help. Others find that meditation, yoga or relaxing techniques also ease the stress. All univerities will have counselling services, they’re there to help – use them!