Being an athlete requires you to be in the best possible health in order to compete. And while sticking to a strict health regimen can be challenging at any point in your life, there’s arguably no harder time to do this than when you’re in college.
With so many temptations for you to indulge in unhealthy behaviors, it can be a real struggle for college athletes to remain as fit as they need to be in order to fulfill their athletic responsibilities. So to help you in this endeavor, here are three tips for staying healthy as a college athlete.
Schedule In Time For Rest And Recovery
While not the most glamorous part of being a student-athlete, rest and recovery is vital to your ability to perform and stay fit and healthy. However, not many college athletes want to spend time resting and recovering when they could be studying, partying, or otherwise having a good time outside of practice and competition.
But according to Catherine Northington, a contributor to CheatSheet.com, not resting your body and mind enough could lead to serious issues with both your physical and mental health. So while it might be hard, it’s recommended that you schedule time to rest and recover on a very regular basis. During this time, try to do things like wash and clean your athletic gear, get some extra sleep, and prepare for the upcoming pressure you’ll be putting your body and mind through.
Don’t Skip Meals
When you’re spending a big portion of your time being active, it’s important that you’re adequately fueling your body for this level of activity. Because of this, college athletes should make it a priority to never skip a meal.
Monica Miller, a contributor to NCAA.org, shares that when student-athletes skip meals, they’re messing with their body’s metabolism, putting their muscles at risk of breaking down, and adding more fat to their bodies. Since none of these things are what a college athlete wants to be doing, you should do everything in your power to ensure you’re getting balanced meals all throughout your day.
Focus On Hydration
Being in college, it’s only natural that you’ll spend some of your time there participating in drinking at parties or other events. But as a student-athlete, your hydration should be a top priority, and drinking alcohol can really mess with that.
According to Dana Angelo White, a contributor to the Food Network, being hydrated allows athletes to fight off muscle fatigue and injury. So when you drink alcohol, you’re diminishing your ability to do that. So while drinking doesn’t have to be completely off-limits, it should be done with caution.
If you’re a college athlete who’s worried about staying fit and healthy while on campus, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you do just that.