College Kids: Back to School Health

Classes are in session! While the health of our little ones is very important, we’ve got attentive nurses and teachers to help along the way. This time, we’re focusing on the college kids- you’re finally on your own! Your priorities are going to make a major shift- exams, hard deadlines, and financial decisions are on your mind- but it’s so important not to forget about your health. You don’t have mom watching over anymore; your health is your own responsibility. Here are a few things we’d like our college students to remember this semester.
Lifting - Watch your Back!
  • If you’re moving from home to a dorm room or apartment, make sure you’re lifting correctly. 
  • Plant your feet firmly on the ground, shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend at the knees and hips, keeping your back straight. Try not to arch your back at any time -- this greatly increases your risk of injury
  • Flex your stomach muscles while straightening your knees in a steady motion. Lift with your legs. 
  • Set the object down using the same guidelines: plant your feet, flex your stomach, and bend your hips and knees while keeping your back straight.
Spine Safe Studying: 
There’s always that one student who doesn’t take one note or crack a book, but still manages to ace the course with flying colors. Very lucky. But for the rest of us, studying is a must. For those long hours at the desk, try to make sure that you are getting up to stretch every so often- take a walk, get some fresh air. Don’t study in bed or on the couch- your back and neck won’t be properly supported, plus it’s easier to feel tired and lazy when you’re reclined in bed. If you’re using a computer or tablet, make sure the monitor is eye level; don’t look down on your screen as it will strain your neck. 
Keep in mind that while sugary snacks & drinks may seem like the best fuel for late-night study sessions, healthier snacks like fruits & veggies give you lasting energy. And skip the soda-  carbonated beverages aren’t doing much to hydrate you, and that dehydration will make you feel drowsy and weak... So try to sneak some good, old-fashioned water in there somewhere! 
In addition, we know those all-you-can-eat buffet meal plans give you access to a lot of food at once, but try not to over-do it. Remember a consistent diet is better than binging on all your calories at once. Hit the salad bar every once and a while. 
Whether it’s for late night studying or late night socializing, burning the candle at both ends is a bad idea. The CDC says that lack of sleep is related to weight gain, depression, and a weakened immune system. Plus it worsens your ability to retain information and think quickly. Irregular sleep patterns can be dangerous, too, so create a sleep schedule and stick to it as much as possible.  
Take care of yourself while you’re away and be sure to visit us during break so we can make sure you’re not putting too much stress on the body. Have a great semester, everyone!