Best Body Exercises
Most college students, in their late teens and early twenties, appear to be healthy. But appearances can be deceiving. Each year, thousands of students lose productive academic time to physical and emotional health problems some of which can continue to plague them for life.
The following table shows the top 10 health issues affecting students’ academic performance, according to the Fall 2010 American College Health Association National College Health Assessment II.
Each of these issues is related to one or more of the six dimensions of wellness, and most can be influenced by choices students make daily. Although some troubles such as the death of a friend cannot be controlled, other physical and emotional concerns can be minimized by choosing healthy behaviors. For example, there are many ways to manage stress, the top health issue affecting students. By reducing unhealthy choices (such as using alcohol to relax) and by increasing healthy choices (such as using time management techniques), even busy students can reduce the impact of stress on their life.
The survey also estimated that, based on students’ reporting of their height and weight, more than 33% of college students are either overweight or obese. Although heredity plays a role in determining one’s weight, lifestyle is also a factor in weight and weight management. In many studies over the past few decades, a large percentage of students have reported behaviors such as these:
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• Snacking on junk food
• Frequently eating high-fat foods
• Using alcohol and binge drinking
Clearly, eating behaviors are often a matter of choice. Although students may not see (or feel) the effects of their dietary habits today, the long-term health risks are significant. Overweight and obese persons run a higher-than-normal risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and cancer later in life. We now know with certainty that improving one’s eating habits, even a little, can lead to weight loss and improved overall health. Other Choices, Other Problems Students commonly make other unhealthy choices. Here are some examples from the Fall 2010 National College Health Assessment II:
• About 43% of students reported that they did not use a contraceptive the last time they had vaginal intercourse.
• About 16% of students had seven or more drinks the last time they partied.
• Almost 14% of students had smoked cigarettes at least once during the past month.
What choices do you make in these situations? Remember: It’s never too late to change. The sooner you trade an unhealthy behavior for a healthy one, the longer you’ll be around to enjoy the benefits. source: American College Health Association. 2012. American College Health Association National College Health Assessment II: Reference Group Executive Summary Spring 2012. Hanover, Md.: American College Health Association.
Certain health behaviors are exceptionally difficult to change. Some people can quit smoking on their own; others get help from a smoking cessation program or a nicotine replacement product.
Find Help Have you identified a particularly challenging target behavior or mood something like alcohol addiction, binge eating, or depression that interferes with your ability to function or places you at a serious health risk? Help may be needed to change behaviors or conditions that are too deeply rooted or too serious for self-management. Don’t be discouraged by the seriousness or extent of the problem; many resources are available to help you solve it. On campus, the student health center or campus counseling center can provide assistance. To locate community resources, consult the yellow pages, your physician, or the Internet.