The Pocket Guide to Student Health

Being a student is great, you meet new friends and see new places, but with all of these new experiences it can be easy to put a concern for your health on the back burner.

Healthcare access should be on your check-list along with accommodation, text-books, student loan, car, local nightlife, etc.

By following these 7 simple tips you’ll be able to have fun and stay healthy!

1) Register with a Doctor

If you only do one thing during Freshers’ week, make sure that it’s registering with a doctor. If you move house you need to register with a doctor in the new catchment area and heading off to university is just the same. Filling in the forms may seem like a chore at the time, but if you do get ill it will be a relief to know that advice is just a few minutes away. The University may have its own student health centre so make a point to check that out too.

2) Practice Safe Sex

With all of the excitement of meeting new people, it’s important to be careful about just how far things go.  Always make sure to use contraception and don’t rely on the other party to have some to hand.  Even if you’re on the pill it’s important to use condoms until you’re sure that your partner has been tested. You may be tempted to throw this advice to the wind, but STIs are one of the worst parts of university and adding a Chlamydia test kit to your Christmas list won’t make your parents proud.

3) Good Hygiene

There are plenty of germs travelling around your university, so make sure to frequently wash your hands, not just after going to the loo but also before you touch food. You should also avoid touching your face, particularly around your lips, nose and eyes.

4) Eat Well

The typical student diet is more closely associated with beans on toast than a 3 bean stew, but it’s important to make sure you get your 5-a-day. Smoothies and soups are a great way of getting all of your nutrients in one go, and buying frozen fruit and vegetables means that nothing can go mouldy. A top tip is to make nutritious food in batches and then freeze the rest for later.

5) Exercise

To keep your body in good shape it’s important to exercise. This doesn’t mean that you need to be at the gym at 6am every morning, but everyone can make a few small changes. Walk instead of taking the stairs, power walk to the bus stop and join a casual sports club. Your body will thank you later.

6) Avoid Stress

Stress can lower your immunity, so to stay on top form it’s important to make sure you’re not under too much pressure. Organise your time efficiently from the start and you’ll thank yourself at the end. Many universities also have councillors you can speak to if you’re feeling pressured, so don’t bottle your feelings up. Chances are there are a lot of other people feeling just the same.

7) Sleep

Students are known for partying, but it’s important to learn to manage this around your academic schedule.  A lack of sleep will leave you exhausted and drained, so take time to re-charge every now and again.

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