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Tips to Stay Healthy and Fit While Studying Abroad

Sep 20, 2023

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Staying in shape and maintaining a healthy lifestyle often becomes difficult when you are living alone in a foreign country miles away from the comfort of your home. Every study abroad opportunity means change but that should never come at the cost of your health. Read on to learn how you can stick to your schedule while maintaining your mental and physical health during the period of your higher education abroad.
 

1.   Squeeze in Workouts

Regular exercise is the cornerstone of good health and fitness. Working out anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes daily energises you and elevates your mood. Whenever there is a sudden change in life, often, the first thing to take a back seat is always exercise. The reason can be myriad - lack of motivation, time, space or money. 

If you are crunched for money, then you can always work out in your house or go for a walk or cycle to your university/college. If you are crunched for space, then you have the option to avail the university gym or explore parks and gardens near your university. Exercising can be literally done in any form, the key is to push yourself and get into an active mode.
 

2.   On-time Healthy Diet

Eating healthy and on time go hand-in-hand even during your higher education abroad. You should make a meal schedule and try to stick to it as much as possible. Ensure to have your breakfast early before you start your morning classes. This can be achieved by waking up early or making something quick the night before. Lunch should ideally be consumed within four to five hours of breakfast and aim for an early dinner by 8 o’clock. Eating early at night gives your body a couple of hours of digestion time before you hit the sack.

Another important point is what you are putting into your body. Your focus should be on consuming a balanced diet rich in protein, carbohydrates, fibre, and essential vitamins. You should always start with a healthy protein-packed breakfast. You can either make something for yourself like an egg or paneer sandwich or opt for something quicker such as a smoothie. You can enjoy a hearty lunch filled with carbohydrates and salads and dinner should always be light.

It's easy for students studying abroad to fill themselves with junk food, but this should be avoided as it will negatively impact your energy and concentration levels in the long run. You can opt for fresh fruits as a snack instead. Try to avoid frozen meals and packet foods as they have a lot of preservatives, you can eat a hot fresh meal at your college cafeteria. 
 

3.   Consistent Hydration

The human body comprises 60% water. This makes it essential to keep drinking water throughout the day. Consuming fizzy drinks or hot beverages is not enough. You should aim to drink at least 2-3 litres of water daily. Your first sip of water should be right after you wake up and the last should be right before you go to bed.
 

4.   Restful Sleep

Student life is often marked by irregularity and spontaneous plans. Sometimes this can end up impacting your bedtime routine. Added to this is the pressure of assignments and trying to adjust to a new life. No matter how difficult it may seem, you should try to stick to a fixed bedtime and ensure to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep. 

Before you go to sleep, build up a healthy ritual by avoiding your phone or laptop for at least 30 minutes. Try to calm your mind by either listening to soothing music or reading a book. Make sure your room is dark. 

A night of good rest will refresh your mind and body. A clear mind will help you to focus on your studies the next day and make you more productive.
 

5.   Regular Medical Check-ups

If your university or college offers you the provision of an annual health check-up, then you should attend these camps. Timely identification of any health ailment will prevent it from getting worse. The healthier you are, the better you can focus on making the most of your study abroad opportunity.
 

6.   Resist Temptations

Moving to a new country can often tempt you to try the local street food. Although there is no harm in indulging yourself once or twice a month, for the sake of your health, you should resist the temptation of eating out regularly. Try to cook for yourself in your apartment. This is not only beneficial for your health but also cost saving.
 

7.   Be Socially Active

Aside from physical fitness, psychological fitness is equally important. Interacting with people and building healthy relationships helps to keep instances of depression at bay. Socialising and spending time with your peer group rejuvenates the mind and helps you to focus on your career goals. Connections and friendships help to build self-esteem, develop your interpersonal skills and maintain a positive attitude. You can also learn alot from people from different cultures and backgrounds. 
 

8.   Refrain from Smoking and Binge Drinking

Most students gravitate towards drinking and smoking as quick stress relievers. Both smoking and drinking harm the body and can negatively affect your studies by impairing your cognitive abilities in the long run. 
 

9.   Check in With Yourself

Settling in a new country for your higher education abroad ushers in a whole lot of changes. Not only do you need to cope with culture shock but also deal with the challenges of living independently. You need to be at the top of your game as you focus on your studies. Also, you need to keep a positive outlook as you make new friends. At times, this can get overwhelming. 

When this happens, you should try to express yourself by writing in a journal or talking about it. You can reconnect with your family or friends back home or talk to your new friends. You can even paint or do any activity that helps you to express yourself better. You can even consider visiting a therapist or counsellor and talking to him/her about everything you are feeling.

The main idea is to be kind to yourself and recognise your emotions instead of shutting them down.
 

Conclusion

Every student who goes abroad to pursue his/her studies endures a tough time adjusting to the new life and the demands that come with it. No matter how difficult things get, you need to keep in mind to take care of your body, mind, and spirit. Taking care of yourself will help you to emerge academically successful. For more in depth insights on studying abroad, get in touch with KC Overseas, one of the leading study abroad consultants in India, who will guide you on this exciting journey.

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