Orientation 2014: Health Tips

No Comments 2 September 2014

By: Gateway Staff

SU Health and Dental Plan

Need to maintain your grill or get your prescription fix? If you’re a full-time or part-time undergraduate student, the Students’ Union offers the Health and Dental Plan, which covers prescription drugs, vaccinations, diagnostic and imaging services. The SU plan also offers vision, dental and travel coverage.

If you wish to opt out, you may do so at http://www.ihaveaplan.ca until Sept. 16, 2014. Or, you can visit their office in person at SUB 6-14.

When you’re hungry

Start with hydration. You may actually be misinterpreting signals that you’re thirsty (we do get some hydration from food). Water and milk are good hydrators as opposed to sugary fruit juices and soft drinks that cost water to process. Caffeinated or alcoholic ones just fill your bladder (diuretics), so try flavoured green tea in your water bottle, as long as it’s not
Follow with nutrients! If you’re hungry and not thirsty, it may be that your body needs a specific vitamin, mineral or nutrient besides just the empty calories you get from fat or sugar. Eating fresh produce and whole foods helps with this, because many — like whole grains — also take longer to digest, so you aren’t spiking your blood sugar and have longer to get the essential ingredients from them. Investing in a daily multivitamin may save blowing your commissary on impulse junk food in the long term.
Easy snacks to always carry
Water, almonds (or other nuts and seeds), sliced grapefruit, kiwi or other fruit, carrots, instant oatmeal (many food outlets give free hot water), nutrition shakes.

When you’re tired

Sleep, though that’s simpler than it seems once you have deadlines over your head, social insanity calling, study schedules, classes, clubs and work. As a fresh fish, you may find it’s best to listen to your body and hit the rack whenever you can, even if that means taking a REM-cycle nap between a morning class and afternoon study block. Let those Zs find you where and whenever they may. It improves cognitive performance, keeps you out of the haywire ward and helps prevent weight gain, as staying awake when you’re sleepy forces you to reach for energy elsewhere, like junky snacks.
Also, hit the yard. Walk or bike around the block to classes. Jog in place in your cell. Do body-weight exercises like crunches, planks or chair tricep dips. A simple pushup can be done from your toes or knees, and involves placing your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart, lowering until your chest just touches, and pushing back to the extent of your arms while keeping your body taught and straight. Any movement you feel in your heart, lungs and muscles will likely lead to a more restful sleep at lights out and a healthier metabolism than the sedentary prisoner lifestyle.
If you’re more ambitious, this sentence offers gym memberships too. Try out squash courts or weight training at the North Campus Van Vliet Centre with your ONEcard. Lifting weight is a good way to improve your musculoskeletal health while you increase energy and burn fat. If you’re sporty, join an athletic recreational club or intramural team, which is a social outlet at the same time, letting you recuperate from solitary. We students learn to multi-task!
Nap tips
Twenty minutes or less of shuteye is a power nap. 45-ish minutes lets you recover longer, but avoids the grogginess of waking from deep sleep. Two hours fits about one full sleep cycle.


Gateway Staff


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