More than one-third of U.S. adults are obese, according to data collected by Centers for Disease Control. Obesity among college students is especially prevalent. To help us address this issue, we have Kaleb J. Hill, founder of FitnessFleet, LLC a philanthropic health and wellness company.
HOPE: Why is it so important for college students to eat healthy and work out regularly?
Kaleb: Proper nutrition is important because everything we eat makes up our living cells. If you’re always eating chemical-laden processed foods, you’re blocking your body’s ability to absorb whole foods. Fresh produce is best because it provides your body with all of the vitamins, minerals, water and dietary fiber needed to function properly. Exercise releases a potent combination of hormones that promote clarity, muscle growth, and increase metabolism. Learning, remembering, reasoning and moods improve when you exercise. When you’re stressed, your brain doesn’t function optimally and it can shut down often. Incorporating at least 30 minutes of high intensity exercise in your daily schedule will help alleviate stress, improve stamina and help you get a good night’s rest. All of the things I listed are important for student who wish to excel.
HOPE: College students are usually pressed for time and short on cash. How does a student squeeze a workout into their busy schedule and find a place for fruits and vegetables on a pizza and wings budget?
Kaleb: Thirty minutes a day will not take much of a student’s day away. Split it up into two 15 minute workouts if you need to. You can do chair dips, pushups, jumping jacks and dumbbell curls in your dorm room with gallon jugs filled with water, that’s 8 pounds of resistance. The farmer’s market is usually open on the weekend. www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.com has a free search tool to find one in your area. $25 can get you a month’s worth of local produce. Encourage your peers to join you in your wellness journey. If you create a big enough demand some of the farmer’s may even deliver.
HOPE: How important is sleeping to a college student’s overall health?
Kaleb: Sleep is essential. It is when your body recovers and restores all living cells. Many college students are sleep deprived this can effect your brains ability to retain information. Whether your focus is weight maintenance or weight loss, try to get between 6-7 hours of sleep. If you want to make A’s, get your Z’s.
HOPE: We’ve talked a lot about physical health, but where should students go if they are having problems with their mental health?
Kaleb: This is a great question. Mental health is the foundation of overall wellness. If your mind isn’t in good health it can translate into physical illness. Set realistic goals and ask friends to help with these goals to keep anxiety and stress at bay. Personally, I’ve dealt with mental health issues and the best things for me are yoga, daily transcendental meditation (repeating a calming phrase), listening to inspirational music, stress support supplements. Also take advantage of the mental health services offered by student health. If you’re living on campus your RA is usually familiar with these services.
Live HOPE. Give HOPE.
Kaleb “Coach KJ” Hill
About the Contributor
Kaleb J. Hill is the founder of FitnessFleet, LLC a philanthropic health and wellness company. For more information and fitness tips visit www.allaboardfitnessfleet.com. For your daily #hoodhealth wellness reminders follow him at @CoachKJMD2be.