By Laura Morrison, July 2014
Graduate school is a big endeavor. With students having to balance school work, reading, a job and sometimes even a family, it can often feel like there's no time left in the day for anything else. Unfortunately, this can also mean that there's no time left to look after your health as well. Just because everyone talks about the "freshman 15" doesn't mean that you have to accept it as an inevitability of returning to student life. If you're one of the many undertaking graduate studies this September, here are a few things to keep in mind so that you can raise your GPA without also raising your BMI.
Have a routine
In all likelihood a routine is something you've probably already established as part of your general graduate school time management, but it's also an important component of staying healthy throughout your studies. Having a routine is a great way to make sure you can find time to get in some exercise, standardize your meals and even make sure you get enough sleep. It may seem like there's simply not enough time to go for that run or cook a healthy dinner at first, but if you incorporate such things into your daily operation and make a habit out of them, you'll find it much easier to get on board with maintaining health.
Be kind to your body
It can be tempting to adopt the work hard, play hard mindset while chasing your degree, but it's important to not go overboard. As Campus Mindworks pointed out, some students turn to alcohol as a way to manage the stress of graduate school. While this may seem effective at the time, you're not doing your body - or your mind - any favors in the longer term. According to a study reported on by the National Institutes of Health, some 88 percent of graduate students in the social work and business fields were drinkers. While this isn't to say that you should avoid alcohol completely, make sure you adhere to the doctrine of moderation.
This seems like a no-brainer, but it's important to drive home how crucial a healthy diet is in keeping yourself in top shape throughout school. Those on a tight budget may worry about food costs adding up. Fortunately, Inside Higher Ed outlined some simple ways to eat right for less. Buying in bulk or frequenting local suppliers such as farmers markets are great ways to make your food budget go as far as you need it to.
About the Author: Laura Morrison is the Web Content Manager for GradSchools.com. She earned an MBA from the Rutgers School of Business in 2010.