Lazy health: wellness with minimum effort, maximum outcome

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Lifestyles Columnist Amanda John

We’ve all heard the spiel on the “freshman 15,” and some of us have firsthand experience with it. Being an overachiever myself, I put on what I like to call my freshman 25. Now, putting on a little weight may not always be a terrible thing, but when you’re gassy, bloated and fatigued you probably haven’t put on healthy pounds.

I have never been a fan of anything healthy, especially if it requires extra time or energy. Here are seven tips to staying healthy the lazy way.

1. Sleep

See, I told you this would be fun. Believe it or not, lack of sleep can lead to weight gain. In its most basic form, sleep deprivation creates the sensation of hunger which causes you to overeat. It also is harder for your body to break down food when it is tired. Just think about it: sufficient sleep may be your golden ticket to health.

2. Drink lots of water

Water is perhaps one of my favorite things in the world. I have yet to find a negative side effect. If there is one, don’t tell me. I intend to maintain my blissful ignorance in all areas of life. Water keeps your body hydrated, making it easier to burn excess fat and sustain good levels of energy while going about your daily life.

3. Avoid sugary, caffeinated drinks

Really, I’m a little bit of a hypocrite because I do love my Coca-Cola, but I’ve gotten better over the years. Caffeinated drinks force your body to absorb minerals that take much longer to process and cannot be completely broken down. This leaves you feeling bloated, or even worse, gassy. Ugh! Settle for a fixed number of caffeinated drinks a week and work your way to decrease that number. The occasional splurge doesn’t hurt.

4. Take a walk

They are awesome and the only thing on this list that requires real action. I would probably say this is the one thing I use to justify skipping the gym. Walks are great: they help you burn calories by staying active, they are a lot easier to get done and involve way less sweat. Sign me up! Try to integrate it into your daily routine by taking the stairs instead of an elevator or giving yourself an extra five-minute leeway so you can take a longer route to class. Put on your headphones and take a stroll around town, you got this.

5. Wash your hands

I realize I am not your mom but wash your hands. Don’t question this, just do it. Wash those germ-infested tools of daily interaction. You’d be amazed how many germs can stick to what appears to be your clean hands. That, my friends, is how people get the flu. So, whenever you encounter water and soap, or sanitizer, use them. Do yourself and the entire campus community a solid.

6. Eat healthy

(Here’s a secret, I laughed while I typed this). I do not practice what I’m about to preach, but I promise I am working on it. The easiest tip is to keep your plate colorful; you’re going to want some fruits and vegetables. I personally adore berries and I can eat spinach if I force my mouth open. So, find those fruits and vegetables that work for you.

7. Find your inner self

Self-knowledge and love are perhaps the healthiest attributes you can ever indulge in. Feel free to explore your surroundings and find new hobbies or habits. Find what makes you happy and work to integrate it into your weekly schedule. Discover what doesn’t work and avoid it as best you can. Remember, a banging body is wasted on an aching soul. So, slay from within!

Amanda John is a political science and sociology major and can be reached at amandafortune.john@jacks.sdstate.edu.

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