How to Stay Healthy and Productive at Uni on a Budget | Top Universities

How to Stay Healthy and Productive at Uni on a Budget

By Guest Writer

Updated June 2, 2017 Updated June 2, 2017

By Emily Valentine

While it might be tempting to exist on a diet of pizza and binge-watching Netflix, there are healthier ways to boost your mood while at uni. Staying physically and mentally strong and breaking your bad habits are really important during this intense period of your life. 

Read on for some handy tips to help keep you healthy and focused, without breaking the bank in the process.

Healthy body, healthy mind

Exercise releases endorphins (otherwise known as happy hormones) which do a whole load of wonderful things for your mood. So, even when it feels as though hiding under the duvet might fix all your problems, getting out and about is a much better option. If you’re feeling in a positive mindset, you’re more likely to be able to focus your energy on studying.

Doing exercise you actually enjoy is the key to keeping it up long-term. There are so many cheap and free alternatives now that you really don’t need to be splashing out lots of cash on an expensive gym membership if you’re not a gym bunny at heart. 

See if your university offers free or discounted exercise options, look around for group exercise meet-ups in local parks or just grab a group of friends and organize your own fun.

Eat well on a budget

How you fuel your body is also important. Aside from the damaging effects on your health, eating too much salt, saturated fat and sugar is going to make you feel sluggish and tired. 

It might seem easier and cheaper to eat microwave meals, but with a small amount of inventiveness you can eat all sorts of nutritious and tasty food on a small budget. There’s no need to splash out on expensive recipe books either, as there are so many resources online.

Living in a shared house is a fantastic opportunity to share cooking responsibilities. Instead of fighting over whose turn it is to do the washing up, why not turn the kitchen into a social hub rather than a war zone? Turn cooking into something social and fun, split the grocery bills and take it in turns to come up with cheap, tasty and inventive meals.

Get yourself organized

Being organized costs nothing, and it does wonders for your mind as well. Anything which helps you feel like you’ve got your life admin under control is going to help you feel more positive. 

Whether that means knocking up a study timetable, going through all those bills and bank statements (that are still in their envelopes) or even having a good old clear-out of your overflowing sock drawer. 

Marie Kondo’s best-selling book The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up might be just the thing to inspire you.

Ditch public transport

Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise you can possibly do, and it costs nothing.  Everyone needs a bit of thinking space, so walking rather than sitting on a crowded bus or train could be a great option for giving yourself some thinking space, boosting your mood, and getting focused before a busy day at uni or a stressful exam.

If walking to your destination takes too long, then why not think about investing in a cheap bike, or even a pair of roller-skates? Anything that saves money and gets you from A to B while boosting your mood and keeping you healthy is a sure-fire way to help you stay much more productive.

Emily Valentine writes for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency specializing in matching candidates to their dream job or internship. Click here to browse their London-based graduate jobs, and here for their graduate jobs Manchester page.

(Lead image: Port of San Diego (Flickr))

This article was originally published in June 2017 .

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