Sleep, nutrition, and physical activity are core components of well-being. Sleep improves memory and learning, enhances your productivity, and helps regulate your emotional and mental well-being. Eating nutritious meals every day can help you feel energized and promote your overall health. Lastly, physical activity can help relieve stress, regulate your emotional and mental well-being, and is a great way to give yourself a break from classwork. As a college student, it can be difficult to get enough sleep, eat nutritious meals, and exercise regularly. Find programs, tips, and resources for promoting your physical well-being:
Physical Well-Being Workshops
- Our physical well-being programs include topics focused on sleep, body image, nutrition, and yoga. Check our list of physical well-being workshops here.
- To request a workshop fill out our form here.
Sleep, Nutrition, and Exercise Tips
Finding it hard to concentrate on your work or falling asleep during class? You may not be getting enough or quality sleep at night. Here are some tips to sleep better:
- Sleep for 7-9 hours per night.
- Take a 15-45 minute nap during the early afternoon if you are feeling tired. You’ll feel more energized and be able to focus better. Avoid sleeping longer than 45 minutes since you will likely feel groggy.
- Avoid staying up late or all night. Your brain needs sleep to process information, staying up all night decreases your ability to process and makes it more difficult the next day to do well on classwork and exams.
- Set a sleep schedule. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day of the week can improve your quality of sleep and reinforces your circadian rhythm. When building your class and work schedule, try to consider what you want your sleep schedule to look like.
- Avoid blue light at night. Turn off your screens (phone, laptop, TV, tablet, etc.) at least 30 minutes before bed. Blue light can block a hormone called melatonin that makes you sleepy, making it difficult to fall asleep. Instead, read a book, do a puzzle, or listen to a sleep story or guided meditation on the Calm app to help you fall asleep.
- Make your room a positive sleep environment. If your surroundings are making it difficult for you to fall asleep, consider adding some thick curtains and a fan to keep you cool. Wearing a sleep mask and earplugs may also help if you are sharing your space.
- Avoid caffeine. Drinking coffee, soda, or energy drinks later in the day can leave lasting effects when you are trying to fall asleep at night. After 2 pm, consider switching to a non-caffeinated tea, juice, or water.
- Learn more. Find other ways to sleep better by checking out the JHU Campus Well content on sleep.
Nutrition can be overwhelming and difficult to balance with a busy schedule and a small budget. Use these tips below to improve your eating habits.
- Nutrition is holistic. Often students think improving nutrition includes eliminating “unhealthy” foods and only eating “healthy” foods. The reality is that it’s okay to eat any type of food. The important step to take is to try to eat everything in moderation. You can have your favorite comfort foods and also try to incorporate fruits and vegetables. Having variety in your diet allows you to get an array of vitamins and minerals important for overall well-being.
- Add fruits and vegetables to current meals. Just adding nutritional foods to your current meals can help you have a more holistic diet. Go-to student meals such as macaroni and cheese or ramen can often be heavy in one food group such as grains. Expand the food groups you are eating by adding vegetables, nuts, or seeds to these meals.
- Plan your trip to the grocery store. If you are on a budget or get overwhelmed when grocery shopping create a plan of action to make sure you aren’t overspending and get the ingredients you need. Use coupons (cut them out of your local newspaper or find them on your grocery store app) to help cut costs, make a grocery list that has your weekly meals planned, and gradually purchase ingredients that are more expensive such as seasonings, nuts, or seeds each time you go to the store.
- Pack lunches and snacks. When you are on campus, pack lunches, dinners, and snacks to help you stay full and focused throughout your day. Pack foods with protein and grains to help stay full longer, especially if you have a long day.
- Drink water. With caffeine culture, students may forget to drink enough water each day. Drinking enough water each day can help you from overeating, avoid dehydration headaches, and keep you focused.
- Budget tips for every food group. If you are struggling to understand how to buy foods of a certain food group (protein, fruits, vegetables, or grains) on a budget. Check out this helpful page.
- Expand the type of meals you make. Eating the same meals every week? Check out these simple ingredient recipes to give you variety without hurting your budget.
From nutrition tips to recipes to make on a college budget. Check out the JHU Campus Well content on food and nutrition to learn more.
Busy schedules, stress, and the inability to do as much during a pandemic can make physical activity difficult to incorporate. Here are some tips and information to help you curate a physical activity routine that is right for you.
- Free Virtual Group Fitness Classes. Currently, the Recreation Center is offering virtual group classes that are free to all students. Now is the time to try out a new group exercise!
- Find a physical activity that is fun, enjoyable, or something you WANT to do. If you struggle to stay on a consistent exercise routine, try exploring other exercise options. For instance, dancing in your bedroom, walking or hiking, walking your dog, finding a yoga video on Youtube, stretching, etc. Often times, our idea of exercise is heavily focused on the gym, running, or lifting weights. If you do not enjoy how you feel during or after the workout, then you may have a hard time continuing the activity. Instead, finding an activity that makes you happy or you enjoy will help you be more consistent in your exercise routine and improve your emotional and physical well-being.
- It’s okay to exercise for only a short period. As students, you might not have enough time in the day to fit in a one-hour physical activity. That’s okay. Instead try to fit 10, 15, 20, or even 30 minutes of physical activity into your day. Reflect on the time of day when you have the most downtime. That could be in the morning, at lunch, or evening. Try to fit in a small exercise during this time. Just avoid right before bed since that may make it difficult to fall asleep.
Need a new virtual workout? Check out JHU Recreation’s Virtual Fitness Classes here. Want to learn about body image and tips for staying healthy? Check out the JHU Campus Well content on physical well-being.
JHU Recreation offers Zoom yoga classes to all JHU students. If you can’t make it to those classes, there are tons of videos on YouTube. Yoga with Adriene is one of the YouTube channels that offers free yoga classes for all skill levels. Find yoga videos for stress relief, restorative yoga, hatha yoga, and much more!
Need ideas for physical activity and want to learn how to reduce your risk of Type 2 Diabetes? Check out this infographic.
Struggling to find the time? Or not sure what exercises to do? Email our health educator to get connected with resources.
Cook Smarts contains information on meal planning, guides, infographics, and cooking lessons. Designed to educate, inspire, and nourish.
Nutrition Source aims to provide timely, evidence-based information on diet and nutrition for clinicians, allied health professionals, and the public.
The Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public on vegetarianism and the interrelated issues of health, nutrition, ecology, ethics, and world hunger. Registered dietitians and physicians aid in the development of nutrition-related publications and answer member or media questions about the vegetarian diet.
The National Sleep Foundation is dedicated to improving health and well-being through sleep education and advocacy. Founded in 1990 by the leaders in sleep medicine, NSF is the trusted resource for sleep science, healthy sleep habits, and sleep disorders to medical professionals, patients and the public.
Sleep Education is a sleep information resource funded by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.