Spring into a Healthy Lifestyle Blog

Spring into a Healthy Lifestyle – Meals, Exercise & the Outdoors

As the weather gets warmer (hopefully soon), everyone is beginning to spend more time outside and start spring cleaning. One of the best feelings is getting rid of household items you don’t need and feeling a fresh breeze. You can also get rid of bad habits that may have brought you down during the winter months. To make the spring season even better, building habits that create a healthy lifestyle can be fun and refreshing! In this blog, we will discuss how to “spring” into a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy, exercising, spending time outside and more.

One of the first steps to building a healthy lifestyle is determining what food makes you and your body happy. Eating healthy can mean a lot of different things for different people, but it is important to find a good balance between the multiple food options. The first thing to do is decide what food you like to eat. For example, I have found that vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower make me happy. Also, fruits like peaches and apples are some of my favorite fruits. This creates many options for various meals/recipes to make that include the food you love. Once you know what foods you like to eat, it can be really fun to plan out meals according to a good balance of grains, fruits, vegetables and more. 

Examples of fun and healthy recipes: 

  • Oatmeal 
  • Salad (you can add anything to a salad!)
  • Rice and protein of your choice 
  • Sandwiches (many different options!)
  • Stir-fry vegetables

Recently, I have been loving oatmeal as it is healthy and filling. There are so many different ways to make oatmeal, which brings me joy in planning what to eat. Since peaches and apples are two of my favorite fruits, I love to put those in my oatmeal. If this sounds like something you’d love to eat, try adding peanut butter (or similar options) and cinnamon in your oatmeal with apples! Similarly, many recipes can be adjusted to include your favorite foods. Eating healthy does not have to be a chore, but rather a creative activity that will make both you and your body happy. For more information about how to begin eating healthy meals, check out this blog about healthy eating options: https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/how-should-i-start One last thing to note about eating healthy is that this will look different for everyone. Each person’s body needs different things, so this process will not be the same for everybody. It is okay to test out many options to find what works best for you. 

Another step to building a healthy lifestyle is to exercise regularly. Our bodies are constantly growing, which means we can be exposed to new challenges. Exercise is important because it can aid in fighting diseases and signs of aging. It has also been known to decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression. There are many various ways to give your body exercise, and similar to testing out food, you may want to try out different options for exercise! Some people love weightlifting at the gym, while others love to play team sports. In my experience, I am not great at sports but I have had fun learning how to weight lift at the gym! All University of Utah students have free access to the Student Life Center, which is a gym located in the center of campus. They also offer exercise courses for many different things such as yoga and cycling. The close proximity to many residential buildings makes it easy to exercise while taking classes. 

Examples of ways to get exercise:

  • Weight-lifting
  • Rock-climbing
  • Swimming
  • Dance
  • Yoga
  • Cycling
  • Hiking

In order to build a healthy lifestyle, it is also important to listen to your body. Mental health is one of the largest topics of today for good reason. Many people struggle with mental health barriers, which make it difficult to focus on school and work. By practicing methods to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and other similar challenges, we can begin to build a healthy lifestyle that will last. This process can look different for everybody. By listening to your body, you can find out what is working as well as what isn’t in terms of your well-being. As students, we have access to many resources such as the Counseling Center, which provides free counseling and mental health options. For more information about mental health at the U, visit https://counselingcenter.utah.edu/ and https://attheu.utah.edu/facultystaff/changes-to-campus-mental-health-services/ It is also important for our mental health to maintain healthy relationships. To learn more about how to do this, read our previous blog at this link: https://housing.utah.edu/blog/healthy-relationships/ 

Hopefully, we will begin to see warmer, sunnier days. With the spring season arriving soon, there will be more things to do outside. One of the best feelings is the sun on your skin after a long winter. Building a healthy lifestyle includes spending time outside as this can provide fun activities and some Vitamin D. There are many benefits to spending time outside, including reducing stress-related hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Researchers say that a good amount of time to spend outside is between 120 - 300 minutes, which can vary from person to person. Listed below are some examples of how to spend your time outside to get us excited for warmer days. 

How to spend your time outside:

  • Snow activities like skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowshoeing, etc. (while the snow lasts!) 
  • Take a walk around campus 
  • Go fishing or hiking in the mountains
  • Play team sports such as volleyball or basketball (there is a court for each right in front of Lassonde Studios that all students have access to!)
  • Walk around downtown

In conclusion, there are many ways to build a healthy lifestyle. With warmer days soon ahead, people will begin spring cleaning and there is no better time to begin new habits! In hopes of improving our quality of life, we can start to eat healthy, exercise regularly, connect with mental health resources and spend time outside. These do not have to be a chore, but rather a fun way to express who you are and what you enjoy doing. As we endure difficult times and push forward after a long winter, Housing & Residential Education is here to support you. We hope that through providing insight to resources, students and residents will be able to have success through education and life.

Sydney Myers
Outreach Housing Ambassador