Nutrition & Fitness

Want to learn more about nutrition and fitness? Here we have a general overview of the basics of nutrition and exercise as well as resources on campus and online!

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  • Nutrition

    With limited time and limited budgets, college students face obstacles in building and maintaining healthy diets. Developing healthy eating habits may be challenging, but by making it a priority, a nutritious diet will become easier to integrate into your day-to-day life. Here are some tips to make healthier food choices:

    • Don’t skip breakfast. Even if you wake up at noon, begin every day with a healthy breakfast that includes a high fiber starch (or fruit) and lean protein or healthy fat. Not only will it help to help rev your metabolism, stabilize your blood sugar, control your hunger, and boost your energy, but studies have shown that students who eat a healthy breakfast do better in their classes. Even if you don’t have time to have a “sit down” breakfast, keep healthy items in your dorm room for on-the-go breakfasts.
    • Stay hydrated. Make sure you're drinking enough water. Carry around a sports bottle filled with water and drink it throughout the day to keep from becoming dehydrated. If you work out, you’ll need even more.
    • Sip smart. Replace sugary beverages with better choices! The best thing you can drink is water. You can drink it plain, sparkling, or naturally flavored with fruits or herbs. You can also drink coffee and tea without added sugars.
    • Fat is good for you, but make sure you’re eating good fats. Good fats are found in nutritious foods, such as avocados, raw nuts, coconut oil, and fatty fish. You want to avoid the bad fats, which are those found in fried and processed foods.
    • Snack smart. Snacks are necessary for combating hunger between meals. Eating a small and balanced snack when you’re feeling hungry will ensure you’re fueled for your day and keep you from overeating at your next meal. As an alternative to unhealthy treats such as chips or candy bars, keep healthy snacks such as raw veggies, yogurt and fresh fruit, popcorn, pretzels, low-fat string cheese, raisins, trail mix, applesauce, and granola bars in your room.
    • Eat your colors. The best way to get all of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you need is to eat a variety of colorful fruits and veggies. Add color to your plate each day with the five main color groups:
      • Red & Pink: beets, cherries, cranberries, red apples, tomatoes, red sweet potatoes, watermelons, etc.
      • Blue & Purple: blackberries, blueberries, eggplants, grapes, plums, etc.
      • Yellow & Orange: apricots, peaches, pineapples, yellow squash, yams, pumpkins, carrots, etc.
      • White & Brown: bananas, brown peppers, cauliflower, garlic, dates, mushrooms, onions, etc.
      • Green: kale, pears, cucumbers, green onions, spinach, zucchini, avocados, etc.
    • Reduce your sugar intake. Eating too much sugar is one of the worst things you can do to your body. It can have many negative effects on your health. Here are some things you can do to reduce your sugar intake:
      • Cut back on sugar-filled drinks
      • Avoid sugar-loaded desserts. Opt for dark chocolate, fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, or dates.
      • Avoid sauces with a lot of sugar, such as ketchup and barbecue sauce
      • Avoid processed food
      • Read labels
      • Don’t keep sugar-filled snacks in your dorm
    • Practice mindful eating

  • Exercise

    With busy schedules, it’s often hard for students to fit in physical activity into their daily routines. In addition to being important for your physical health, physical activity can be highly beneficial for your academics. Increased physical activity can lead to heightened focus, elevated mood, lowered stress, increased energy, and sharper memory.

    It is recommended that you get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity (or a combination of both).

    Examples of moderate-intensity aerobic activities:

    • brisk walking (at least 2.5 miles per hour)
    • water aerobics
    • dancing (ballroom or social)
    • gardening
    • tennis (doubles)
    • biking slower than 10 miles per hour

    Examples of vigorous-intensity aerobic activities:

    • hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack
    • running
    • swimming laps
    • aerobic dancing
    • heavy yardwork 
    • tennis (singles)
    • cycling 10 miles per hour or faster
    • jumping rope

    Incorporate physical activity into your daily life with these tips:

    • Find a workout buddy. They can hold you accountable and you’re more likely to show up and follow through on your plans to exercise. With a buddy, you’re also more likely to enjoy your workout.
    • Move five minutes out of every hour. This may sound easy, but it’s not when you are sitting for hours at a time in class and studying. After 55 minutes of work, get up and walk around or climb a flight of stairs. Maybe do some yoga poses. This also gives your mind a break, which can help with productivity.
    • Physical activity isn’t limited to a gym. Take advantage of every opportunity to get active. Choose the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk to class. Park your car in the back of the lot. Do a few squats while brushing your teeth. The little things will add up!
    • Schedule your workout plan for the week. If you plan workouts into your schedule, then they become more like routine and you’re more committed to doing them.
    • Do things you actually enjoy doing. If you hate running, choose another form of cardio like boxing, jumping rope, or Zumba. If you don’t enjoy the exercise you’re doing, then it’s more likely that you’ll make an excuse not to do it.
    • Switch it up. Don’t do the same thing over and over. It’ll get boring fast and you’ll become unmotivated. Try out different activities and classes. Check out the Wellness Center class schedule or the outdoor gym at Lakeside Village. 
    • Keep it cool. It is hot almost year-round in Miami. Make sure if you’re working out outdoors that you follow these tips to stay cool:
      • Time it right. Get out during the coolest parts of the day, like the morning or evening. Avoid any outdoor activity between 12-3PM when it’s the hottest.
      • Stay hydrated. Drink water before, during, and after activities, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Always carry a water bottle or hydration pack with you.
      • Dress for comfort. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothes made with moisture-wicking fabrics. Lace up with breathable shoes, lightweight socks, supportive insoles. Protect yourself with sunglasses, waterproof sunscreen, and a hat.
    • Be realistic. If you aren’t a morning person, don’t schedule your workouts for 8AM. Find times that actually work for you and you’re more likely to stick to your fitness plans!

  • Resources

    On Campus: