Oddly enough, it was my piano teacher that got me to start taking care of my body more. I had never really been a particularly athletic kid. I liked hiking and biking just fine, but otherwise I was perfectly happy on the sofa with a good book. As a result, I hardly ever hurt myself, and I’ve still never broken a bone. And since my mother generally kept healthy foods in the house, I had never had to really pay attention too much attention to what I was eating. I didn’t think of it at the time, but in this way I’d been taking my health for granted.
When I got to college, I now needed to manage these things on my own. There are a lot of stories about Freshman Fifteen, the weight freshmen supposedly gain when left to their own devices over meals and snacks. Although I didn’t end up gaining that much, it’s certainly true that I was eating in an unhealthier manner than I had been eating at home. The dining hall at my school always has fries available, which was temptingly problematic at times. Since I wasn’t much of an athlete, I also never bothered to check out the gym.
On top of all this was the strain placed on the body from stress. Although the transition in workload from high school to college is manageable, it can definitely be stressful at times. Some of the books for certain classes can be enormous, and heavy to carry around campus. There were definitely several late nights at the library where I found myself carting around my laptop and a backpack full of books, and that can add up to a lot of strain!
It was during a lesson mid-semester that my piano teacher mentioned how my arms and shoulders would sometimes tense up as I played. Playing an instrument wouldn’t initially seem like much of a physically strenuous task, but the piano uses many different parts of your body, from your wrists and fingers all through your arms and shoulders, and of course your foot for the pedals. Certain pieces have difficult fingerings, require repetitive motions or are simply long and need stamina to play. These, combined with all the other factors, were affecting my playing. My piano teacher encouraged me to take care of my body more, so I could improve.
It got me to start thinking about how I treated my body on a daily basis, which was basically by not paying it much attention. I took my health entirely for granted, and I began thinking that if I kept neglecting it, sooner or later things wouldn’t be looking so good. After all, *body is important yay.
I started going for walks more, and these walks were both a nice source of exercise as well as good study breaks. They also helped me keep from sitting hunched over my laptop in the library for too long. To reduce stress I tried to start papers early—I didn’t always succeed, far from it, but I found that even thinking about a paper in advance, or starting the overview research helped me to clarify my ideas before I actually sat down to write. As for food, I continued to have salads with dinner, eased up on the fries, and aimed to drink iced tea rather than soda.
Having long been on the lazy side, I didn’t immediately change my lifestyle, and I don’t think it’s quite possible to. Even now, I’m not as healthy as I’d like to be. I still have an absurd weakness for sweets and spend too much time on the internet. I did, however, realize how important it really is to take care of your body. At the very least, I’ve been taking steps towards becoming healthier—and even small steps are progress.
My personal blog can be found here!
Find more student discounts here!
Click here to download the new Campus Clipper App!