Healthy Living to a Happy You

Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of city life, it can be easy to forget to make the time to take care of your body. But as is well documented in the science world and as I recently discovered through personal experience, regular exercise as well as a healthy diet can drastically improve your quality of life. It was fall semester of my sophomore year and as usual I found that the determination and drive that had powered the first few weeks of my university life was slowly dwindling as the days floated by. I would head directly back to my dorm room after classes and I would spend the majority of my time indoors, simultaneously watching Netflix, doing homework, and eating a plethora of junk food. The increasingly cold weather certainly wasn’t helping my willpower to go outside and get physically active, so I ended up spending a lot of time alone in my room. My roommate was essentially MIA and at times the loneliness was overpowering. I blamed everything from the city life to the weather, before finally realizing that my situation was no one’s fault but my own. After many weeks of feeling miserable and gaining several pounds, I realized that something needed to change. The first thing I did was throw away all the junk food, the chips, chocolate, and the gummy bears. I made a trip to Whole Foods and bought almost every kind of vegetable and fruit they had on the shelves, which I then forced myself to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was not easy and I found myself craving the sugary foods that I had become so used to before, but after the first couple weeks I realized that the new things I was eating felt better for my body and after that I hardly craved processed sugars at all, in fact the very thought of putting those things into my body revolted me. I signed up for three months of unlimited yoga classes and bought a pair of running shoes so I could jog along the river. After just one week of my new improved lifestyle I noticed some significant changes. Not only concerning the health of my body, but also the state of my mind. I was happier and more outgoing. I found myself more willing to participate in class discussions and to independently pursue my interests. Daily exercise and a clean diet helped me regain my confidence and be the person that I had intended to be when I first came into college as a freshman.

Kristen Toms, New York University ’16

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