Optimum health and wellness can have a positive impact on your academic success. By establishing healthy habits in nutrition, exercise, and other areas of wellness, you can set yourself up to be more successful in your academics (Ruthig, Marrone, Hladkyj, & Robinson-Epp, 2011). In addition, many of the activities that keep you healthy can also improve your mental focus, decrease stress, and improve the quality of your study time. For instance, exercise “increases mental energy and improves mental performance” by pumping more oxygen to our brains through increased blood flow (Cuseo, Fecas, & Thompson, 2007).
Because our brains burn energy at ten times the rate of other body tissues and use 20% of the body’s fuel, it’s important to consume enough water and nutrients to optimize brain function (Smilkstein, 2011). This optimization of brain functions will make your time spent studying more focused and effective.
One important perspective to consider is the idea that wellness is a spectrum that ranges from sickness (poor health) to optimum wellness (good health). From this perspective, wellness is something we can always be working on. Often we wait until we’re sick or injured to turn our attention to habits of health and wellness. A more proactive approach to staying healthy through daily behaviors, habits, and rituals can help you maintain your health on a daily basis. By proactively promoting good health, you may also prevent disruptions to your term caused by illness.
Because health plays such a pivotal role in your academic success, it's worth taking time to reflect on your own health and to explore new ideas about health. While there are general guidelines and information about nutrition, exercise, and other ways to generate healthy habits, the exact behaviors that promote health and wellness differ between individuals. Part of evaluating your own health is monitoring the effectiveness of your concentration, study time, and performance. If there are areas you’d like to improve, you can seek out information and resources to assist you in forming habits that promote your physical well-being and academic success.
- As you schedule your time each day, week, or month, plan time for wellness-based activities such as preparing and eating healthy meals, exercising, and engaging in stress-reducing activities.
- Monitor your nutrition. Do you have energy? Feel lethargic? Using the tools below, and an abundance of resources on the internet, learn more about how to enhance your academic success through nutritional habits. Optimal nutrition, exercise habits, and other healthy behaviors that promote well-being.
- Monitor your physical activity. Does exercise help your stress levels? Is it positively impacting your ability to study, sleep, and get to class? Learn more about how to enhance your academic success through physical activity.
- Take a proactive approach to using health resources. Find out about the clinical services at OSU’s Student Health Services (SHS), as well as the community health resources, and make use of them for both routine check-ups and urgent needs. When you check out SHS, look into the programs and information they provide to help students improve their health and wellness which in turn help increase academic success