Healthy body - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Healthy body

Maintaining good physical health can help your body and mind cope with the demands of university life. Good nutrition and an active lifestyle boosts your immune system, makes you feel good and can help your mental health, including reducing stress and improving your mood and sleep.

Eating well

Healthy eating is good for your body and for your mind. Download Recipes for Success: Wellbeing and healthy eating on a budget (PDF 870KB) for tips on how to shop, cook and stay healthy on a budget.

This is the third edition of the USC "Stay Hhealthy on a budget" cookbook, which was originally compiled by Nutrition and Dietetic students from recipes contributed by staff and students. The latest edition also contains tips for your overall wellbeing.

Find further tips and inspiration from these videos and swap it resources.

Studying and eating healthily can be hard on your finances. The Saving and budgeting tips provide useful links to resources and websites that can assist you to shop wisely.

When times are tough there are places you can reach out to for support – head to the Student Wellbeing Food Relief page for more information.

Staying active

Regular exercise keeps you healthy, reduces stress and can improve energy, confidence, concentration and motivation. Many studies show that students who take part in regular exercise perform better academically than those who are not physically active.

Here are a few ideas to help you incorporate exercise into your daily routine:

  • Join the gymnasium or a fitness class through USC Sport.
  • Try cycling or walking to university.
  • Catch up with a friend for a walk instead of a coffee.
  • Join in with social and competitive sport on campus.
  • Find time for fun, healthy hobbies like surfing, dancing, frisbee, or even lawn bowls!
  • Look out for on-campus activities and events.
Sexual health

Sexual health involves caring for yourself and your partner in sexual relationships. It is about safety, pleasure and respect.

Getting enough sleep?

Sleep contributes to your academic success and overall health and wellbeing. However, getting enough hours each night can be challenging, with study, work, and social life all competing for your time. Here are some tips to promote better sleep:

  • Create a bedtime routine. If you have trouble falling asleep, creating a routine helps your mind and body get into sleep mode. After a few weeks of practice this should help you fall asleep as needed.
  • Stick to a schedule. Keeping a similar bed time each night can greatly improve your chances of getting a good night's sleep. This may vary, depending on your class and work hours, but try to create and stick to a schedule as best you can.
  • Don't work in bed. Keeping your work and sleep spaces separate from your sleep space to keep insomnia at bay.
  • Keep your room dark and quiet. While college campuses are hardly either, try to keep your room as dark, quiet and cool as possible. This will help trigger to your body that it's time for bed and help you get and stay asleep.
  • Take a nap. If you have the time during the day, a short nap can do wonders for your energy levels. Just make sure not to nap too close to bedtime or for too long, and a nap will do your body good.
  • Avoid caffeine, eating and drinking right before bed. All of these activities can throw off your body's internal clock, so try to limit meals, alcohol and caffeine consumption to a few hours before bed.
  • Avoid all-nighters. While you may feel like you need to study all night to do well you might be doing yourself a disservice. Not getting enough sleep can impair your ability to do well, regardless of how much you've studied, so make sure you get at least a little sleep before your big test.
  • Understand that lack of sleep can have a big impact. Lack of sleep doesn't just make you cranky, it can also reduce your ability to concentrate and to excel at class, so try to get as much sleep as you need.
  • Get a full night's rest whenever possible. While the amount of sleep each person needs varies, most people need 7-9 hours to feel fully rested. While this may not be possible every night, try to sleep a full night whenever you get the chance.
Staying safe

USC is committed to the safety of all students, staff and visitors. For immediate security, the SafeUSC Community Team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The SafeUSC Specialist Service provides confidential advice and support for safety concerns, including bullying, discrimination, sexual assault and harassment.

Sun safety

Having fun in the sun is good for your physical, mental and social health and wellbeing. However, sometimes too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Remember to stay sun safe to protect yourself from the harmful effects of too much sun exposure.

Smoke-free USC

For the health and wellbeing of students, staff and visitors, USC is a smoke-free University Smoking, including e-cigarettes and vaping, is not permitted on USC campuses.

Alcohol

The effect of alcohol consumption varies from person to person but can have negative consequences to your health and other people’s safety.

THRIVE is an online alcohol self-assessment that will give you information on your drinking, how it compares to other Australian university students and the potential impacts it may be having on your health.

Alcohol misuse and abuse can lead to violence and unplanned sexual behaviour. Excessive alcohol consumption can put you in danger of becoming seriously injured.

There are 2 main patterns of drinking that pose a risk to a person's health:

  • excessive alcohol intake on a single occasion (often called binge drinking)
  • consistently high alcohol intake over time

To reduce the risk of alcohol-related harm:

For healthy men and women, drinking no more than two standard drinks on any day reduces the lifetime risk of harm from alcohol-related disease or injury.

For healthy men and women, drinking no more than four standard drinks on a single occasion reduces the risk of alcohol-related injury arising from that occasion.

If you or someone you know has a problem with alcohol or any other drug, you can receive support from:

More support and self-help resources:

Students running