10 tips to stay physically & mentally fit while studying overseas

Each year hundreds of thousands of students from India go abroad in pursuit of quality higher education. A large number of them, especially those pursuing undergraduate or graduate degree courses are in the prime of their youth. Barring those with pre-existing medical conditions, most students are healthy and free of diseases.

However, when one goes to a foreign land, one has to acclimatize him or her to a new culture, climate, food and lifestyle. While some adapt quickly to the new environment, others find it difficult. This can have an impact on a person’s health. Therefore, Student Cover brings you certain tips, which can help a student stay fit while studying abroad.

1. Follow a routine – Each person’s body has its own biological clock that determines when to sleep, when to wake up and when to eat. When one deviates from this routine, it severely affects the normal functioning of its internal systems such as digestive system. This ultimately weakens one’s immune system and makes him or her vulnerable to infections and sickness. It is therefore essential for one to zealously follow a routine despite work and study pressure.

2. Find ways to engage your body – There is a misconception among most people that one needs to go to a gym regularly in order to stay fit. While exercising regularly at a gym is surely good for one’s health, it is not the only way physically engage one’s body. Going for a walk or stroll, using stairs instead of elevator, jogging or running for half-an-hour daily or even undertaking sporting activities casually will have equally positive effect on one’s body. They may not help you lose weight or build muscle, but they would surely help you stay bodily and mentally healthy.

3. Eat healthy not tasty – Many Indian students who are not used to western food find regular meals in the US quite tasteless. There is also a tendency among them to go to the nearest eating joint and grab a bite instead of cooking at home. This may be okay for few days consecutively or twice or thrice a week but supplementing a healthy meal for spicy, fried food will not only make one obese but could also affect one’s cognitive abilities in the long term besides reducing immunity level. Therefore, it is always advisable to stick to regular meals with lot of salads.

4. Avoid binge drinking and smoking – Unlike India, consuming alcohol is not a taboo in western countries. Having alcohol in right quantity will not severely affect one’s health. However, like everything else, consuming too much of it would have the same negative impact on one’s mind and body in the US as it would in India. There is also a misconception that cigarettes are stress relievers. On the contrary, they do more harm to the body than anything else. One should avoid cigarettes at any cost if one is to stay healthy.

5. Use your health insurance for preventive care wherever possible – The Affordable Care Act makes it mandatory for ACA compliant and comparable plans such as Student Cover’s health insurance plans for Indian student in the US to cover counseling & treatment costs of preventive healthcare. The treatment costs are covered 100% by student cover plans. Preventive healthcare helps nip health related problems in the nascent stage and before they grow up to cause disease and illness.

6. Socialize – Being mentally fit is as useful as being physically fit. Past researches have shown that a healthy social life goes a long way in preventing instances of depression. Therefore, other than for studies, one should also take out time to socialize with peers and friends. Time spent with friends and peers rejuvenates the mind which further helps in keeping one’s focus on studies and career goals.

7. Take up a hobby – In addition to socializing, having a hobby also helps one to not only to improve one’s concentration level but also acts as an outlet for any negative feeling. Instead of procrastinating, one should take up a hobby that suits one’s interest. It helps in utilizing spare time on productive activity and helps one learn new skill.

8. Practice safe sexual intercourse – In western countries, mingling between different sexes is quite common. In the 21st century, it is no longer considered off-limits to develop physical intimacy with the opposite sex without tying the nuptial knot. However, one should also not forget that unsafe sex can lead to sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV infection which could have severe consequences on a person’s health. Therefore, one is advised to practice safe sex all the time with his or her partner.

9. Don’t indulge in self medication – In the event of one falling ill, it is advised never to indulge in self medication. While self-medication costs a lot less than a visit to the concerned physician or a specialist, it could have negative consequences on one’s health in case anything goes wrong. Besides, losing good health, one might also lose out on health insurance benefits if it is found that a person has fallen ill due to self medication.

10. Get regular checkup done – Every institution including colleges and universities in the US carry out annual health check-up camps. One should not avoid those as many of them provide checkup facility for free. This will help one to identify an illness or disease in time and before it grows or spreads in the body.

Let’s Wrap Up!

Staying healthy both mentally and physically depends on following a healthy lifestyle. Students going to a foreign country should not take their health lightly even if they have the best health insurance cover. They should avoid consuming things that are harmful for the body and do regular exercise to keep their body fit and fine.

Disclaimer: The blog is based on the personal research and understanding of the topic by the writer. Readers are advised to exercise discretion. Student Cover will not be held liable for any wrongful interpretation of the content of this blog.

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