Kale and Kravings: Back to school health tips


Source: Sloane Chmara

Sloane Chmara

Welcome back to school! My name is Sloane (aka Kale & Kravings), but you can also call me Kale.  I am a rising senior, wellness coach, Vitality dancer, Tri Delta sister, author, chef…and now a Hustler columnist! I am so excited to be able to share my tips and tricks on wellness, health and college life with you here at Vandy.

Moving into school brings with it a lot of emotions and commotion – excitement, traveling, exhaustion, happiness, dorm room decorating, stress, school work, anxiety, new roommates, parties, new campus food…LOTS of stuff going on! While many students use their summer months to relax, work and get their health and fitness back in shape, these items no longer find themselves at the top of your “back to school” to-do list. After the first week of classes comes and goes, it can be hard to get yourself to the Rec for that 60 minute HIIT workout you told yourself you would consistently complete this semester. It can also be hard to say no to Jake’s Bakes and Jeni’s when your friends want to go every other night. You’re busy, tired, overwhelmed, excited to be back with your friends, and your health is NOT at the top of your priorities list. That’s a-ok! However, here are some easy tips to make your back to school season a little bit healthier and stress free:

  1. Stay hydrated! Traveling, Nashville heat, partying, sprinting from Commons to Wilson in 10 minutes…these are all things that can cause you to get dehydrated. Avoid the dehydration headache and lack of energy by keeping a reusable water bottle with you 24/7.
  2. Sleep! I know we’re all super excited to be back at school and live it up, but forfeiting those essential zzz’s for an extra hour of partying, studying or social media scrolling is what leads to compromised immune systems (i.e. The Commons Cold) and lack of energy. Let’s avoid another plague this fall and get to bed on time.
  3. Stay nourished! Even if you’re on the meal plan, stocking your room with some healthy snacks is an awesome way to stay fueled throughout your busy days. Grab some fruit, veggie packs or mixed nuts from a dining hall or munchie mart and store them in your dorm and backpack. For more dorm-friendly meal ideas, check out my new ebook, Kollege Kravings!
  4. Find a workout buddy! Going to the gym alone, as a first-year or an upperclassman, can be intimidating and not so fun. Grab a group of friends for a little sweat sesh at the Rec, Centennial Park or a fitness class in the Gulch. Getting a workout in with friends is so much more fun than doing it alone – you can motivated each other, laugh together and keep your body feeling strong and active! Oh – and don’t forget to tag me and hashtag #SlosSweatySelfie after you’ve crushed your workout!
  5. Lean on your friends! College is stressful. Homework is hard. Waitlists are annoying. Reading lists are even more annoying. Lucky for you, being a student at Vanderbilt, you are never alone – there are people ready and willing to listen to, support, and comfort you whenever you feel the stress, anxiety or sadness coming on. Being healthy in college is about much more than physique – feeling well mentally and emotionally are just as important, so share your worries with others so that they can help you get to a happier place. If you ever need a friend, you can message me on Instagram too (@kaleandkravings)!

As I like to remind everyone, college may not be your healthiest four years, but they definitely don’t have to be your unhealthiest. I hope you all have a wonderful move-in and first week of classes – if you spot me on campus, please say hi!! I can’t wait for this year filled with new and old friends, inspiring classes, epic tailgates and lots of yummy dorm room eats!