Health Tips for Online Students

Posted on September 17 2013

With the growing life-style related diseases that the country faces today (i.e. obesity, hypertension, heart disease, or cancer), it becomes necessary for you, the online high school student, to ensure that you stay healthy by adding more activities and movement to your day. Remember, as a student of a virtual high school, you don’t have the natural physical activities related to brick and mortar schools. For instance, you don’t stand up to walk to the other hall or the other building to go to your next class or run if you’re running late. You don’t have to go a distance to visit the washroom (it’s just across the hallway) or the canteen (the kitchen is just a few steps away).

However, with an online high school education, you have plenty of opportunities to get the level of activities you need to stay healthy. You can also develop healthy habits to keep you in tip top shape while you go about the routines of an online high school program.

Here are some quick and simple tips:

  • Take “walking” breaks. A sedentary or non-active lifestyle (where you are mostly seated or lying down) has been linked to a number of illnesses. So from time to time, get up from that chair and get moving! The problem is that there is a tendency to get stuck at your desk. After all, you don’t just sit down in front of the computer for your lessons. You also do this to check your email, get the latest news from your social networking sites, chat with your friends or play your favorite online game. Rather than remaining seated for hours on end, schedule breaks in between your “school” day. Instead of using these breaks to surf the internet, make it a point to do a “walking break”. Take this time to walk the dog, or just have a few moments of brisk walking across your street. If the weather does not allow you to go outdoors, you can plop in that exercise DVD and have a quick workout.
  • Eat right. Your brain and body needs its fuel supply to keep it going. Avoid food with high sugar content during your school day as it can make you crash and burn, becoming hyperactive one moment and having low energy levels the next. Make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. It can also be good to supplement with your share of vitamins and minerals. (Ask your doctor about the supplements he recommends for you.) Eat the proper portions. Or, eat more frequently (up to 6 times a day) but with smaller servings. Also, avoid eating in front of the computer.
  • Visit the doctor regularly. As they say, prevention is better than cure. Head off any serious illnesses by going to the doctor to have yourself checked. Don’t wait until you get sick or are feeling the symptoms. The same goes for your dentist.
  • Hydrate. Drink up! Water, that is. Your brain is, after all, largely composed of water. It needs water to also keep it going so that you can focus better and remember things better. Getting properly hydrated also does wonders in cleansing your system of any toxin buildup. Lack of water in your system can result in lethargy, headaches and more frequent hunger pangs (you feel hungry when all you need is just a drink of water). During your study time, have a jug of water nearby. Or better yet, combine this tip with the first one and take a few steps to the kitchen to get a quick drink.
  • Practice good eye health habits. Follow the 20-20-20 rule to maintain your 20-20 vision. Every 20 minutes, take your eyes off the computer screen and look at an object 20 feet apart for the next 20 seconds. Adjust the lighting of your room, as well as the brightness settings of your monitor to avoid overstraining and overtiring the eyes.
  • Add movement to your routine. While you are in your study area, do some simple stretching exercises from time to time. Stand up once in a while and move around so as to promote the circulation of blood in your body.
  • Get some zzz’s. Sleep is an effective rejuvenating tool. Your body does most of its repair work while you are sleeping. Although from time to time you may need to spend an all-nighter in order to cope up with balancing the responsibilities of getting a high school diploma online with other tasks, try to limit late nights or all-nighters to a minimum. If you do need to burn the midnight oil, take short naps (around 30 minutes long) to rest and recharge your brain.
  • Exercise. This may come in the form of playing your favorite sports, shooting a few hoops with some friends or going to the gym.
  • Take time to relax. As the saying goes, “All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” Don’t stick your nose to the grindstone for days on end. Take a breather from your school tasks by getting much-needed sleep or by indulging in your favorite hobbies.
  • Limit caffeine intake. Coffee has its uses. It can be the boost your brain and body needs to start the day. However, with young adults, one should only take coffee or any caffeine-laden drinks moderately. If you have to drink coffee, limit your daily intake to one or two cups daily.