Student Well-being: Food and Exercise

One of the challenging aspects of being a college student is that you are suddenly responsible for your wellbeing. The primary responsibility of a college student is doing well in academics, but you are also suddenly responsible for taking care of your well being, and this includes food and exercise. Whether you are a new student, transfer, returning, or graduate student, you can find all the help you need at Truman State.

A nutritious diet is an important part of your well being, and one of the best ways to eat healthy food is to start cooking at home. Madeline Nash, a counselor at Truman State University’s Counseling Services, says that eating at home can be made easier if you learn to prepare a larger amount of food over the weekend. That is especially helpful since you will have food readily available over the busy week. Nash also suggests investing in appliances such as crockpots or bread machines. “I also often talk to students about buying food from the perimeter of the grocery store rather than the center aisles—the healthiest food is often around the perimeter of the store,” Nash said. If you are unsure of local establishments, Nash suggests checking out the Kiwanis Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings on the square. Although it is still under renovation until late October, Aldi is a good resource for low-cost food and offers a number of healthy options. There is also an Amish market called The Hitching Post that offers damaged/expired/near expired food at low costs. Nash warns that some of the food is highly processed, but there is high-quality food that can be found at an affordable price. Fresh produce, eggs, and bread are also offered at a reasonable price. If you would like to watch documentaries about food, Nash suggests In Defense of Food, Sugar Coated, Fed UP, and Hungry for Change. Brothers Green Eats is also a good food resource that can be found on YouTube.

Exercise is another component to well being. Regular exercise is key to your health and it can be 15-20 minutes. Even a brisk walk can improve both your physical and even emotional health. “It can also provide cognitive benefits that can lead to more effective studying,” Dr. Brenda Higgins, Director of Student Health Center and Counseling Services said. The Student Recreation Center is an excellent source for all fitness-related needs. And if you would like to workout in a group, there are fitness classes. “There are 20-25 free exercise classes offered per week,” Janes Dreamweaver, Director of Fitness-Wellness said. You can attend as many as you like, within reason of course. There are also many more free services available for students, including the Wellbeing Zone, signing up for intramurals, and entering the bucket list challenge. There are also services offered for a fee, such as personal training, which is relatively cheap for students since it is just covering the cost of the trainers. There is also a free weight room orientation called TruStrength where you can spend an hour with a trainer learning how to manage weights and learn new exercises. The Student Recreation Center website is a great way to learn about additional services offered. Dreamweaver also does a podcast called TruTalk where he talks to faculty, staff, community members, and students. Conversations can be about anything, “but we always draw it back to fitness, wellness, what are the things you do regularly that help you be successful in your life and career,” Dreamweaver said. He also stated that the Bike Co-op is a great resource for bike owners. Outside of campus, students should check out Thousand Hills State Park and Rainbow Basin Trail. Additional information on fitness and wellness can be found online and in school newsletters.  

Food and exercise are important aspects of student wellbeing. It is challenging to take on adult responsibilities, but there are plenty of resources available at Truman, Kirksville, and online. All you have to do is ask questions and implement answers as you see fit.