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Young Adult

We often continue seeing older teens, up through college, before they chose an internist. While we encourage young adults to find the right doctor for their next stage of life, we do care for our patients up through age 20.

Sleep

Don’t skimp on rest! Too little sleep can cause some serious problems, like:

  • You may be more likely to catch colds and other minor illnesses. Your body cannot fight off germs as well when you are tired and run-down.
  • You are more likely to feel stressed or become depressed.
  • You may have a hard time staying awake in class or at work.
  • You may have trouble concentrating.

So, be sure to get about 8 to 9 hours of sleep a night whenever you can.

Eating

Vending machine food or fast-food may be quick and cheap when you are busy and on a budget but eating well is important. Try to remember to:

  • Eat fruits and vegetables every day (your goal should be 5 a day).
  • Eat lean meats, fish, and poultry.
  • Eat foods high in calcium, like low-fat dairy products.
  • Limit junk food or foods with a lot of fat, sugar, and salt.
  • Limit sugary drinks such as pop, juice, sweetened teas or coffees, and sport drinks.

It is possible to eat a healthy vegetarian diet at college. However, this may require some additional planning to make sure you get all the nutrients you need.

Exercise

An important part of staying healthy is getting enough exercise. There are 3 basic types of exercise, and ideally everyone should do all 3.

  • Aerobic exercise strengthens your heart and lungs. These are activities like biking, running, fast walking, swimming, active dancing, and rowing.
  • Strengthening exercise tones and builds muscles and bone mass. You can do this by doing sit-ups, push-ups, and leg lifts, or by working out with weights or resistance bands.
  • Stretching exercise, like yoga, improves your flexibility or range of motion.

Don’t have time to work out? There are many ways to sneak exercise into your day. Like instead of driving or taking the bus to class, try walking or riding a bike. If you are not used to exercising or if you have a chronic health problem, talk with your pediatrician or the student health service before starting an exercise program.