Staying Healthy as a Traveling Graduate Student3 min read
Students traveling for a graduate program, must take steps to ensure their health remains intact. Optimum health keeps mental and physical performance sharp, and also reduces anxiety and stress than can come from graduate studies.
As a graduate student traveling for the purpose of research, you should expect to spend large amounts of time in conference rooms or hours in a library vault — this can disrupt your daily routine and make it harder to maintain good, health-promoting habits. It’s all too easy to eat poorly or overeat, skip an exercise routine, and stay holed up in your hotel room working until the wee hours of the morning to prepare for a meeting or presentation.
Stay in good health while traveling by getting regular, restful sleep, eating healthy meals on a regular schedule (every four hours or so), spending reasonable amounts of time on work, and participating in some form of exercise each day. Exercise is tough to squeeze in, but does not need to be time- consuming. According to a Forbes magazine article, planning ahead to get outdoors can be easier than you thought and very beneficial to your productivity while on a trip. Your body will reward you with energy, focus and a level mood.
Because research involves gathering data from a variety of sources, consider spending less time staring at leaves of paper or computer screens and get out for some more visual and tactile research. Not only will the fresh air be good for you, but it will make your research more unique. Visiting museum exhibits in the area and locating other potential sources of information or inspiration can lead to findings that nobody else has experienced. This change of scenery can also alleviate stress and get the creative side of your brain going.
Many library and museum vaults require you to wear a specific type of clothing, so check that out in advance. Also, pack some aspirin and a few cold tablets in case you catch something while traveling. If you know insomnia might hit you, bring a trusted sleep remedy and take a small bottle of indigestion tablets for any potential stomach issues. Eliminate waiting at baggage claim and skip the extra baggage charges by taking only one carry-on suitcase. The New York Times article, “The Art of Jamming It All In” can help you figure out how to pack efficiently and keep stress levels down while traveling by air.
The key to a successful trip is seeing all you can and staying healthy enough to enjoy it. If you make sure that you are eating right, getting fresh air and exercise, you will be able to stay focused and engaged. When you arrive home, you might even find yourself in better shape than when you left.
Author: Anthony Garcia
Anthony Garcia, a writer for Online Graduate Programs, recently completed his graduate education in English Literature. A New Mexico native, he currently resides and writes in Seattle, Washington. He writes primarily about education, travel, literature, and American culture.
Photo by jayceeuch.