Your guide to staying healthy on campus



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Running shoes and a gym bag sit on the floor May 17 in University East Apartments. Students can stay healthy on campus by going on runs and keeping their workout gear on hand in a gym bag. Alex Deryn Buy Photos

College is a huge adjustment: different schedule, different expectations, different living environment, different food. While you will likely — or rather, hopefully —  learn to find joy through these changes, the newness of it all could take a toll on your mental and physical wellbeing. That’s normal. Watching out for your health is nothing to be ashamed of, and luckily you have many resources at your disposal. 

Exercise

IU has several options to help you stay strong and healthy through fitness. Not used to hitting the gym? No problem. Are you a seasoned athlete? You’re covered. Unlike a full high school schedule, college classes span throughout the day and give you plenty of time to hit the gym. 

The Student Recreational Sports Center across from Teter Quad has large strength and cardio areas, seven racquetball courts, two squash courts, five basketball/volleyball courts and an indoor walking, jogging and running track. There's also an Olympic-sized swimming pool and diving well. 

If working out in a crowded space among lots of people makes you uncomfortable, you can find more privacy in a few smaller rooms with cardio and strength equipment. 

Depending on your dorm location or class schedule, you might find it more convenient to visit the Intramural Center across from the Indiana Memorial Union. 

A cardio and circuit gym upstairs has six types of cardio machines and open space for stretching and body weight exercises. Just be sure to check its hours because sometimes this gym closes due to extreme heat.

A lower level strength gym has another cardio gym, bench press, free weights, resistance machines and Olympic platforms. The Intramural Center also has an indoor track and a basketball court. 

Maybe working out on your own is terrifyingly unknown territory and you have no idea what to do with any of these machines. That’s OK! Your student activity fee, which you’ve already paid through tuition, gets you access to more than 80 Recreational Sports group exercise classes a week. Most of these are at the SRSC, but some are at the Intramural Center, too. 

You can take yoga, cycle, strength core, barre fitness, zumba and several other sessions geared toward all levels. Many of the group exercise leaders are students who are working to motivate themselves just as much as you are. 

Food

IU has several dining hall options and multiple stations within each location. 

NetNutrition is an online tool to help calculate the nutritional value of products on daily menus. 

A small red apple called an “Eat Right” symbol appears next to options that contain fiber-rich whole grains, fresh produce, healthy fats and lean proteins.

Other icons include a red circle with the state of Indiana to note local products, a green Halal symbol, a dark green circle with a “V” to note vegetarian choices, a medium green circle with “VGN” to indicate vegan foods and a white circle with “RF” to signify items that qualify as “Real Food.” 

Real Food meets several standards set by the Real Food Challenge, a nationwide social movement led by students to improve the food system for producers, consumers, communities and the earth. 

Symbols on menus also note food allergens dietary restrictions such as dairy, egg and peanuts. 

Registered dietitians are also available at the IU Health Center. 

Physical Health 

When you’re living in such close quarters, physical health problems can be inevitable. 

The IU Health Center is located at 600 N. Jordan Ave. across from Herman B Wells Library and has a full-service medical clinic, lab, X-ray facility, women’s clinic and pharmacy. A walk-in clinic and physical therapy are also available. 

The Health Center does not require health insurance, and you can charge visits and prescription drugs to your IU Bursar account. 

Mental Health

Mental illness is prevalent on all college campuses. 

Exercising and eating well are strong first steps toward guarding your mental health. But your emotional state can go south often for reasons far outside your control. Your emotional wellbeing can affect your studies, social life and personal success, so taking every step possible to protect yourself is incredibly important.

Professionals at Counseling and Psychological Services at the IU Health Center are available to talk through experiences ranging from academic concerns, stress, anxiety, depression, body image and substance use. 

This year, CAPS began offering video counseling services to reduce potential barriers to seeking help. 

CAPS also has a 24-hour crisis line at 812-855-8900. 

Full-time IU students have two free CAPS appointments. Sexual Assault Crisis Service appointments are free. 

Turning to any of these resources is something to celebrate. Here’s to a healthy, happy college career.

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