If you’re anything like me, trying to stay active and healthy during the school year when you’re balancing your work and your free time can be a big hassle, or deciding if you are up to getting a gym membership when you know you will rarely use it. These problems can be a big hindrance and get in your way of trying to stay healthy. Luckily in this article I will be giving you five easy activities to stay healthy during busy times or lazy times that don’t require an expensive gym membership or an investment in time consuming sports.

The first and foremost way to stay healthy during the school year and actually any other time is drinking water. I’ll come clean and say that in my life I have drank a great deal of soda however there have been months where I decided to start getting active and changing your diet to just water for beverages is an easy, cheap, and effective way to start shaping up.

The second step to start getting active, while avoiding a time consuming and expensive gym membership, is to start with a small workout routine that is viable at home or in a workspace. If you’re spending time doing homework or just relaxing and watching a show or video, ever so often try pausing the video and doing squats, pushups, lunges, or any small workout that is easy to do. It doesn’t take up much time and keeps you active during those days you might not get out much.

The next tip I have for you is a little harder to follow (especially for college kids), but you should try and stop buying fast cheap food from chain restaurants. While the appeal of the quick service and tempting food is very strong it’s often cheaper to make fresh food at home than it is to buy fast food from a restaurant, and the fast food served to you will mostly always have high calories. So while I understand that fast food is cheap and quick, preparing fresh food for yourself will definitely help for a healthy diet.

This next tip is interesting as it doesn’t help you directly with staying healthy, but is a good habit that will help you indirectly. Start eating light snacks like granola bars or fruit in between larger meals; as long as you eat small and healthy snacks frequently, it will help keep your hunger to a minimum and will help you from overeating. If you don’t have much to eat for the day that might cause you to overeat and gain weight when you finally have a meal. Having small snacks to help quell that hunger is what will help you eat the right portions.

The last tip I have for you is actually not very well known; try having a small snack before bed. I’ve heard a lot through life that eating before bed is bad for you, and while it is true that eating before bed may lead to bad habits like overindulging in food, in reality having a small snack like an apple or granola will help you sleep, and promote your body’s metabolism to work harder while asleep. Your stomach is often empty by the time you get ready for bed making it harder to fall asleep and increasing the time between your next meal. With a light snack you will be able to fall asleep faster while still being good for your body.

I hope you’ve found these tips interesting and helpful. The only thing I’ll leave you with is that even if you do follow all of these tips to help stay healthy and be active; you must always watch the amount of calories you eat, no matter how much you do if you put more in than you take out you will gain weight, so be careful and watch out!