As you know, this gift guide series has a bias towards gifts of health. We share our best recommendations for healthy-living gifts.
Sure, college and uni kids are young, strong and resilient, but the post-secondary phase can be one of the riskiest, health-wise. And you can help with a few well-thought-out gifts.
But first, what are the health issues students face today? Well, like many fully-fledged adults, their risky behaviour falls into five big categories: diet, exercise, sleep, stress and alcohol.
- Diet: How many kids do you know who rarely cooked a meal before leaving for college or university? It’s not uncommon. If they’re living in residence, at least there’s a meal plan – but then, what are they eating? Burgers and pizza every day? Diet can make a huge difference in how students feel and perform. A highly-processed, low-nutrient diet can lead to more mood problems, erratic energy, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, and self-image issues.
- Also at issue: fitness. You’d think with all that galavanting, students would be super fit, but studies show that exercise steeply declines among young adults when they move away to school.
- That said, it’s not all beauty rest for the younguns. Sure, some college kids will sleep through their morning classes, but our best sleep is in the earlier part of the night. You can’t really compensate for missing night-time rest.
- Stress is also a massive and growing issue for young adults at school. It’s no wonder, too. Take a bad diet, combine it with a steep decline in exercise, too little sleep, and a total life overhaul, and you have a recipe for stress.
- And this summation would not be complete without reference to alcohol. One effect of alcohol is to dramatically decrease the body’s supply of magnesium, with all the expected results over time: muscle tics and spasms, tension, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, depression and more.
OK, so now that we’ve painted a picture of a kid in dire need of a health fix, how can you help?
HERE ARE A FEW IDEAS FOR GIVING THE GIFT OF HEALTH TO THE COLLEGE KID:
- We’re going to list it first this time: Natural Calm. The college kid is probably getting very little magnesium in his or her diet, and they need it to deal with stress, perform their best and wind down to sleep.
- A care pack with powdered greens, superfoods, a plant-based smoothie powder, organic teas, healthy snacks and energy bars made from nuts, seeds, dried fruits and dark chocolate;
- Gift certificates to a healthy fast-food outlet, like Freshii, or a smoothie bar like Booster Juice or JugoJuice;
- A good blender;
- Gift certificates to health food stores in the town where they live;
- A gym membership, or fitness classes;
- Running shoes and fitness gear;
- Noise-cancelling headphones. This one might not be obviously related to health, but for many people, noise levels are very stressful and over time, can even deplete magnesium! We don’t need to explain that noise – on campus and off – is a reality.
What other ideas do you have for the college or university kid? How can we give the gift of health, while still giving them something they’ll love?
Next up in the gift guide series, how to shop for The Fitness Fanatic. It will be a round-up of accessories and products to help your super-fit loved one keep up the pace.