When going off to college, a lot of things are brought from home and stored in your already cramped room, but how much of that stuff will actually be used during the year? How much of it will be forgotten in drawers and cabinets? Here’s a list of 10 must-haves for your dorm room:
- FiveFinger Shoes— There will be a ton of walking in your college career, so why not make the most of it? The bountiful benefits of walking have been proven in countless studies, but it’s time to take your walking to the next level. Traditional shoes give your foot inches of padding and shock absorption. Walking barefoot or close to barefoot in minimalist shoes allow you to strengthen the small muscles in your feet, toes, and ankle while improving overall balance.*
- Fruits and Veggies— Yup! That’s right. Fruits and vegetables are essential for your overall health. But why do you need them in your room if they’re in the dining hall? The dining hall is usually only open at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you’re looking for a quick snack in between, a handful of grape tomatoes or a bunch of blackberries are great snacks that can be easily stored in even the smallest of dorm-room refrigerators. Also, interestingly enough, while you’re in the dining hall for your meals, you can actually snag some extra fruits and veggies to bring back to your dorm to snack on in later days. It’s a great way to save some cash!
- Brain Games— Sudoku, crossword puzzles, scrabble, and all other puzzle games that expand your mind are must haves. While a lot of your day is spent in a classroom, a lot of time at college is spent hanging out with friends, going to the movies, the beach, and working out. To keep your mind sharp, make it a routine to spend about 15 minutes a day (maybe during your breakfast in the morning!) exercising the most important muscle in your body, your brain. Studies, including this one on the brain training program Lumosity, show that improving your cranial capacity benefits you exponentially both in the short and long-term. Setting a regular brain-training schedule now can be great for when you leave college and head into the real world!
- Nuts- These little wonders are the perfect protein packed snack! Max talked about nuts a bit in the snacking post, but a handful of nuts are a perfect snack when you just need that quick boost in the afternoon before dinner. Macadamia nuts are the ultimate nut, packed with healthy fats and protein, but almonds follow as a close second.
- Blender- What a convenient tool which can be used to whip up a quick smoothie for any snack craving you may have. With the fore mentioned fruit you have in the fridge, some coconut milk, and scoop of protein powder, you can whip up a quick snack or a quick breakfast if you’re running late.
- Dark Chocolate- Full of antioxidants and fat, dark chocolate is a perfect vice that calms the nerves and takes care of that sweet tooth you may have. Always have some 73% or higher cocoa content dark chocolate on hand. The higher percentage, the better so if you can palate some 85% or even 90% chocolate, go for it and enjoy!
- Fish Oil- We’ve talked about the importance of Omega 3 fatty acids. The thing is though, getting 3 or 4 serving of high quality fish every week in college may not be totally possible. But never fear! Fish oil’s here! A tablespoon or two of fish oil a day can supply you with the perfect amount of omega 3s that will balance out those omega 6s that are ever-so-prevalent in the college cafeteria.
- Body Roller- Investing in a foam roller (which can be bought in some sports stores or online), finding a pvc pipe, or using a lacrosse ball to self-massage will help alleviate myofascial pain caused by sitting around all day and from those Primal workouts you’ll get in. Massage has been around for thousands of years and now you can do it yourself! It’s a free service that only takes a few minutes a day and you’ll feel the results almost instantly!
- Crock Pot- Another convenient and useful tool which can be used if you know you’re gonna have a busy day and won’t have time to whip up dinner. Throw a bunch of stuff in the crock pot, turn it on to cook low and slow, and a few hours later, voila! A perfect stew that’s warm and waiting for you when you get home. Here’s a few crock pot recipes.
- Music-Whether you get your music from the radio, CDs, or an iPod, music has its benefits. It helps calm the nerves and studies show that certain types of music actually give you better results the next day. The effects are different from person to person, so see what works for you. Plus, music is just great and no matter if you’re into classical, techno, dub-step, hiphop, jazz, country, or what-have-you, it’s great to listen to when you’re lounging around the dorm room and to use when you’re having a dance party!
*You should always consult a health professional before adding these or other shoes like these to your everyday life.