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Staying Healthy as a Distance Learner

written by: Melinda F.•edited by: Sarah Malburg•updated: 6/28/2009

Distance learners must remain self-disciplined and pay special attention to personal health habits and indulge in regular physical activity to remain alert and succeed in academics. Leading a sedentary lifestyle could be one of the disadvantages of distance learning if you let it. Read on for more!

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    It is a considered medical opinion that students of distance learning are subject to greater health risks in view of the sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical or sports activities that form part of the curriculum of regular classroom students. Distance learners must therefore pay special attention to personal health habits to avoid possible disorders such as heart disease, blood pressure, stroke, obesity and other maladies associated with physical inertia.

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    Disadvantages of Distance Learning

    Many people consider distance education a blessing, for it saves students from the inconvenience of commuting during rush hour traffic and the hassle of carrying book bags across the campus. A hectic schedule may leave a student of traditional learning eating in a rush and invariably consuming unhealthy types of food.

    Students of distance learning, on the other hand, have ample time to eat regularly and make better food choices. On the flip side, absence of physical exertion is an unhealthy sign particularly at a time when young students need to be more active. A key component for students of distance learning to remain active is to be self-disciplined and stay organized even if accountability is diminished.

    If there are advantages of distance learning, there are disadvantages as well. One such disadvantage of distance learning could leave the student in bad health. So as a distance learning student, it is essential for you to maintain a healthy living style while studying at home.

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    Tips for Staying Healthy as a Distance Learner

    Here are some well-researched tips to stay healthy even as a distance learner:

    • Drink water copiously to improve powers of memory and concentration. It is advisable to keep a large water bottle within reach to serve as a reminder to drink more water. A great way to avoid feeling indolent is to remain continually hydrated.
    • Get into the habit of consuming nutritious food, rich in vitamins and minerals, which can help effectively fight diseases, provide required stamina and energy, and keep one physically fit. It is common knowledge that the food choices one makes can have lasting effects on one’s health. Consume a multivitamin with folic acid and at least 1300 mg of calcium daily.
    • To minimize the spread of germs and other infection in the place of study, keep the surroundings clean and sanitized. It only takes a few minutes but can go a long way in ensuring good health.
    • To keep the body fit and avoid pain from abnormal positioning, it is essential to move and change sitting positions often. Prolonged sitting in a chair will lead to inertia and decrease blood circulation. One can do simple stretching exercises from one’s study area and reduce your chances of developing body pain. Going out for a brisk walk will also help you breathe fresh air and regulate blood circulation.
    • Sleeping soundly for a minimum of six hours a day is essential. Sleeping for reduced hours occasionally may be needed to keep up with work pressure but frequently losing sleep can adversely affect the bodily systems. If one feels weary, a short catnap for 15 to 20 minutes is in order – but oversleeping can make a person feel more sluggish.
    • Last but not least - avoid alcohol completely as well as avoiding the use of tobacco products. This is a must for continued good health!
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    All work and no play can adversely affect one’s immune system, slow down the reflexes and ability to function. Therefore, distance education students must find ways to relax - participate in outdoor games and allow time for recreational activities. Simple ways to relax include listening to music, meditating, yoga, and light reading for pleasure.

    In addition to this article, you may enjoy reading Do the 3 Biggest Disadvantages of Distance Learning at Online Schools Apply to You? Take the necessary measures to improve your distance learning habits.

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    Reference Good Health Habits for Distance Learners