Top tech to stay healthy at uni
Going to university can be one of the hardest times to stay healthy. Surrounded by temptations and often living away from home for the first time can make it difficult to carry out a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
For many, cooking can be challenge in itself (let alone cooking healthy meals), and saying no to a takeaway can be even more challenging. Exercising can also be difficult either due to a lack of motivation or gym memberships being too expensive. Both of these, combined with stress over deadlines, late nights and busy schedules, can lead to a very unhealthy lifestyle with detrimental impacts on your physical and mental health.
We’ve found six great gadgets that we think are essential for students to live a healthier uni life! Any of the following, when used correctly, will be a great help for staying on track without any crazy diets or ‘fads’ and they won’t break the bank either!
Air fryer - for guilt free chips
Air fryers are brilliant kitchen appliances. They can be used to cook a whole range of food such as meat, chips, vegetables and even puddings. Hot air circulates throughout the appliance to cook the food meaning the fryers require little to no oil. This makes them a healthy way to prepare your meals, so you can have guilt-free chips whenever you want (they taste great too)! Air fryers are very simple to use, taking away the hassle of cooking and are super easy to clean so you won’t have to worry about annoying your flatmates by not doing your washing up!
The Swan SD90010N air fryer is an excellent option for students and is only £60! With a 3.2 litre capacity you could cook for up to 5 people, so you’ll be very popular with your housemates. Check out this recipe for making the perfect chips with the Swan air fryer.
Blender - for healthy breakfast on the go
Another great addition to any student kitchen is a blender. They are perfect for making a healthy breakfast which you can take on the go; something you’ll undoubtedly need when you’re running late for your 9 am lectures. Not only are they healthy and a good way of getting in some of your 5-a-day but they can also be super tasty. There are countless recipes online for delicious, nutritious smoothies. Check out one of our favourite breakfast smoothie recipes here. Top tip: buy frozen fruit or freeze your own so it lasts longer and you won’t need to add ice!
There is a huge range of blenders, ranging in price, size and features. Nutribullets are a popular option, but our favourite for students is the Breville Blend Active. It’s a super cheap option with brilliant reviews, and it is easy to use and easy to clean. It comes with a portable bottle which is perfect for taking a smoothie with you when you are on the go.
Portable speaker - for Friday night house parties
This might seem like an odd choice of gadget for a healthy lifestyle, but we have our reasons! A portable speaker can have more benefits than simply providing music while you work or socialise. If you can’t afford a gym membership or struggle to motivate yourself to go to the gym, we recommend working out at home! Having a portable speaker is essential for providing the tunes for a home workout, and there are hundreds of motivating playlists to choose from on Spotify or Apple Music.
There’s no excuse not to workout at home, it’s easy, quick and requires minimal to no equipment. You can even take your portable speaker into to your garden and get your housemates to join in with your workout. There are brilliant routines available for you to follow which will help you stay fit and active and help relieve any stress from uni. Joe Wicks, The Body Coach, has some great workouts on his YouTube channel if you need a place to start.
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom is a fantastic Bluetooth portable speaker. It’s not the cheapest option, but we think it is a brilliant little speaker with great sound. Not only does it have a long battery life (10 hours) but it is also waterproof and shockproof, so you don’t need to panic if someone spills a drink on it or it gets knocked.
Wearable/smart watch - for tracking your activity
Wearables and smartwatches are becoming increasingly popular and now boast a huge range of features. At the most basic level, they are fitness trackers which can monitor your daily activity and provide you with feedback from which you can improve your lifestyle if necessary. The best trackers can monitor your heart rate, step count, calories burnt and have a GPS built-in. Some wearables also offer smartphone capabilities, so you can keep up with your notifications, store and play music and use Apple Pay.
Fitbit is a very popular brand for fitness trackers and has a great range of wearables with different features and at different prices. The Fitbit Alta or Alta HR are good options for students, priced around £100. They both offer step counts, calories burned, smart notifications but the HR does offer a few extra features.
George Foreman - for clean, easy cooking
George Foreman grills are the ultimate cooking assistants for a uni student. They are convenient to use, easy to clean and reduce cooking time. They are also a healthier way of cooking meat as they enable grease and fat to drain off during the cooking process. The grills can also be used to cook vegetables and even make toasties. Toasties may not necessarily be the healthiest meal but making one in a George Foreman grill compared to a traditional toasty maker reduces the amount of fat. There are lots of different options of grills available, ranging in size and price so you can find the best one to suit you.
For uni students, we would recommend the George Foreman Family Grill which can prepare up to four portions at once, great for cooking for your whole flat.
Although apps aren’t technically a gadget, they are downloaded onto your devices. These days, there is an app for everything so, of course, there are apps which can help you stay healthy at uni. We’ve found a couple that we think every student should download!
Yummly - for tasty, healthy recipes
As we’ve mentioned, cooking for yourself can be difficult at uni. More often than not, you’ll find a few recipes that you can make and stick with them. Yummly is a brilliant app full of recipes to help you find different healthy meals to switch things up. You can personalise the data to your dietary requirements, likes and dislikes and the app will provide up to 2 million recipes for different meals and snacks. You can create a shopping list from the recipes you choose for that week, and there are step by step guides and video tutorials to help you cook. It’s great for providing inspiration and for finding healthy meals which still taste great.
Lose It! - for tracking your calories
Lose It! is a health app aimed at helping you eat right and stick to any goals you have. This may be to lose weight, or you can use it to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Scan the barcode of any food you eat in a day and the app logs this data and counts the calories for you. If you are not so concerned with losing weight, it is a good way of staying on top of your calorie intake to make sure you are eating right. Lose it! also tracks the activity you do during the day and if you use a fitness tracker, it can even link up with data collected from that.
Headspace - for unwinding and reducing stress
With all that’s going on at uni, it’s important to take a minute for yourself. Deadlines and exam periods can be pretty stressful so you may find that an app which helps relieve stress and relax you might be useful. Headspace is a highly rated health and fitness app which can help reduce stress and is particularly good to use before you go to bed to prepare you for a good sleep. It offers guided meditation and mindfulness techniques which you can follow to keep you focused and relaxed.