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Rye Smiles for Life
10614 Warwick Avenue, Ste A, Fairfax, VA 22030

Student Health and Wellness Guide

College is a time of great change. It’s often the first time students are responsible for themselves instead of relying their parents. When they go to bed, when they get up, what they eat and when are all decisions they must make for themselves. At the same time, they are trying to cope with a new environment and balance classes, studying, part-time jobs, extracurriculars, social commitments, and all the other things that come with college. Often, students struggle with balance and face some health issues during this time of their life.

Common Health Concerns for College Students

Young people don’t always believe that eating right, exercising, and maintaining a good sleep schedule is important for their healthy functioning now and in the future. However, lack of sleep leads to a lack of energy and issues with motivation. Skipping meals or living off candy bars also causes issues with mental alertness and overall physical health. Another issue is stress. College requires balancing a lot of commitments. It’s no surprise that stress is the result of this. Stress can cause emotional and physical strain. Stress might be unavoidable sometimes, but learning to manage stress is vital for everyone who wants to lead a healthy life. Beyond stress, other common mental health issues that strike college students include anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. Most campuses maintain staffed counseling centers and students shouldn’t hesitate to reach out for help.


College students who fit exercise into their busy schedules are building healthy habits, both now and in the future. Exercise is a great stress management tool. It also improves brain function, betters people’s moods, and even improves people’s quality of sleep. Students should try to incorporate about 150 minutes of moderately active exercise each week, or 75 minutes of vigorous-level physical activity. Moderate-level exercises include swimming, yoga, dancing, and brisk walking. Vigorous level exercises include jumping rope, tennis, jogging, hiking through hilly areas, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Colleges typically have well-equipped exercise areas and even pools available for their students. College students should make use of these resources.


Only about 18% of Americans think they got enough sleep. Teenagers, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, need about 8-10 hours each night. Sure, occasionally getting a less than optimal amount of sleep isn’t going to cause long-term issues. However, recurrent lack of sleep can lead to long-term issues. Naps can help, if they last for less than 30 minutes and happen before late afternoon.


Some students truly don’t eat enough food to keep their bodies and minds operating properly. Other students simply use their newfound freedom to eat nutrient-poor food. They are getting enough calories, but not enough of the macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals their bodies need. For some students, one big issue is the options available at their campus dining hall. It’s possible to eat from the dining hall and still maintain a healthy diet. Making healthy choices like focusing on water as the main source of hydrating, eating produce in every color of the rainbow, making sure not to skip meals, and choosing healthier options instead of cheeseburgers and pizza for every meal are relatively simple ways college students can maintain good nutrition.

Students who don’t live on campus often don’t have a dining plan and must shop and cook for themselves. There’s a big learning curve in figuring out how to meal plan and cook healthy meals on a budget. Start by making a list of meals and then working out a grocery list. Packing a lunch and snacks to take to school and work helps save money and makes it easier to choose healthy options.

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  • Monday 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Tuesday 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM


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Office Hours

  • Monday
    8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Tuesday
    8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Wednesday
    8:00 AM – 4:30 PM
  • Thursday
    8:00 AM – 4:30 PM

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New patients are welcome! To request an appointment use our online form or call:

(703) 565-2503

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Rye Smiles for Life

10614 Warwick Avenue, Ste A, Fairfax, VA 22030

(703) 565-2503