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Physical Health

Person walking on trail

Maintaining a healthy body is crucial for academic success and personal development. By taking care of our physical bodies, we allow ourselves to reach our maximum potential throughout the day. There are many elements that affect our physical health. Here are some key areas of concern:

Two women exercising

Physical activity has many health benefits! Living an active lifestyle helps:

  • Lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancer
  • Weight management
  • Lower high blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Improve fitness and strength
  • Decreases stress and depression
  • Support growth and development

For individuals between the ages of 18–64 years old, it is recommended that you participate in 150 minutes of moderate and vigorous activity per week. This can include walking, running, swimming, biking, hiking, etc.

Pint of beer

Alcohol and certain drugs can have a substantial negative effects on health and learning capabilities. It is important to equip yourself with reliable, accurate information.

Benefits of drinking less alcohol:

  • Save Money — Alcohol can be very expensive.
  • Your weight — Alcohol is heavy on calories.
  • Sleep soundly — Drinking less means that you get more high quality sleep.
  • Reduce stress — Some people say that they drink to relax, but in fact excess.
  • Avoid hangovers — Feel better and be more productive during your day.
  • Stay healthy for longer — Reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
cigarette burning

Quitting smoking can be hard. Peer to peer support may help you and our SHARP Ambassadors are here to guide you through the process.

The benefits of giving up smoking include:

  • Reduce the chances of getting lung disease and heart disease
  • Reduce the chances of getting cancer
  • Being able to run/walk without getting out of breath
  • Save money by not buying cigarettes
  • Your clothes and breath will smell better
  • Your sense of taste will improve
  • Your skin will look better
  • Smoking is banned in most public places
Tissues and mug

What is a Cold?

Colds are viral in nature, commonly caused by the adenovirus or the rhinovirus. Colds are usually less severe than the flu. Symptoms usually progress more slowly than flu symptoms and can last 4–10 days.

What is the Flu?

The flu is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. Symptoms can occur suddenly and be severe, often lasting 1–10 days.

The flu vaccine changes from year to year, helping to protect you against many different strains of the flu. The flu vaccine does not cause you to get the flu and is also not effective against the cold virus.

  • The Ministry of Health is now recommending that everyone in Ontario get an annual flu shot.
  • The flu shot is offered free of charge through the Ryerson Health Centre.
  • As a young adult, you may be able to fight a cold or flu with few problems, however, you may spread the virus to a person who may experience complications from the flu because their immune system is not as healthy as yours.
Office of Sexual Violence poster stating "You Are Not Alone"

“Being sexually healthy means that you are free from disease, violence, injury, fear, and false beliefs. It also means that you are comfortable with your sexuality, and have the ability to control and positively experience your own sexuality and reproduction.” — Sexuality and U (external link) 

For general information on Sexuality, Sexual Health, and Reproduction, please visit (external link) 

For information on Sexual Violence, please visit the Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education or contact our Counselling Centre.

Cannabis leaf

Cannabis and you: 10 ways to reduce risks when it comes to cannabis use:

  1. Cannabis use has health risks best avoided by not using.
  2. Delay taking up cannabis use until later in life; the later you start, the lower the risk.
  3. Identify and choose lower-risk cannabis products - know what you’re using.
  4. Don’t use synthetic cannabis products, as they aren’t safe.
  5. Avoid smoking burnt cannabis, to decrease your risk of harming your lungs.
  6. If you smoke cannabis, avoid harmful smoking practices.
  7. Limit and reduce how often you use cannabis.
  8. Don’t use and drive.
  9. Avoid cannabis use altogether if you have a family history of psychosis or substance use disorders, or if you are pregnant.
  10. Avoid combining these risks.

Early and frequent use of cannabis in young adults can alter the structure of the developing brain, including areas responsible for memory, decision making and executive functioning.

Peer support can connect you to many different resources regarding the above areas of concern.