Don't get sick as a dog

By: Katharine  Powell

With cold and flu season at its peak, it is important to apply a healthy life style to avoid falling behind. We are in classrooms with up to 200 other people at a time, living in close proximities with others, and using equipment touched and used by thousands of people daily. So how do we avoid the unavoidable? Follow these few simple tricks, first seen on health.com and caring.com, to guarantee a successful and healthy semester.

  1. Wash Your Hands

Let’s face it: We go to a college where tens of thousands of people attend daily. Although it is not necessary to wipe down everything before you touch it, washing your hands after you have been in a high-traffic area such as the Student Union or the Rec is a good idea. Also, it is always beneficial to keep around a small bottle of hand sanitizer such as Purell in your book bag for on-the-go sanitation.

  1. Hydration is Key

Water is the key to a healthy life style. According to health.com, proper hydration has been known to cut cravings and increase alertness. Also, proper hydration allows the body to rid itself of any unwanted toxins that could weaken your immune system. You should aim for about six 8oz glasses of water a day. Other beverages, such as Gatorade and juice are good as well; however, they are often times packed with sugar which can slow you down. Also, be wary of caffeinated beverages. Although they can prove useful to keep you awake, caffeine is a natural antidiuretic, meaning they dehydrate the body, weakening your immune system.

  1. “Veg” Out

As college kids, we love a quick bite to eat. However, sometimes what is quick may not be the healthiest. According to health.com, a lack of essential vitamins and antioxidants provided by fruits and vegetables could have negative effects on your health. So next time you are looking for a snack, head on over to the Market and grab a piece of fruit or a salad full of dark greens.

  1. Blame it on the Alcohol

If you are looking for a solid way to keep your body strong for a strong semester, you may want to consider keeping the alcohol consumption to a minimum. According to caring.com, alcohol makes your body prone to initial infections, and it has a nasty habit of dehydrating the body at a rapid pace. If you do happen to have a night out, try alternating alcohol with water or Gatorade to ensure you are staying hydrated.

  1. Breathe

College is a hectic time full of crazy schedules. It is easy to get so wrapped up in your studies and social activities, and before you know it you are ready to pull your hair out. Stress, although some find it to be motivating, can be detrimental to your immune system. As caring.com explains, exercise is a great stress buster, and it is known to boost your self-esteem. So next time you have a free hour, head on over to the Rec and take a spinning class or do yoga twice a week. Your body will get stronger and your mind will, too!

There are many other simple tips and tricks you can apply to your routine to avoid falling ill. For example, according to Sophomore Nursing Student Bekah Weismantel, “Making sure you get an adequate amount of sleep each night is a huge preventative measure against colds.”

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