10 Ways to Stay Healthy this Cold and Flu Season

Ahhh… the Fall. A time of excitement when you are back on campus and doing fun Fall activities like apple picking, watching football, and carving pumpkins. Unfortunately, this time of year is the beginning of cold and flu season. It seems that there is always someone coughing in class or people are absent because they don’t feel well. It can be really hard to remain healthy in college because we are all so stressed and we have many communal areas for germs to spread. However, these tips may teach you something you did not know already about preventing sicknesses.

1. Wash your hands often and thoroughly

A good rule of thumb is to wash your hands before you leave your dorm, when you get back to your dorm, and absolutely before eating. And then wash them even more throughout the day, especially when you are in public places.

2.  Use hand sanitizer when a sink is not available

Washing your hands with soap and water is more effective than hand sanitizer so take the extra steps to walk to the Salmo bathroom. Use hand sanitizer when you are outside and not near a sink. Don’t go crazy though because too much of it can actually make it ineffective.

3. Consume Vitamin C

Vitamin C is important to keep your immune system in check. Drink some orange juice or eat fruits and vegetables like red/green peppers, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kiwis, and strawberries. You can also take a multivitamin, but talk to your doctor first before taking any new supplements!

4. Be aware of your surroundings

If you are in a group project and one of your team members is coughing, do not let them use your laptop. If you go to an event in Fisher and someone looks sick, sit far away from them. When your friends or significant other is sick then distance yourself from them until they are feeling better.

5. Wash your sheets often

At college, our beds are not only a place to sleep and take frequent naps but it’s a place to have a snack, do homework, and hang out with friends. Wash your sheets every two weeks during cold and flu season to get rid of germs. Wash your blankets as well especially if they are in your common room.

6. Sanitize surfaces around you, especially electronics

Sanitize your desk, door knobs, light switches, and any other surface that is touched often. Your phone and laptop are filled with bacteria because they are used so frequently. Wipe them with a Lysol or alcohol wipe daily to keep them clean.

7. Try to get eight hours of sleep

It is difficult to get a lot of sleep in college when you have so much to do but the more sleep you get, the better off you are. Be productive during the day so you can sleep more at night!

8. Eat healthy foods

We are all tempted to eat pizza, pasta, and cheeseburgers everyday but if you fuel your body with healthy foods then your body will thank you.

9. Open windows in your dorm or townhouse

Fresh air will help to kill germs and get rid of the stuffy, uncirculated air. When it’s really cold outside, open the windows for 10 minutes or so while you are in the shower or not directly next to the window so you aren’t freezing. When you take a deep breath in your room you will feel better because the air won’t be as stuffy.

10. Don’t share cups or food

Germs are spread through saliva so do not share cups or utensils with anyone. Use your own fork to try a bite of your friend’s cake but put the fork in a different spot.

 

Stay clean and stay healthy during this cold and flu season!