How to Avoid Getting Sick at University

1. Be Cautious at the Gym

You should always be using the provided disinfectant before and after you use a machine at the gym, but the risk of catching infections at the gym doesn't mean you should start skipping out on your workouts. Regular physical exercise has been shown to increase the speed of circulation of antibodies and white blood cells, which may aid in detecting bacteria or viruses earlier. In addition, breathing hard during exercise may even help to clean your airways of bacteria.

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2. Don't Share Drinks

Sharing drinks or food is one of the easiest ways to help the spread of whatever is going around on campus. University campuses are notorious for infections like mono (Infectious mononucleosis) spreading like wildfire and you can become infected by coming into contact with the saliva of someone who has it or recently had it. You may think that sharing alcoholic drinks is okay because the alcohol would kill all the bacteria, but that simply isn’t the case. The truth is, alcoholic drinks are so watered down that they really don’t disinfect anything.

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3. Don't Neglect Your Personal Hygiene

Although the colder months mean that we’re all barraged with midterms, finals, assignments, essays, etc. that doesn't mean we should stop showering regularly. Remember to properly wash your hand often, especially before handling food or touching your face. Keep sanitizer on your person at all times.

4. Get Your Flu Shot

Residents of Ontario are able to receive the annual influenza vaccine for free. You can get your flu shot from Health Services, walk-in clinics, and some pharmacies as well. You can get your flu shot in late October and all through November. You should always get your flu shot, but especially if you work or volunteer around high risk individuals like the elderly, young children, or people with compromised immune systems.

5. Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough rest is so important for your immune system to function at it’s peak. Your body needs sleep to fight against infections. Dr. William Dement of Stanford University recommends that university aged students need 7-9 hours of sleep a night.

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