5 Habits You Should Adopt in 2019 to Avoid Getting Sick

Edited by Ann Marie Elpa​


Don’t you hate it when you suddenly get sick when you have so much work to do? Or when you’re taking an exam and you can’t stop sneezing, coughing, or sniffling? Being sick is the worst when you’re a student. You never feel like you have enough energy to do those essays that are due in a few days or have the will to trudge all the way to class or even the dining hall. I have a roommate and I’m always paranoid about getting sick whenever she is. But I made a list of five habits I adopted throughout the semester that has prevented me from getting sick (knock on wood) and hopefully it’ll help you too!


Habit #1: Take vitamins!!

It’s often hard to meet all your nutritional requirements and eat healthy when you’re a university student. We often just gravitate towards what’s convenient- especially during finals seasons or when we’re super busy. I think it’s so important to take vitamins so that we can supplement the nutrients we’re lacking so we can stay healthy. I always make sure to take two tablets of Vitamin C every day as they’re known to boost your immune system. I use the brand called “Jamieson Chewable Vitamin C” and I know a lot of my friends use that too and have found it effective. I’ve also heard that there’s a hype around “OLLY” vitamins. They have a variety of wellness boosts like “Restful Sleep”, “Goodbye Stress”,  and “Daily Energy”. According to word of mouth and a lot of reviews on it, they actually work really well at boosting your health. 


Habit #2: Exercise!!

I feel like this one is the hardest one to do. I really don’t enjoy working out and I feel like it’s such a hassle to put on a workout outfit and head to the gym when I want to snuggle up in bed and watch a TV show. However, I believe that exercise is the most effective way from keeping you away from a cold. I used to play on a school soccer team for three years prior to university and I found that during the soccer season, I would NEVER get sick. Regardless of how cold it was outside or if everyone else was sick, I would never get sick because I was training every day. And it wasn’t because I had a naturally strong immune system - in fact, I used to get sick all the time when I was younger. So if I could recommend only one habit you should adopt this New Year, it’s to exercise more. Go to your favourite gym (mine is the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport) and run on the treadmill or any cardio exercise. And it doesn’t have to be long- just 15 to 30 minutes of your day. However, make sure to schedule these workout beforehand on your calendar so you don’t have any excuses to bail. If it’s possible, maybe even try to find a friend that will work out with you so you can keep each other accountable. You’re way more likely to go to the gym if you’ve promised someone to go with them. 


Habit #3: Eat tons of fruits!!

The benefit of fruits is a given but we often choose unhealthier foods over it. For breakfast at the dining hall, I pile up a bunch fruits (melons, oranges, and a grapefruit) onto my plate. I don’t really feel like eating anything heavy in the morning so having a bunch of fruits is a great way to just fill my stomach and keep me going until lunch. The best way that I’ve found to increase my fruit intake is by making a smoothie every day. My dining hall has a smoothie maker so I bought a 16-ounce clear tumbler from Amazon to fill up with my favourite smoothie. The smoothie I’ve been making contains a banana, mangoes, strawberries, and soy milk - and it’s delicious! I’ve been making a little extra lately for my friend who loves the taste of it too! By carrying it around in a tumbler, I get to sip on it throughout the day and it’s so much less overwhelming than drinking an entire smoothie in one go.

Other than smoothies, I found that the “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” phrase actually works. I used to eat a huge apple every single day in high school and only got sick once a year (which is a miracle for someone who has a pretty vulnerable immune system). I’ve been slacking off with this in university though because it’s kind of a pain to walk to the grocery store and get apples (the grocery store is kind of far and it’s winter). But when you do make that trip to the grocery store, just get a ton of apples once and for all so you won’t have to go back for a while. And get yourself an apple cutter, which is so useful if you don’t have a kitchen and don’t want a random knife lying around in your dorm. 

Habit #4: Take sanitizer wherever you go!!

I’m a bit of a germaphobe and sanitize my hands whenever I touch anything in public spaces that I know are infested with germs. This includes public transportation, any buttons (such as the elevator buttons), shopping carts, doors knobs, etc. According to the Time, our cellphone screens are 10 times dirtier than a toilet seat! Yuck! The solution is wiping your phone with a little bit of rubbing alcohol, mixed with some water. The point is, be aware of what you’re touching every day because there are a lot of surfaces that we don’t even notice are infested with germs. 


Habit #5: Sleep Well and Rest Up!!

I know that getting enough sleep can be difficult to do as a university but it’s SO important. According to Everyday Health, sleep is when your body rests and recovers from damage. If you’re never giving your body time to repair and heal itself, you are going to have a much bigger chance of getting sick. So do your body a favour and rest up! Don’t go out or go to parties when you’re feeling tired because you’re only going to regret it if you get sick after.