It’s inevitable. As the seasons change and the weather grows colder, you’re going to start noticing more coughing, sneezing and sniffling in classrooms and around campus. If you live in close proximity to other students (like in a dorm, sorority or fraternity house), it can be especially hard to steer clear of cold and flu germs. Here are some tried-and-true tips for students who want to ace the cold and flu season.
Eat Right – Eat natural foods rich in vitamins and minerals on a regular basis. Many fruits and vegetables contain natural antioxidants that can help build up your immune system and fight colds and infections. Super immune-boosting foods include: mushrooms, spinach, low-fat yogurt, garlic, grapefruit, almonds, cabbage, oysters and berries.
Drink Water – Along with eating right, drinking plenty of water to keep your body hydrated is important to maintaining your good health. Be sure to keep a refillable water bottle with you to take to classes and study sessions.
Get Sleep – One of the easiest ways students can become run down is to not get enough sleep, especially if you are in the habit of staying up late to cram for tests. By getting at least eight hours of sleep, you are allowing your body time to rest and fight germs and infections.
Exercise – Exercising is another great way to help you build up your immune system and fight sickness. Studies have also shown that low to moderate exercise when you are fighting a cold can help you recover more quickly.
Wash Your Hands – Just think about all the things you’ve touched today – in the classroom, at the computer lab, in the library and at the rec center. There are a lot of germs out there. Be sure to wash your hands often and carry hand sanitizer with you for those times you aren’t able to wash.
Avoid Sick People- One of the easiest ways to avoid getting sick is to stay away from classmates who are are sick with colds and the flu. Likewise, if you are sick, fight the urge to power through it and instead stay home and sleep it off. You’ll help prevent the sickness from spreading to friends and classmates.
Make Use of the Student Health Center – If you are sick and can’t kick it, or you think you may be suffering from more than an average cold, don’t hesitate to visit your campus health center to get a professional opinion.