An apple a day keeps the doctor away. We’ve all heard the saying more than once. Unfortunately, that is not a foolproof method for staying healthy during the winter months. Fear not though, there’s many more steps you can take to keep your body running at full strength in these winter months. With another two months of winter left to go, we can all use a refresher on some common tips to help us stay healthy in our classrooms and homes.
Here are some tips to avoid those common winter ailments like the cold or flu and keep you operating in top shape.
- Stay hydrated – Everyone always says to “drink some water”, but it’s true! Drinking water is important as it keeps your body working at its peak. Without proper hydration, you may feel aches in your muscles and joints, digestion issues, body temperature changes, and more. Staying properly hydrated is a good way to maintain the equilibrium between your body’s intake and output. It’s also quite easy to grab a travel water bottle and keep that with you in class to take a few sips as time goes by.
- Wash your hands – Yes, there are germs everywhere. One of the most important things we can do to keep us from getting sick is to keep our hands clean. Whether we’re eating snacks, shaking hands, or grabbing objects along the walk to our destination, we risk getting germs on us. People then touch their eyes, nose, and mouth throughout the day, many times without realizing it, inviting those germs inside. So as the science shows us, make it a habit to wash your hands throughout the day, especially when you find them touching all kinds of various objects.
- Eat healthy – It’s so easy to just go for the ramen noodle bowl or a greasy slice of pizza at college. But the end results might not be as good as the feast itself. In addition to tasting good, healthy eating will help you avoid sickness too. Foods rich in vitamins, like C, D, and E, can help improve your immune system and resist infection. In addition to fighting the common cold or flu, many other food options can help maintain muscle and joint strength, digestive strength, and fight many common ailments. So next time you run for some groceries, be sure to grab some whole grains, nuts, and fresh fruits and vegetables to give yourself plenty of healthy options for your next meal or snack.
- Get up and move – Studies show that even moderate exercise can help us prevent sicknesses like the common cold or flu. And this doesn’t need to be a wipe-you-out type of workout. Simply getting yourself to sweat through physical activity is enough to stress out your immune system, which can help your body strengthen it. By making our body fight off the inflammation we feel from a decent workout, we in turn force our immune systems to strengthen as part of the process. So keep to a schedule or small, 30 minute work-outs throughout the semester. A short walk or jog, athletic activity in the gym, or whatever pleases you. You’ll keep your body healthy both inside and out.
- Get enough sleep – If you’re balancing regular exercise along with all your school work and social commitments, your body will need plenty of rest to keep healthy. Studies show that lack of sleep can negatively affect your immune system, as the amount of infection-fighting antibodies and cells in your body are reduced during those periods when you don’t get enough sleep. According to health care research, adults can maintain a strong immune system with about seven to eight hours of good sleep each night. So do your best to keep those all-nighters out of your schedule.