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5 Ways to Avoid Getting the Flu at College

October 11, 2012

Flu season is around the corner as the cold weather strikes the Midwest and East coast.  Temperatures are dropping and fevers are soaring as students spend endless hours balancing studies and fun.  Late nights working on projects and late weekends working on fun makes sleeping and rest a scarce resource.  Consider some of the following tips to avoid the flu come the cold season…

1.     Keep calm and SLEEP on.

9 hours of sleep is the optimal number for college students to reach according to CollegeTidbits.com.  However, most college students get only 6-7 per night and many get even less than that.  The more sleep, the better.  Your body is a machine and the better you treat it, the better your returns.  If you can go to sleep by 11 p.m. and wakeup at 8 a.m., you’re doing it better than the vast majority of students.  Staying up into the twilight hours of the night won’t help you later in the week as you’ll be running on 5-Hour Energy and caffeine to help you survive the rest of your week.  Running on caffeine for days at a time is not good for your body so try replacing it with zzzz’s.

2.     Eat well. Drink well.

Be sure you’re mixing in a nice diverse assortment of foods in your college stay.  Foods high in vitamin C will help you battle colds and potassium will give you quality nutrients and energy.  Don’t forget to take a multivitamin once a day, even if you still prefer the Flinstone gummy vitamins.  Stay hydrated and feed your bottle plenty of water, too.

3.     Bundle up for the weather.

WeatherChannel.com can work wonders in efforts to avoid the flu. How? Well, by simply checking on the temperature before class, you’ll have a gauge of what to wear (and what not to wear) on the week.  Be sure to check the temperatures later in the day, too, because while it may be 60° and sunny in the afternoon, it may be 45° once the sun goes down and you’re coming home from class.

4.     Try to avoid sharing food and drinks from others.

Mono and germs spread like wildfires in college campuses.  Try to minimize your sharing of various foods and beverages with your friends.  Use a different straw and/or get your own food!  While it may seem a bit Howard Hughes-esque, it’ll serve you well in your battle against the flu to avoid spreading saliva and germs.

5.     If you’re feeling under the weather, check in with your health services office.

Don’t hesitate. Most schools have health services offices waiting for you to stop by.  Taking care of health problems and getting on the right meds early will help symptoms subside faster.  Do what’s best for all and be a utilitarian: check your own health so you can minimize your contact with others in hopes to prevent a bug from spreading!

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