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5 Ways to Prevent a Cold on Campus

February 20, 2013

Winter break is over, and classes are back in session.  Hopefully you rested up over break and stayed healthy while at home, but now that you’re back on campus, the risk for getting sick might be a little higher.  It’s easy for germs to spread quickly and widely in the classrooms, dining halls, libraries, and dorms of college campuses.  This flu season has been severe, and it seems like there’s always at least one person coughing in each of your classes.  Don’t wait around idly to get sick!  Take these five easy steps to help prevent you from catching a cold on your college campus.

1. Sleep
If you really want to prevent getting a cold, there will be no allnighters allowed!  Your body needs the proper amount of rest to keep you healthy and to help ward off sicknesses.  We’ve all heard that getting eight hours of sleep each night is ideal, but how many of us actually reach that number?  You might need to better manage your time during the day, but definitely make a serious effort to get in some more sleep at night.

2. Exercise
Did you know that exercising can boost your immune system?  So while resting is important to prevent sicknesses, doing physical activity is also really important.  There are plenty of ways you can get some movement into your everyday life at school.  Taking walks, going to the gym, playing a sport, or doing a workout DVD are just some of the options.  The important thing is just to get moving so that your immune system can get a nice tuneup!

3. Cut back on sugars
Unfortunately, there are some foods that just aren’t conducive to having a strong immune system.  When you’re trying to prevent a cold, it’s important to cut back on the sugary sweets.  Having too much sugar can weaken your body’s defenses.  Skip the soda, and drink water instead.  Also keep in mind that alcohol consumption should be limited too in order to keep your immune system strong.  So try not to overindulge!

4. Get your vitamins
Antioxidants and vitamin nutrients are important to have to keep you healthy, and to help prevent you from catching a cold.  Try to fit some fruits and veggies into every meal; embrace your campus dining hall’s salad bar.  You can also look into trying a multivitamin to make sure you’re getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay strong.

5. Take a breather
We can all agree that college life gets stressful sometimes, but persistent stress can weaken your immune system.  So remember to give yourself a break from time-to-time!  If you find yourself getting into a state of perpetual stress, it’s time to take a step back, and relax.  Managing stress well is not only important for preventing colds, but for your overall wellbeing too.

No one likes getting sick,  so it’s fortunate that there are ways to help prevent it.  Remember these tips, and keep on fighting the good fight against cold and flu season!

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