Don’t Let Flu Season Get You Down


[ot-caption title=”Freshman Alex Guckes washing up during the day (via Camila Piza, freshman)”]

Flu season is just around the corner and keeping yourself healthy is first priority. As the weather becomes colder, slightly, and people begin to stay inside more often, they tend to catch colds or other viruses. Especially going to a school with hundreds of students ranging from 5 to 18 years old, a few people with a cold can spread throughout the student body like wildfire. However, there are many easy and creative ways to stay healthy, whether it is eating the right foods or simply exercising.

Boosting your immune system is the most critical component to staying healthy during flu season. Exercising is a great activity to stay healthy and can even be enjoyable! Exercising can also release stress. Stress increases the chance of illness; therefore, by exercising and relieving stress, you are strengthening your immunity. Even the slightest bit of exercise lowers your chances of getting sick. So, go outside and take a run, sign up for a spinning class, or just simply get your heart rate up in order to protect your body from the evil flu. Especially during the next two months when students’ stress levels are prone to rise as exams approach, remember to take a break to get exercise; you’ll feel better mentally and physically!

Not only does physical activity boost your immune system, but it is also important to eat healthy foods to avoid sickness. There are more foods than just the traditional chicken soup that you can eat when you are sick or are trying to prevent illness. Found in any market here in Florida, clementines and oranges provide a great source of vitamin C to fight off colds and cut down the duration and severity of colds. These bright citrus fruits are a delicious snack that are easy to pack and eat on the go, so make sure to stock up on plenty of these orange friends heading into this winter. Certain drinks are also beneficial to keep your body healthy during the flu season. Ginger Tea with gingersnaps relives congestion and even has a soothing taste. Add a little honey to make the tea a little sweeter and help to soothe your throat. Eating and drinking right during flu season are huge factors in maintaining a happy and healthy life.

Last but not least, it is crucial that you get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep suppresses the immune system. The longer period of time you go without sleep, the longer you will be sick and more susceptible to viruses. Even if you aren’t sick, it is vital to get the right amount of sleep to prevent catching the flu. Another reminder as students head into exam season, sleep is just as significant as studying when it comes to performing well on midterms; so think twice before substituting hours of shuteye to cram in more hours of studying.

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” may not work in this case, so make sure to try some of these techniques to help keep yourself healthy during this flu season.  Whether it is going outside for fresh air or eating healthy and delicious foods, its important to be conscious of your health.  Keep yourself strong and don’t find yourself home sick this winter!

Sources: Fitness Magazine, Rediclinic, WebMD, MedlinePlus