Keeping healthy – Cold and Flu Prevention
As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter that dreaded time of the year gets closer; cold and flu season. Most people can expect to catch at least one cold during this time of year, especially if they are around crowds of people. College students are at a higher risk to get sick as a result of the amount of people in one place during the course of the day.
There are a number of ways to prevent becoming sick. One simple solution is to get a yearly flu vaccination. This is the best way to prevent getting the flu. Contrary to popular belief, the flu vaccine does not cause someone to get sick. The flu vaccine contains the deactivated virus that allows the white blood cells to develop antibodies for the virus. During the cold and flu season hand sanitizer becomes a great tool. Using hand sanitizer after touching high traffic areas such as door handles, keyboards, desks, etc. will greatly reduce the chance of the virus getting into the body.
Keeping a regular sleep schedule goes a long way in preventing sickness. Seven hours of sleep a night keeps the body healthy. Sleeping helps boost the immune system by controlling the release of cortisol. Cortisol suppresses the immune system by muting white blood cells. Another great tip is to keep a balanced diet. Eating plenty of foods high in vitamin D and zinc will boost the immune system. Finally, make sure to exercise at least a few times a week. Exercising increases white blood cells which help fight the virus.
The key to staying healthy is keeping the immune system working. It is too late when classmates start hacking and coughing in the halls. It is best to start now before everybody starts getting sick.