As fall approaches, so does cold and flu season. Unfortunately, illnesses can sneak up on us, but there are a few ways students can get ahead of the game.
Get a flu shot.
Health Services offers free flu shots to all students. While Health Services usually requires an appointment to be seen, they provide walk-ins for flu shots. If you believe you’ve gotten sick, Health Services will evaluate and treat acute illnesses. You can schedule an appointment by calling 717-871-5250.
Exercise helps white blood cells travel faster through your body; white blood cells are the ones that fight against infection. There are a few ways to exercise on campus. The Fitness Center is located in the SMC and is free to all full-time students. There are numerous intramural and club sports, as well as fitness classes, offered as well. If you don’t have enough time for a formal workout and still have PokemonGo downloaded, there are 8 gyms and 45 PokeStops around campus you can walk, jog, or run to. Don’t forget to hatch your eggs!
Get enough sleep.
While it’s tempting to pull an all-nighter, sleep deprivation can lead to reduced brain function, fatigue, headaches, and more. Between 7 and 9 hours of sleep will improve your overall health. Try taking a short nap during the day and sticking to a schedule can help you to stay rested throughout the day.
Wash your hands.
Washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to avoid getting sick. Being in close contact with people through classes, the residence halls, and walking around campus means it’s easy to catch colds or viruses. Hand washing removes these germs. Wash your hands before meals, any time you will be touching your eyes, nose or mouth, or if you’ve been around others who are sick.
Drink lots of water.
Staying hydrated gives you more energy throughout the day by replenishing your body. It helps concentration and can help you from overeating. Refill the water you buy from the Anchor or Galley from water fountains with the EZ H2O filtration system — these water fountains can be found all over campus.
Eating healthy can help boost your immune system, maintain a healthy weight, and improve overall health. While it’s easier to grab a slice of pizza or cheesesteak, healthier alternatives are available at the Upper Deck, Anchor, and Galley. Even if you don’t have time before your 9AM class, always eat breakfast. Whether it’s a granola bar or banana, breakfast keeps you from overeating throughout the day. Never skipping meals is also important. Snacking can also help keep your appetite in check. Try keeping a good balance of dairy, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein every day.
Stress is something that you’ll definitely experience in college. Relaxing and having down-time is essential to staying healthy. Stress and getting run-down can adversely affect your health. Creating a routine and giving yourself regular breaks is the easiest way to relax. Don’t forget to hang out with friends and de-stress by binging Netflix or Hulu or curling up with a good book.
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