How To Ward Off A Cold

School is back in session and the amount of people coughing in my classes is too much to handle. Not only in the classroom am I having to deal with sick people, but at home and at my workplace as well.

With germs floating in and out of my daily activities, I am paranoid about catching something myself.

What’s a girl to do?

Well, here are six helpful tips to help you ward off a cold this winter season.

1. Be wary of leftover holiday treats!

Still have stocking candy laying around the house? I know I do! But I have them hidden up in the cupboard, out of site out of mind, and also out of body.

College View writes this on their website about how to ward off a cold,

“When added to a balanced diet, certain foods—such as beef, yogurt, and mushrooms—are believed to boost your body’s ability to fight sickness.”

Stay away from junk food and fuel your body with clean foods like produce, lean meats, and in-season veggies. Getting proper nutrients will kick your immune system into gear.

2. Take a multivitamin

If you read my post A Student’s Guide to Popping Pills: The Vitamin Way  you will learn about the added benefits of taking vitamins and supplements. Incorporating a multivitamin into your daily routine is important because it has nutrients that will teach your body how to ward off a cold and fight off infections and disease, a necessity in the winter season.

3. Avoid stress

This may seem silly to write because as college students we are stressed out everyday. It is hard to escape the grind of constant responsibilities with homework, studying, projects, etc. You can decompress by turning off all electronics and meditating, drinking a cup of tea, or journaling. My time to relieve myself of stress is before bed. I use a lotion from Bath and Body Works called Stress Relief in Eucalyptus Spearmint. After that I immediately start to calm down from the stresses of the day and look forward to bed time.

4. Be sure to exercise

This could also be incorporated to your stress relief activities. Exercise may be the last thing you want to do while you are sick, but it is so important to keeping you healthy.

In Chris Freytag article, Should I Exercise While Sick? featured on Prevention.com he writes,

“If you’re suffering from congestion or low energy, exercise often helps you feel better. A brisk walk can unclog your sinuses better than an afternoon on the couch. And gentle exercise will rev up your circulation, to counteract that sluggish, rundown feeling. But this is definitely a personal decision. You’re the best judge of how you feel and what your body can handle when you’re sick.”

Exercising may be the kick you need to ward off a cold and start feeling better.

5. Get enough sleep

6-10 hours is what the average adult sleeps every night. If you sleep on the lower end (6-8 hours), you may want to consider taking a 20 minute nap during the day. It is better natural energy than drinking a cup of coffee. Sleeping is your body’s way of resting, so if you feel a cold coming on, escape to your bedroom. Your body may be able to learn how to ward off a cold on its own.

6. Keep a clean house!

During the cold and flu season you will come into contact with many sick people. These people may come into your home or your roommates may have hung out with them earlier. Once you touch someone who is sick, you can carry the disease with you. Think of everything you touch in your house on a day to day basis; door knobs, handrails, cabinets, toilet, sink, light switches, etc. You can use antibacterial cleaners or wipes to take care of those surfaces.

William Browning makes this suggestion in his article on Yahoo Voices.

“Having a bottle of liquid hand sanitizer on your desk is a good way to keep your hands germ-free. Even large bottles that last forever are only around ten dollars or less. Hand sanitizers are a good investment that will pay big dividends in your health during college.”

I will not guarantee that reading these six tips will tell you everything you need to know about how to ward off a cold, but it sure will cut your chances down. Being sick can hold you back in many aspects of your life, especially as a student. You cannot afford to miss class because you have a cold. Be preventative and cautious this winter season. Be sure to bundle up as well, it’s cold out there people!

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Kait Freeberg

Kait Freeberg

Kait Freeberg is a junior at Cal Poly University, San Luis Obispo pursuing a degree in journalism. At school, Kait can be found interviewing people or hitting the gym. As the Colleges Against Cancer president, Kait helps to fight cancer and she educates her peers on the disease. Apart from school she works two jobs, enjoys traveling, and cooking for her roommates.

3 Responses to “How To Ward Off A Cold”

  • Natalie Alexander

    Natalie Alexander on January 20, 2013

    Great suggestions to staying healthy and hopefully avoiding the sickness altogether! However, it is very easy to catch things in the dorms because everyone is living in such close quarter, which your body may not be used to. It is important to be take extra cautions and be even more health-consious then you may have been at home.

  • Elizabeth Benson

    Elizabeth Benson on January 21, 2013

    Lots of great tips that many people probably wouldn’t have thought of! Staying healthy is so important in college. I wish I’d read this a few days ago, so maybe I wouldn’t be so sick now!

  • Nina

    Nina on January 22, 2013

    I really love all these suggestions and you’ve pointed out some really important things to remember. Coming from someone who seems to always get really sick every winter, finding ways to stay healthy is definitely important to me. Things you’ve mentioned like taking multi-vitamins, avoiding stress and getting enough sleep truly are so important and students shouldn’t forget that!

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