Sniffle season is here and if you listen you can hear the chorus of sneezing and coughing as it rings throughout campus. The best part about the flu is that is it preventable and you don't have to change your diet to do it.
Campus is the ideal breeding ground for illnesses like the common cold. Students are in close interaction with each other daily, and come in contact with germ-infested items like door handles and the desk you sit in. Obvious suggestions are to simply get a flu shot and wash your hands. Both are easily accessible and can save you from having to use a sick day for actually being sick. However, you cannot control if someone you come in contact with has taken preventative steps.
Follow these steps to help give your immune system an extra boost this flu season.
First, try to manage your stress levels. The end of the year can get hectic, but over-working yourself not only weakens your immune system, but also delays your ability to heal. The best thing to do is to try to not sweat the little stuff and manage your stress levels. Take time out and get enough sleep! You do not necessarily need more sleep, just deeper sleep. Make sure where you sleep is totally dark so your melatonin (a chemical produced in your brain) production will be sufficient. The different phases of sleep contain two cycles that are deep enough to refurbish your immune system.
Another great way to help protect yourself is to consume more vitamin C, which can be found in juices like orange juice. Vitamin C increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies. It also increases levels of interferon, the antibody that coats cell surfaces, preventing the entry of viruses.
Finally, exercising will help both strengthen your body and your immunity. Simply walking a mile or two at least three times a week will help your lymph system cleanse impurities to help boost your immune system.
No one wants to get sick this winter, so why not take steps to prevent yourself from joining the sniffle choir? If you think that you can make it the entire fall without getting the flu, remember that most people get it the one time they really have plans and have to miss out. So take care of yourself and stay warm this winter.